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Gary Hainsworth

Google Analytics Event Tracking Guide & Examples of How They Help You

1st May 2020 Analytics, Content Marketing, SEO 4 minutes to read

Why Track Events?

If you are tracking goals in Google Analytics you know how many leads you are getting, or what sales you are making through ecommerce tracking, but do you know the figures for other onsite interactions?

You need to make sure that different events are tracked on your site, otherwise you won’t be able to make the correct decisions when it comes to search engine optimisation, development changes, design changes and more.

Event Types

Here are just a few examples of event types which you can track, giving you real-world data on how users interact with your site.

Link Clicks

Both internal and external link clicks show further data on user navigation. The behavior flow section of analytics is useful, but it doesn’t always give the most meaningful data.

Internal click tracking can help highlight a difficult to use navigation method and emphasize how important body content links are to users.

Similarly, tracking external links can show you which pages direct users away from your site the most. This could be beneficial to you such as social media clicks or highlight gaps in content when users go offsite for further information.

Video Views & Interactions

Video view numbers can be misleading, and you never truly know if someone is paying attention to a video that is playing.

With events you can see when a video starts, is paused, completes, how far through it’s played (in seconds or percentage) and when it is actually on screen. All or just a selection of these give much better insight than just a number of plays.

Extra Form Submissions

Tracking contact forms should be included in your goal setup, but what about other forms on your site? You might not want to use one of your goals for the newsletter sign up form.

Rather than losing this data, create a catch-all form submission event to see which forms are being filled in across your site. This can be cross referenced with goals to find where people are filling in forms wrong and failing to submit as well as giving you excellent data to cross reference with your internal systems to isolate issues.

Email Clicks

Similar to the above, you should create a catch-all email click event to collect data from all “emailto:” links. There could be a few calls to action missed on blog posts or you might have a huge site with various contact points. All of these can be filtered through normal Google Analytics views to see how users found the event, where they came from and more.

Telephone Clicks

Likewise, telephone “tel:” links should also be tracked to ensure you are collecting contact data across your site.

Accordions & “Read More”

Hiding content in accordions and expanding sections gives a compromise between design and the SEO driven desire for content on a site, but is it even seen by users?

Creating events to fire on accordion clicks can help you see how these interactions affect other user stats. Ideally you would set up one event on expand clicks and another on collapse.

Downloads

PDF documents and other hosted resources are often hidden behind logins and paywalls, but if you have them readily available on your site you should be tracking this.

You should also be careful when linking back to your site from a pdf to make sure that it is properly attributed. Don’t just code links in pdfs as normal, make sure you include the appropriate UTM code so you can pass the data into your Analytics account.

Scroll Tracking

This is a built-in variable in Tag Manager but it is often underutilised. This is a great metric to see if your blog posts are actually read, your footer menu is ever seen or if a video at the bottom of a product listing is worthwhile. Analysing this by page type can help you greatly with your design choices.

Cart Clicks

Tagging up your add to cart button and other product page interactions (size selections, colours, etc.) can help you see further data on cart abandonments. This can also be linked to follow up emails to tempt users back.

Interstitials

Although contentious, interstitial pop-ups do work in drawing users back and collecting information. You can easily click interactions on these to see if they are proving to be solely an annoyance or if they are working. Even if you just put it on for a trial period, you can quickly see how users respond to them.

Chat Widgets

Much like other form submissions, it is good to see who interacts with these and on which pages. They are usually most successful at either end of the purchase funnel, but your site may be different.

Summary

Hopefully this list has given you some ideas about what you can track on your site and how this data can help your internal processes and decisions. We can help you with setup and reporting on these metrics and more.

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Gary Hainsworth

Senior Organic Data Specialist

If you're after someone to chat guitars with, Gary's your man. When he isn't playing guitar, or bass, he's trying his hand at modifying them. He's even made one from scratch once. He relates strongly with the humble and kind hedgehog, who also happen to be as prickly as his musical taste; anything loud, fast and angry.

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