Google Analytics is the unsung hero in many businesses, leading change and detecting issues before they have enough steam to undermine your online performance. Contrary to popular belief, Google Analytics serves a greater function than simply showing you your traffic. It can also be a way to track what sort of activity each unique user has, making informed decisions based on those facts. Let’s discuss how to set up Google Analytics Events/Goals so that you can start refining your user experience, and enhancing your web traffic.
Firstly, let’s recap on Google Analytics
Google Analytics processes and presents your data so that each user session is captured on a dashboard. This tells you when they visited the website, where they came from and whether they are a new or returning user. If used correctly, you can track your Analytics against campaign activity or organic search to assess whether your strategy has merit, and guide future decisions accordingly. Having a Google Analytics account should be your basic requirement, with adding events/goals as the next frontier.
What is event tracking used for?
Event tracking removes all the guesswork from the equation, allowing you to track a great number of ‘events’ that take place with each user session. These events could highlight whether a user clicks on an email or phone number, watches a video (and how much of the video), the scroll depth, as well as clicking on different parts of the page. These functions are incredibly invaluable as they can allow you to make changes to your website based on engagement, and make assumptions about your audience.
How do you set up Google Analytics Events/Goals?
Now bring up Google Analytics because we’re about to set up some events that will change the way you interpret your data. There are four components to your event which will make up part of the code that records this event activity.
These four components are:
- Category: this is a required field and will be how you name and segment the activity you want to track
- Action: this is a required field and indicates the type of activity – clicking on a CTA, downloading an eBook, etc
- Label: this is an optional field and is useful for labelling what the event is aiming to achieve
- Value: this is an optional field and allows you to assign a number to each event goal
This is what it will look like in action:
<a href=”www.yourwebsitehere.com.au/info_brochure.pdf” onclick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Category’, ‘Action’, ‘Label’, ‘Value’);”>
You can set up events in Google Analytics manually or automatically. If you are new to events, set up an automatic event and a manual event to get accustomed to the process. From there, you can have about three events tracking for each page of your website. For automatic events, you will need Google Tag Manager.
What is Google Tag Manager and how do I set it up?
Like most Google products, Google Tag Manager is quite straightforward and user-friendly. To get started, install Tag Manager and then start to set up events that are tied to your Google Analytics ID. Of these events, you can differentiate based on the four components we mentioned above. Eventually, you and your team will be able to keep an eye on Google Analytics to see what sort of events are being triggered each day. You may see 4 email address clicks, 5 PDF downloads and 2 phone number clicks. A much deeper insight than simply seeing 9 users visiting your website.
If you want to make sure that your events are set up correctly, or that your website is linked to Google Analytics and Tag Manager – install the Google Tag Assistant plugin. This will allow you to see how your events are appearing on each page. Your success with events will come down to how often you are reviewing Google Analytics and tweaking your activity based on the data, so dive in with both feet and listen to what the data is telling you.