Over the last few years, one page websites have become very popular. They are often very modern, with a clean, easy to read format. One page sites are often a great way to highlight one particular product or service. Also, it’s been said that users don’t mind scrolling and they often use the scroll bar on the side of the page to determine page length. We use a modified version of the one page format on this site. All the main services and items of interest are located on the main page, but you can click through to get a better look at portfolio items and blog posts. It isn’t a true one pager, but it follows the same guidelines, with our most prominent offerings listed only on the front page. For many companies, this format, or a modified one, will work very well. While some developers argue against one page websites for a variety of reasons, one important problem that often comes up is the lack of insight into your Google (or Bing or whatever your analytics of choice are) Analytics. If you want to accurately track website visits and get better analytics for one page sites, read on for some good tips.
Use events for better analytics on one page sites.
If you have a one page site you can set up “event” tracking code on your site to track what users are doing once they get there. Are they watching a video? Are they clicking on anchor tags? Are they spending a lot of time reading or scrolling to look at your content? Whatever the event, most analytics code can be configured to track these things and more to give you a path to better analytics on one page sites. We’ll cover a couple of events here, but there are a lot of ways to track events-I suggest collaborating with someone who knows, to better dig into what will be the best use on your site.
One type of event that can be tracked is clicks. There are several things one might click on when visiting a site, but one of my favorites is anchor tags. These link your main navigation items to sections (or text) further down on the page. This not only promotes easy access to the content you want readers to see, but also gives us a good way to track what product or service or whatever that your visitors are most interested in. I like to use anchor tags and categories. I think they provide a good measure of what is popular or working on a site which allows us to fine tune marketing based on that information. Click events can also be used to track visitors that click on your videos and other links.
You could also setup time events. These events analyze how long a user spends on a one page site over a threshold that you set (like 30 seconds) and then does not count them as a bounce. This might be a good way to get better analytics for your one page site if you have a lot of content to read. If users are spending more than x amount of time on the site there is a good chance they are taking the time to read what you’ve posted. This is a good use for blogging sites and informative one pagers. Take some time to get an average amount of time it takes a user to read through some information on your site and set your limit from there. Whatever your time frame, the main thing is to get the information you need from your site to better analyse your analytics.
Finally, you can use scroll events to track users and get a handle on analytics for a one page site. I am not as much of a fan of this particular event, but that may only be because of my own bad habit of scrolling incessantly on a site while (most likely) not looking at any of the content. Personally, I don’t think this is super accurate event to see user interaction but for some sites it might work well. Similar to the time event, you set x number of pixels (rather than time) that the user must scroll, after which the user is no longer considered a bounce. Another problem I have is, it doesn’t accurately represent what users are actually interacting with on your site. User interaction with content is an important part of determining (again) what is working and what is not.
Google has a pretty good walk through on setting up these various events on your site, how they work and what they do. Event tracking in your analytics (and accompanying code) will let you track how users interact with your one page site and give you a lower bounce rate in your reporting. As we all know, it all comes down to getting users to interact. If you don’t know what people are looking at, you’ll have a much harder time figuring out why people come to your site and what makes them stay. Let us setup events and get better analytics for one page sites!