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Inbound Marketing Blog

    3 Easy Steps to Enabling Google Analytics' Enhanced Link Attribution

    Posted by Inbound Marketing Agents

    Learn how to utilize one of Google Analytics' most powerful features. 

    Enhanced Link Attribution was introduced by Google in November of 2012, as a feature of Google Analytics’ In-Page Analytics and was designed to improve click reports and user behavior analysis.

    ELA was, and still is, a big deal because it provides unique data between links leading to the same destination page. As the realms of Search Engine Optimization and User Experience Design weave tighter together, this was an exciting announcement for SEOs and designers alike. Essentially, Google is offering a free solution for in-depth user behavior metrics.

    If you aren’t utilizing Enhanced Link Attribution, we’ve broken it all down for you below.


    Setting Up Google’s Enhanced Link Attribution: 3 Easy Steps

    Like most free services, webmasters and SEO conscious marketers were finding it difficult to properly setup Enhanced Link Attribution. Not only can setting up ELA be difficult-- reviewing the reports can sometimes be problematic, too.

    In this quick and easy 3 step setup tutorial, we’ll also discuss viewing the reports and troubleshooting any errors that might arise.

    Step 1: Updating the Google Analytics Tracking Code Snippet

    If you haven’t already, you need to update your GA tracking code to the Universal Analytics tracking code. Once you’ve logged into Google Analytics, select the property which you would like to update.

    Select the ‘Admin’ tab, located at the top, and proceed to Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.


    Under the heading ‘Website tracking’, Google will provide you with your property’s Universal Analytics tracking code snippet.

    Copy and paste that into a text editor and proceed to step 2.


    Step 2: Add ‘required’, ‘linkid’ and Paste Code in Website’s Head

    Now that you have your Universal Analytics tracking code snippet pasted into your favorite text editor (I prefer Sublime Text 2), you’ll want to add the ‘require’ ‘linkid’ code. See the screenshot below for the necessary code, highlighted and in red, to add to your tracking code snippet.


    You’ll end up with something that looks like this:


    Now that you have your tracking code snippet including the essential ga(‘require’, ‘linkid’); code, you’re ready to add it to your website.

    Bonus: Adding the GA Tracking Code Snippet to Your Website

    Today’s web includes many different types of Content Management Systems. Although I’m not going to give you a rundown of implementing Google Analytics tracking code in every CMS, I’ll provide you with the basics.

    Essentially, you want to add your tracking code in the <head> of every webpage of your website. The <head> element of your website is a container for metadata and information about your HTML document. Almost all major Content Management Systems have an area, in the backend, where you can add metadata to the <head> of your website.

    Determine the name of your Content Management System and research the process of adding metadata to the head of your website. This is extremely easy to accomplish with systems like WordPress and HubSpot. Don’t be intimidated.

    Step 3: Enable Enhanced Link Attribution in Google Analytics

    Now that you’ve added your optimized GA tracking code snippet to the head of every webpage of your website, you’re ready to enable the reports. Go back to your Google Analytics property and select the Admin tab. In the middle column, select ‘Property Settings’ as shown below.


    Once selected, you’ll be given options on the right side of the webpage. Scroll to the bottom until you see the heading ‘Use enhanced link attribution’. Below the heading, you have a button option to turn on Enhanced Link Attribution. Switch it on and let the data roll in.


    Viewing In-Page Analytics Reports with Enhanced Link Attribution

    So you’ve completed the three easy steps and now you’re done, right? Well...maybe. With any free product, it might require some troubleshooting. Depending on how your website was coded, Googlebot might have issues differentiating links. In this case, you’ll want to set a unique id to each link. This unique id will allow Googlebot to easily distinguish between them.

    Google also made available a fantastic Chrome browser plugin for viewing In-Page Analytics. I’ve found this is the easiest way to dig for data.

    Read More: 4 SEO Tools We Can't Live Without

    Remember: What you can measure, you can manage. Happy SEO’n out there!


    Hal Turpin is the SEO Manager at Inbound Marketing Agents.



    Topics: SEO