Using Google Analytics Event Tracking

An ‘event’ is a user’s interaction with a webpage, which could include downloading a file, viewing a video, clicking on an email link and so on this article will explain event tracking for sites using the asynchronous Google Analytics code.

What Does the Code Mean?

As you can see in the example provided below the event tracking code contains up to four fields and is added to an event i.e. a document download link. The syntax for event tracking is:

_gaq.push (‘_trackEvent’,’event category’,’event action’,’event label’, event value);

Event Category (required): Is the name given to group of similar events or objects on a webpage which you want to track.
Event Action (required): Commonly used to define the type of interaction you want to track For e.g. ‘play’, ‘stop’, ‘pause’, ‘share’, ‘download’ etc.
Event Label (optional): Is used to provide additional information about the webpage element you want to track like: title of a video, name of a gadget, name of the downloadable file etc.
Event Value (optional): Is the numerical value assigned to the event you want to track. For e.g. download time, length of the video footage played or some dollar value.

Best practices for setting up event tracking

1. Use clear and consistent naming conventions for event categories, event actions and event labels.

2. Determine in advance all of the web page elements (like videos, gadget, image, external link etc.) and type of events you want to track.

3. Create a hierarchy of event categories, event actions and event labels that is scalable.

4. Work with your report users to make sure that your hierarchy is understandable.

Where Can I Find the Event Tracking Report in Google Analytics?

In your websites Analytics report, go to:

• The content report in the left hand menu, then
• Click on the event tracking sub menu which is directly above goals (in the old Analytics interface)

As well as the overview report for event tracking there are also reports for each field i.e. categories, actions, labels etc.

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