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Why do the Click Map figures not align with other Analytics statistics in some cases?

Sean Needham avatar
By Sean Needham

Click Map is a component of the Behavior Maps feature in Analytics.

The Click Map shows how many times an element on the website has been clicked over the selected time-period. In some cases, the number of clicks for the element will not match the number of Page views the destination URL receives when you look at, for example, Behavior Tracking.

Here are some reasons why clicks on elements may not match other Analytics statistics:

Changes to HTML markup

HTML markup changes need to be considered when viewing Behavior Map data. We use the class of elements to identify clicks on the Click map. Therefore, we will see links as new elements once the class has changed.

If the class changes on a link over a selected period or when interacting with it (active state, hover state etc.), and you are viewing a screenshot without that class, interactions for that link will not be shown on the Click Map.

Different data streams

The data collected to show Page views and that used to present interactions on pages come from different sources. For example, a page might have three Page views but the link on the only referring page can show zero clicks if the visitors used a bookmark.

Similarly, a link might be registered as having three clicks but the resulting page might not register any Page views if the destination page was down at that time the link was clicked.

As the data sources are not identical, they cannot be compared like for like. 

Click Map tracks mouse actions only

Only mouse actions are recorded on the Click Map. Interactions for visitors using a screen-reader, or for those using the 'tab' function and 'enter' key, will not be registered on the Click Map. Page views will still be recorded in these cases.

Statistics are split between mobile, tablet and desktop

Another reason that the number of clicks on the Click Map don’t always correspond to other Analytics statistics is that the Click Map shows a subset of the click data depending on whether you choose mobile, tablet or desktop. On the other hand, Behavior tracking, for example, shows the total amount of visits recorded.

Non-standard HTML markup

Non-clickable elements can be made interactive using HTML coding. This is not best practice and means that we do not recognize clicks on the element.

For example, Panels can be presented using nonstandard code using div tags with click events attached. Normally a div wouldn't be a clickable element so the platform does not show a Click map dot for it.

In these cases, clients will need to change their div tags to button tags, this would have the added advantage of indicating to screen readers that the panel is an interactive element.

Another example is if a customer implements their own Checkbox using div tags in combination with JavaScript instead of a using standard Checkbox HTML coding. Here, we cannot reliably know that the element is an "interactive" div

We recommend using standard coding practices when possible to avoid these situations.

Elements are hidden

Hiding an element can be done by setting the display property to none. If the element is not visible on the page screenshot, clicks on the element will not be shown. These clicks will however be listed on the ’Table of hidden elements’ below the Click Map.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content occurs when an element is created because of an action by the user. This could be, for example, when a user expands a menu and clicks on a sub-menu. As the screenshot does not show the sub-menu, it cannot present these actions on the Click Map.

Another example of Dynamic Content we’ve noticed is when a "hover" class is added when a user hovers over an element, i.e. JavaScript is used to change the class. This means the element is perceived as an entirely new element and we therefore cannot register it on the Maps. In these cases, the "hover" class is not present on the screenshot of the page that we have saved. If clients wish to track these elements within Behavior Maps they should use the ":hover" pseudo CSS selectors instead.

Clicks recorded on dynamic content are shown on the "Table of hidden elements" below the Click Map.

 

Older versions of browsers

The analytics code used in Behavior Maps relies on the JavaScript function ‘querySelectorAll’ being available. Most browsers today do support this function but some older browsers do not, in which case, we cannot query for elements matching certain criteria. For further information on this function and compatibility see the HTML DOM querySelectorAll() Method description on w3schools.com.

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