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Google Analytics Event Tracking

Over the past few blogposts, we’ve talked about the power of Google Analytics and how it can be used to turn your data into real results.

But what if you want to measure results that go beyond basic analytics reporting?

Well, Event Tracking is a feature of Google Analytics designed for that very purpose. You can use Event Tracking to measure any clickable action on your site, providing even more data to uncover consumer insights.

What actions does Event Tracking work with?

Some popular applications include tracking how many users download a piece of content, post a product review, print a coupon, sign up for email lists, or interact with videos. Google’s Developer Guide for the Classic ga.js script lists the specific actions you can create Event Tracking for, including:

  • Any Flash-driven element, like a Flash website or Movie player
  • Embedded AJAX page elements
  • Page gadgets
  • File downloads
  • Load times for data

What problems does Event Tracking solve?

Event Tracking can solve two key problems digital marketers face with their website designs.

The first is that you can measure behavior which occurs on the same web page. For example, many ecommerce sites use a single page checkout process, so the traditional method of tracking actions based on page-view doesn’t work. With Events, you can track every step a user would take on a single page (i.e. create account, guest checkout, shipping info, payment method).

The second is you can measure click behavior that leads to users leaving your website or taking other notable actions offline. In our webinar, we spoke about a company that wanted to measure the users clicking on mailto links that would send sales people an email. Since these people were considered important leads in the sales funnel, tracking their engagement became a must.

What are some key uses of Event Tracking?

In our Analytics webinar, we outlined how a $50MM company used Event Tracking to track their contact form submissions, and in turn, significantly reduce their Cost Per Lead by 44%. There are many other uses for Event Tracking, and below we’ve outlined two applications you can implement immediately in your Google Analytics.

The first is adding an Event that tracks how many people clicked a specific link on your site.

All you have to do is put an Event Tracking call on every link you want to measure. Here you can see the call to the _trackEvent script in the onclick attribute of the mailto: link with 2 parameters being passed.

Google Analytics Event Tracking

The second is to set up goals to measure your events. If you are tracking a sequential process such as cart checkout, or an action such as contact form submissions, you should set goals based on those Events. A huge advantage of setting up Goals is you can import your Event Goals into your AdWords account, ensuring they are counted as conversions the same way typical orders would be.

Here is the step-by-step process to set up Goals

  1. Click on the New Goal button. Google Analytics Event Tracking
  2. Choose the Custom option, and click next step. Please note if your screen doesn’t look like the one above, you have not selected an industry within your account. Go to edit your property, select an Industry Category, and save your changes.
    Google Analytics Event Tracking
  3. Name your goal and choose ‘Event’ under type. You’ll want to name it in a way so you’ll remember what it’s measuring. Then click next step.
    Google Analytics Event Tracking
  4. Google Analytics gives you 4 variables you can use to describe your Event Goal. Category and Action are both required, while Label and Value are optional. Once you’ve described your goals, click Create Goal to complete the process.
    Google Analytics Event Tracking

As you can see, Event Tracking is a powerful tool that can be used to measure the more intricate aspects of your AdWords campaigns. You can learn more about Event Tracking by watching our recent webinar. Stay tuned for our next post on Google Analytics!