Why (And How) Site Overlay Is Your First Analytics Indicator

What Is Site Overlay?

Although called various things in other analytics platforms, Site Overlay is essentially a way for website administrators to see how many visitors click on particular links on a page by simply viewing that page in the proper mode. 

Each link displays a percentage or click total that allows you to understand what areas of a page gets the most attention. This provides an easy way to quickly see if visitors are clicking where you are expecting them to click. If by chance they aren’t, they can lead you to what exactly needs to be fixed.

Site Overlays Analysis

How to use Site Overlay

Let’s use the screenshot above from iAPPS Analyzer to do some analysis via the Site Overlay tool. We can see that in the time span we reviewed none of our visitors clicked on the first three items in the top navigation. However, out of all the visitors that clicked a link on this page 42.26% clicked on the “Shop” link. We can start to then make a hypothesis about the reasons and go investigate further.

Since we’re on the Homepage already it makes sense why no one would click “Home.. Perhaps“News” and “The Team” are available in other locations on the Homepage and that directs visitors’ eyes. Maybe during this time period we had a big push for our“Shop” and the traffic we were getting was very focused on Commerce.

Site Overlay is a great place to start when reviewing a particular page as it gives you those high-level indicators that something maybe wrong with a webpage layout. Furthermore, it can help lead you to more A/BTesting ideas as well. For instance, in our scenario above perhaps we try testing other elements in the Top Navigation or different verbiage to entice clicks.

Considerations & Recommendations 

No matter your analytics tool there is typically some variation of Site Overlay that provides this information. It is important that you work with your development team to ensure that the code is set up properly. Another common troubleshooting issue is that some analytics platforms count multiple links to the same page as one. Often times you can get around this limitation by having some sort of unique identifier within the link. Check Site Overlay out today by looking at a top ten landing page and see if you can spot where there may be issues or things that could be better optimized for user behavior.

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