Set up Events in Google Analytics

Contributors

@victoriadynamicdata-agency


Business Benefits

Track the actions that drive your business and record how visitors are interacting with your website.


Choose a method to implement event tracking on your website.

You can choose:

  • Google Tag Manager.
  • WordPress plugin.
  • Manual one-time link tagging.
  • Custom JavaScript implementation to automatically track.

Ask your site development team to figure out which one will be the best fit for your site. To evaluate critical set up concerns for choosing a method, you can ask:

  • What are we tracking?
  • Why are we tracking it?
  • How do we set up the labels so they will be meaningful in our reports?

Organize your bigger ideas, that hold the smallest details, into the Category labeling bucket.

Structuring the information hierarchy so it is useful could be challenging. By default, you get three nested labeling buckets:

Category, Action, and Label labeling buckets diagram.

Category values are the most generic nouns that apply to your event. For example, Category values can be outbound links, files, videos, and forms.

If you know you are going to have a limited number of files for download, the noun does not have to be as broad. For example, in this case, you could choose whitepaper, ebook, and custom report as your top-level Category values.

Organize the action that was done on your site into the Action labeling bucket.

For example, you can use the following Action values:

  • Download.
  • Email.
  • Call.
  • Submit.
  • Play/Pause for video.
  • Share.

Structure your information so that you can compare social channels at the Action level, and use the Label level for the specific social actions. If you have an action that has three distinct tiers of information, structure it like this:

Organization structure when action has 3 distinct tiers of information.

Alternatively, you can structure information so that social actions are all treated as the Action, like this:

Alternative organization structure for when action has 3 or more distinct tiers.

Organize granular, specific information into the Label bucket.

For example, if you have a form that allows people to pick their favorite color as part of a poll to determine your new product line, structure your information like this:

Organization structure for favourite colour poll results.

At the Category level, you can see that 50 people interacted with your poll, the total number of interactions with your event called Poll. At the Action level, you can see that 15 people cancelled or abandoned your form, and 35 people submitted a form. At the Label level, you can see which specific poll options were the most popular, in this case, Orange is the most popular.

Create segments for the Event Label of interest and apply it to your Channels report to find out which referrers delivered these results.

For example, for your color poll, you can create a segment for the Event Label Orange and apply it to your Channels report to find out which referrers delivered these results, like this:

Creating a segment for the Event Label “Orange”.

Check that your labels are consistent so that your insights and reports are meaningful.

Before you roll out events tracking, ask yourself the following:

  • What are we tracking?
  • What are the highest level things?
  • What do we use as Categories?
  • What are the actions or second-tier things we need to track?
  • What are our Actions?
  • What are the small details we want to capture?,
  • What are the Labels?

Change the hierarchy you have set up if it is not collecting meaningful activity data on your website, so you can discover the detailed impact those actions have on your ability to drive sales, referrals, and traffic.

Make these types of changes consistently, so you do not end up with a mix of conflicting data points. For example, discontinue event tags that are no longer useful, like temporary ones used to detect on-site errors after a feature change.