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Using the page overlay feature

Page Overlay shows analytics data directly on your website.

By doing this, it takes you closer the experience of your visitors and helps you understand traffic patterns.

HOW TO OPEN PAGE OVERLAY FOR A PAGE?

Page Overlay can be launched from the rows of the Behaviour > Pages reports. Just move you mouse over the page you want to see the Overlay for and click the bubble icon. It will open Page Overlay in a new tab.

UNDERSTANDING THE USER INTERFACE

Page Overlay displays the actual website and puts bubbles next to the links on the page that show how many visitors clicked the link:

Next to your website, there’s a sidebar with additional data and actions:

  • On top, you can pick the date range Page Overlay shall show statistics for. It contains several shortcuts that are much easier to use than a full date selector. The default date range is “Current Month”: when you launch Page Overlay, this date range will always be selected regardless of the date that was selected in Matomo (Piwik) when the Overlay session was launched.
  • Beneath the date picker, you can see the page you are viewing. The location shown here corresponds to the page URLs shown in the page report, so ignored parameters won’t be included here.
  • The section “Main Metrics” shows you the data you would see in the corresponding row of the pages report.
  • On the bottom, you can launch the row actions that you would also see on the pages report: Row Evolution and Transitions.

You can click links inside the website and Page Overlay will update the sidebar and also show analytics data for each page you visit (as long as it has the Matomo tracker on it). And it doesn’t only show data for internal links, it even works for downloads and outlinks.

When you hover a link, the target URL is shown in the lower right. Also, you can see the absolute number of clicks and how many links point the the exact same location.

“3451 clicks from one of 2 links” means that there are two links on the website that lead to the same URL. The URL was visited 3451 times directly after viewing the current page, so up to 3451 visits must have used one of the two links to get there.

It is important to understand that Page Overlay doesn’t really record the click on the link. Instead, it uses the data Matomo gathers anyway to determine which pages were viewed directly after visiting the current page. If there are multiple links to this page, it cannot tell which link was used how many times. This is why Page Overlay shows you how many links point to this location and it also highlights the bubbles next to the other links when you move your mouse over one of them.

CONCLUSION

Matomo Page Overlay lets you see how links perform by looking at your actual website. With this visualization, you can derive additional insight like which areas of the website perform better or worse than others.

Together with the Transitions report, it helps you understand the paths visitors take in your website. Clicking through your website and seeing the paths takes you much closer to your visitors and gives you new ideas for improving your content and navigation.

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