I wanted my first post as a .eduGuru to be something spectacular, unfortunately all the ideas I had were taking too long to write, so here is something short and sweet.
Building on my last post, Tracking Flash Interaction with Google Analytics, I showed how to track flash actions with Google Analytics. The pageTracker._trackPageview() function is key to this tracking, but it can also be expanded past flash and into the uncharted territory of “outgoing links.”
In the analytics world outgoing links are the black hole of tracking, people are on your site, they click, and are gone forever. After stumbling on the article Google Analytics Tip by the Texas A&M Webmasters I decided to expand on it.
Here is how it works
1. Load the newest version of Google Analytics on your page. (this include must be loaded before any clicks can be tracked)
2. From there include jquery
3. Run this script on document load to attach the “click” to all the external links
Voilà! Check out your Google Analytics and search for “/outgoing” in your Top Content area to see the most popular outgoing links.
To expand on this example for production use, it is wise to also include “https://”, “ftp://” and exclude any “https://[yourdomain.edu]/” from tracking since those will go to internal pages even though they have a fully qualified URL in the attribute.
These new “/outgoing” links WILL show up as “visits” in your site on Google Analytics potentially skewing visitor hits. I recommend setting up an addition Profile for “Outgoing Tracking” and include only traffic from “^/outgoing/”. In addition exclude “^/outgoing/” from your main profile.