Top or Bottom?
This is a question I get asked a lot? Do you like it on the top or the bottom?
We’re talking web analytics tag code placement obviously. And just like the sexual innuendo, it depend on who I’m working with.
Until recently the argument for the bottom was easy. The web analytics tag belonged on the bottom of the page because I didn’t want to count the visitor unless the entire page loaded. If they bailed before then, then I didn’t consider them a bounce. I classified them as mistake, a typo a fat finger misclick. Placing the web analytics tag on the top would muddy that metric.
Page Load Speed
My other reason is related to page load speed. Even though most web analytics tags are fairly light, I wanted to delay their load until the very end. Placing it on the bottom makes for a better visitor experience and follows SEO best practices for page load speed.
But with Google Analytics recent release of their asynchronous code snippet that second reason no longer applies. You can now place your web analytics tag at the top of the page and not worry about its impact on page load speed because it will load in parallel the main content of your page.
I still like it on the bottom.
My first reason still holds. I track bounce rates and have a personal definition of what a bounce is and isn’t. To me, therefore, the page has to fully load before I’ll consider it a true pageview.
So tell me, do you like it on top or on the bottom?
Do you have a compelling reason for me to move the web analytics tag to the top of the page?
Let me know in the comments.