Tracking UI Level Links: An Open Source Script

One of the challenges with the current complex site designs is that multiple links to the same destination tend to appear on the same page.

This does not allow you to understand how your allocation of real estate is being used without resorting to really fancy analytics packages.

To solve this problem I developed a script that upon every click, walks up the document object model (DOM) looking for a an attribute on an HTML tag of ui.

If it finds one before it hits the BODY tag, then it adds a parameter to the link called ui with the value of that attribute, allowing you to understand which links on a page are being used. Shown below is a report from Google Analytics for this site showing how people arrive at my bio page:


If you visit my bio from the About menu at the top of my blog, it adds ui=nav.

I've licensed the script under the MPL and you're welcome to use it on your site, providing you share any enhancements. Grab it at http://alwaysbetesting.com/abtest/includes/logger.js.

All you have to do is include the script on your page and add ui=element_name attributes to key HTML elements that make up your site structure.

Because this happens with Javascript, and only when the user clicks, there's no danger of creating duplicate content for the search engine spiders. Alas, that means it doesn't fix typical analytics overlay views either for duplicate links, but you can typically see the source element in your path reports.

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