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ClickStream view seems erratic ...

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I realize that if a website visitor? just sits on the "landing" page for the entire visit?, NO clickstream? (site links being clicked - offsite links being clicked) report or view will be available.

However, I have many visitors coming to my site and spending 15-30 minutes viewing pages and clicking around (OpenTracker does tell me that these visitors viewed multiple pages.) and SOMETIMES I can get a valid clickstream? view ... but more often I get a BLANK clickstream view.

Why is this? This is SUCH a wonderful function of the OpenTracker service, and such important info for webmasters and webmistresses, yet it appears that it is working seldom or very erratically for me!

I do have most of my offsite links opening in a new browser window ... Would this have anything to do with it?

Anxiously awaiting your response



Hi Deborah,

Good questions. Ive taken a look at your site. The biggest problem is that you are not measuring all the pages on your site. As an example:

http://www.opportunitiesgroup.com/Downloads.htm, and

are not being measured. Incidentally the links that open to an external window are not a problem, but they do not pop-up/or show up in the window, called "focus" in Javascript. The page is not seen if the user brings the main-page back to focus and continues browsing. (something that confused me while browsing).

Pages that do not contain the opentracker.net tracking code will not be tracked, so you will lose all clicks pertaining to these pages. To avoid erratic clickstreams, your code needs to be installed in all the pages on which a visitor? might click, otherwise gaps/ erratic clickstreams are created.

Blank clickstreams
When refering to "blank clickstreams" I assume you are referring? to a user not clicking more than once. If you are referring to an empty (white) webpage: this is not normal, and please contact us by email to investigate the problem.

It would be very helpful to us if you could elaborate on what you mean by a "blank" clickstream, so that we can investigate. If possible, send us a screenshot.

Underneath a clickstream which I think you would mark as "blank":

Let me start off by saying that Opentracker.net is measuring user activity. For example, all of my clicks on your site just now, including the external clicks, have been measured... obviously only for the pages being tracked do they show up. If your tests have found differently, i.e. if you cannot see your own clickstream through your site please let us know and we will further investigate the technicalities.

Basically a "blank clickstream" can also be due to a user coming to your site, viewing just the entry page? and pressing his back button or surfing further to an internal page without the code installed.

Actually this phenomenon is so common that people in the web metric world have defined terminology to describe it. When someone comes to view your site and doesnt continue, its called a bounce. (You might be intrested in reading: Bounce rate explained).

Obviously the more pages you measure, the more information you get pertaining to clicks/ the less information you lose. i.e, if you measure just one page, you will have a very high bounce rate!

When looking at your bounce rate:

A bounce rate of around 30% for the first page view is something to aim for. The above stats show a bounce rate of 70% (not good). Meaning 70% of visitors leave no tracks of further activity after viewing just one page.

Several things can be going on here:
- Not measuring subsequent pages (probable cause),
- People are leaving after viewing just one page. (webmasters nightmare)

A high bounce rate: after measuring all pages
A high bounce rate (bad) can only be improved by a bit of hard work, or not minding: sites where a high bounce doesn't matter (e.g. portals want people to click through to another site and bounce away).

Ive taken a look at your summary stats to illustrate this:

- Notice that most visitors are not returning (7% is low, 20% is average), but this doesn't need to be a problem. (i.e. you are aiming for the one shot visitor, not a community site).
- Notice also that a very high percentage are getting to your site through referrals and especially search engines (80% is very high). Use this information wisely, group content to meet top search terms (see top searches, searching visitors).
- Notice that users are using external links (20% is very high)... users actually have a low tendency to click external links (3rd party) when compared to internal links (ie users actually scan where they are taken to).

If you continue to get a high bounce rate after measuring more internal pages (especially those pages which directly link from the main page
http://www.opportunitiesgroup.com/Online_Surveys.htm) then you have a bounce rate problem and should investigate further by changing the manner in which you engage your visitors, and see if your bounce rate improves after making changes. This would also lower the incidence of blank clickstreams.

Hope this helps, and answers your question.