Have you ever ran a campaign analysis and found that you had a 0% conversion rate? Are you seeing a large decrease in return visitors to a part of your site that should be increasing? Have people stopped logging in suddenly? Are you seeing self referrals and other click path abnormalities?
Error – your website is broken
While working for TELUS as Voice of Customer Prime, I was charged with the duty of collecting and managing all feedback from TELUS.com and the app portals. One of the first things I noticed about the opt-in page feedback – this is where a visitor pro-actively wants to tell us something – was that there were many comments from error pages. Most of these pages were 500 Internal Server error pages or 404 Page Not Found error pages. These server generated error pages were not even captured by our web analytics tool. No tracking code on them at all!
Tag managers are not often configured to deal with these dynamic error pages. Large websites often use multiple platforms, so it’s important to audit each area and make sure that tracking code is being inserted into all the server generated pages.
Canary In The Coal Mine
If your not tracking error pages, that’s quite a hole for visibility into the health of your website. There are three things I want you to take away from this article.
Website health relies on a number of tracking tools, not just click analytics
Opt-in feedback is gold for fixing usability problems. Let people tell you how much your website/app sucks. Encourage that! Then act on the feedback to fix and optimize.
Tracking errors and making these reports visible to everyone on your digital team can save you money and save your customers from frustration. It’s the canary in the coal mine.
Bobby has been doing digital for 20 years, first as a web designer, then as a mobile and web applications developer, and as an analytics consultant since 2010. He also enjoys family times, soccer and rocking in the band.