Let’s face the facts: it’s 2018, so just about every interaction you have online is trackable. That can include your location, your age, your cell phone model and even your interests. Sure, there are some perks to all this tracking: better targeting for advertising, stronger user experience online, and more customized content. From a marketer’s position, this means a higher likelihood of quality traffic and qualified leads. It also means you can define touchpoints with ease, using tools like a tag management system and behavioral analytics platform.
However, the question remains: how much tracking is too much? Beyond ethical questions of online privacy, over-tracking onsite events can make a marketer’s job incredibly hard. It’s easy to go overboard when you can see how easy it is to capture user interactions. It’s likely you start out tracking essential touchpoints like form submissions, phone calls, and resource downloads. But it happens to the best of us — you fall into the trap of tracking every single click on the site “in case you need it later”.
How do you know if you’re guilty of over-tracking?
Here’s a few questions I’d recommend asking yourself:
- Am I using this data to make updates or optimizations to my site or application?
- Is this data something that is actionable, or informs a strategy?
- Will I need this data to measure interactions indefinitely?
Things like scroll tracking and video tracking are awesome, no doubt. But before you go haywire adding event tracking, think about it: do you really need to know exactly how far someone scrolled on every single page of your site? Or how much do you really need to know where someone paused a video before resuming?
There’s two main downsides I see to adding too much tracking to your website:
- It’s possible the amount of tracking you’re deploying could actually slow down your page speed
- It makes it so hard to find the ‘golden nugget’ of opportunity in optimizing your website
There needs to be a balance between event tracking and page speed. Arguably even more important is the balance between event tracking and strong, actionable data insights. The more data points you measure, the more difficult it becomes to identify areas that may need improvement.
Is that to say you should be very slim in the event data you track? Absolutely not. But it is imperative to be strategic in your analytics process from day one. Perhaps you decide to implement extra tracking for a set time period to gather data to make a recommendation for improvement. Or maybe you add tracking to a video on a campaign landing page to compare to a video on another page of your site. The key takeaway should be to go into implementation with a plan for what you’ll track, how long you’ll track it for, and how you’ll use the insights derived from this data.
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About Courtney Fenstermaker
Courtney Fenstermaker is a Data Analyst at Liquid Interactive. She specializes in architecting custom data analysis strategies and implementation plans, transforming data into actionable insights for Liquid’s clients.