Google Analytics Events and how to create Event tracking.

Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you see what’s going on with your web traffic. You can see how much time people spend on each page, where they are getting referrals to your website, and sometimes you can even see the keywords they used to find your site. But an often underused feature in Google Analytics that has tremendous value for small business owners and marketers: is event tracking. Let’s talk about how our SEO Services can help with your Internet Marketing initiatives and Google Analytics optimization. Reach out to us here.

Google Analytics Event tracking is a feature that enables you to record interactions with elements of your website that aren’t tracking as a standard within Google Analytics. You can track events manually or by using the Google Tag Manager.

Google analytics

In this post, I’ll explain how to create the events and why you should be creating events within Google Analytics. Events shouldn’t be confused with Goals. In another post, I’ve written about setting up goals in Google Analytics.

How to Create Events in Google Analytics

After you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website, you can set up event tracking and create events. But before setting things up, consider:

  • Which elements of your site do you want to track – be it file downloads or clicks on outbound links
  • Adopting a consistent and clear naming convention for the different actions, labels, and category options available to you when setting up event tracking. Every name you apply to categories, actions, and labels is shown in your tracking reports. If your naming doesn’t make sense, your report won’t either.
  • Whether you want to set up automatic event tagging or manually tag the links on your site, if you have a lot of documents and page elements you want to track, it will be worth the time to set up auto event tagging and use Google Tag Events Manager.
  • There used to be two different ways to set up event tracking on a website for standard Asynchronous Google Analytics (ga.js) and Universal Google Analytics. The Asynchronous Google Analytics methods are now deprecated, so you should ignore any guidance about using event tracking with ga.js.

Automatic event tagging, done with Google Tag Manager, will work in the following situations:

  • When users click on links
  • On submission of a form
  • After a specified visit duration or at timed intervals
  • When users click on any page element

If there are any other actions you want to track, you can set them up in Google Tag Manager. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log into Google Tag Manager
  2. Select “Tags” from the left-hand side
  3. Create a new tag and select Universal Analytics as the Tag Type
  4. Set your Google Analytics Tracking ID
  5. Choose “Event” for the track type
  6. Set your Event Category, Action, Label, and Values. You can use Google Tag Manager variable names such as {{click url}}
  7. Set your triggers as required

Check that you’ve enabled the correct variables selected for your event. Next, create a new tag in Google Tag Manager and change the track type to the event. Next, configure your tag by adding the category, action, label, and value values. Finally, select the event the tag will fire on.

If you want to do this manually rather than relying on the automatic approach, you’ll add a custom code snippet to the link code on the items you wish to track. Then, when the item is clicked, the element is tracked and shows as an event in Google Analytics.

The event tracking code is made up of four elements, defined by you, to describe the user’s interaction with your website:

  • Category: This required field is the name you give to the group of objects you want to track.
  • Action: This required field is the type of interaction, such as downloading a PDF.
  • Label: This optional field helps summarize what the event is about, such as clicks on a navigation menu option
  • Value: This optional field can be used if you want to assign a numeric value to your file download.

When the event happens on your website, the input for those four attributes can help you understand what users have engaged with on your page. This is why your naming conventions are important.

The event tracking code for an event-tracked link in Universal Analytics looks like this:

onclick=” ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Category’, ‘Action’, ‘Label’, ‘Value’);”

The code is placed after the href link, as shown in this example:

Why You Should Create Events in Google Analytics

The short answer is you should create events in Google Analytics simply so you can see more about your conversions and learn more about what your audience is interacting with on your website. Then, you can use the data to adjust your strategy to boost conversions.

You should always set up a custom event to track any call-to-action clicks, file downloads (so you can see how many people are taking advantage of your freebies or which digital products are the most popular), and more. For example, users can see when they scroll down the page, click on the video’s play/pause/stop buttons, abandon a form field, share content, move their mouse, and more.

The more information you have about what people are doing on your website (and whether they’re doing what you want them to do or not), the better you can tailor your SEO and digital marketing strategies.

If you want more information about Google Analytics and Event Tracking, contact us here at SEO Inc.

Ready to Collaborate? Contact Us!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Blog Sidebar



Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Newsletter Signup