The ROI Revolution Blog

Which Links Do What: Why It Matters and How to Figure It Out

July 10, 2006

The Site Overlay report in Google Analytics is great for showing the value of the links within your site. Great – I know the percentage of visitors that click on the ‘Contact Us’ link… but which ‘Contact Us’ link did they really use? The Site Overlay report doesn’t count each link going to a certain destination separately.

All of the links going to one place get added to the overall count since the report cannot differentiate between links on different spots on the same page. For example, on the homepage of we had four links going to the page where people can sign up to attend a free webinar. Each of these four links used to have the same stats when we studied it in the Site Overlay report. That is until we made a slight change…

So wouldn’t it be nice to know which link most people actually click to sign up for that webinar? Knowing this information can provide a valuable glance into a visitor’s mind, especially when the links you are inspecting are those links visitors use to convert to one of your site’s goals!

Not only will you be able to tell which link had the greatest number of clicks, but which link that had the most value (and those are usually not the same links!).

I’ve seen a site that has a very long product info page with several ‘Order Now’ buttons, and the first order button had the most clicks, but it was the last order button that had the greatest value. People were skipping to the order page to get pricing info before reading the full product information. Those visitors that took the time to read the whole page were serious about buying, which accounts for the higher value.

So now you’re wondering, “If the Site Overlay report doesn’t tell the links apart, how am I supposed to get that information?”

Well, I’m glad you asked! What you can do is add an additional query parameter to each link, like ad=1, ad=2, etc. Then when you look at those links in Google Analytics (including the Site Overlay report, now) you can see exactly which link is doing what.

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