What is Google Analytics Event Tracking and What can it do for your Web Documents?

Posted: Jun 11, 2021

In a previous blog article, we discussed the importance of enabling the Google Analytics Site Search feature, which provides resourceful information regarding the keywords within your website's search box that users are searching for. Continuing on the topic of Google Analytics reporting, there are a plethora of reports that can be configured to provide additional insight into how your audience is interacting with your content. One example of this is document click reporting. This report can help you understand how many times a particular document within your website was interacted with, and ultimately selected within Sitefinity CMS.

This level of reporting/tracking can be configured using Google Analytics Event tracking, which is a feature that allows you to record interactions with elements within your website. Ultimately, when configuring Event tracking, one simply applies snippets of code on a website that contain certain attributes. Defining these attributes is key as specificity allows you to consume and read the data efficiently.

To setup document Event tracking, the following elements must be configured:

  1. Category: This is the label name that you give an object that needs to be tracked.
  2. Action: This is the type of event interaction such as ‘click.’
  3. Label: This is the physical label that represents the type of action that is taken when selecting a document such as a ‘download.’

In a real-world example, here’s how I’d set up all three attributes when setting up document event tracking:

  • Category = I would create categories for each type of document format that I want to track such as; PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, and XLSK
  • Action = I’d give this a strong attribute that represents what you hope a user would do, such as perform a mouse ‘click.’
  • Label: Similar to the previous item, a descriptive name should be given such as ‘download.’

The code snippet that ultimately gets added to your website ensures that the format of your document URLs triggers the following format:

<a href=”/documents/thisisanexample.pdf” onClick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘pdf, ‘click’, ‘download’);”>This is an Example</a>

Now, of course, you can get as descriptive as you want with your naming conventions and labels, but ensure that you are adhering to some standard so that when you review the data, it resonates with what you are trying to obtain from your Event tracking. Configuring Event tracking may seem like a daunting task, but once you understand the core principles, and how all of the attributes function, you’ll quickly find that setting up various Events is simpler than you likely initially imagined. 

If you’d like to learn more about document Event tracking and are interested in installing the code on your website, please reach out to your Client Service Manager for assistance.

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Marco Roman