why every website analyst

    Why Every Website Analyst Should Be Equipped with a Javascript HTML Debugger Tool

    1001 551 Jessica Porges

    If you’re a website analyst, you’ve surely been through this scenario or something similar:

    A new page on your company’s website is getting ready to go live, and you’ve told your development team that you’d like to be able to track two of the links on the page and associate them with the page in your reporting tool. The developers tinker around with the code in a Dev environment for a bit and then inform you that your request has been completed. However, when you check your Dev report suite you find that while the links are showing up in your reporting tool, they are not associated with the page name. When you go back to the developers, they aren’t sure why it’s not working, and you don’t understand HTML or JavaScript enough to dig through the code yourself.  Now what?

    If you were using a JavaScript HTML debugger tool, such as the free Firefox add-on, HTTPFox, you could perform a test by clicking the links you are trying to track and watching the server calls get sent. This might unveil why your links are not mapping back to the page name in your reporting tool. Perhaps your developers set up the tracking so that a page view gets sent when a visitor arrives at the new page, and a custom link tracking call is fired when one of the two links is clicked. However, you notice that the page name is not being sent in the same call as the link ID, which explains why you were not able to correlate them in your reporting tool. You can now take this information back to your developers to provide them with direction on what needs to be fixed.

    There are several free (and paid) tools out there that offer this type of solution. In terms of features, you should definitely look for at least the following two items:

    • Filtering – allows you to easily hone in on the analytics server calls only; some tools offer the ability to save filters for future use, which is icing on the cake
    • Sequenced Server Call List – enables you to view all server calls, in the order in which they occur; some tools out there just show you one server call at a time, which can be annoying when you’ve got back-to-back calls being sent (you may miss something if it’s quickly overwritten by another server call)

    Because everyone is different, I recommend doing a search for “JavaScript HTML debugger” and downloading a few free options (or free trials) to figure out which tool suits you best.

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    Jessica Porges

    Jessica is an analytics + intelligence expert who applies her strong analytical skills and expert-level knowledge of digital marketing and analytics software to make recommendations and drive value for smart panda’s clients. She was previously the Manager of Web Analytics & Intelligence for Marriott Vacations Worldwide and the primary analyst for DisneyWorld.com, where she was responsible for advanced segmentation analysis, A/B testing, campaign measurement and conversion reporting for large ($500k+) projects. Jessica also worked as an analyst of interactive systems for NBC Universal.

    All stories by: Jessica Porges

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