Website Analytics September 21st, 2009
Event tracking is a feature in Google Analytics to track different actions performed by visitors to your website. Why do we need event tracking? Many websites use Flash, Ajax, Video Players and other technologies to interact with visitors. The basic web analytics model of tracking page views doesn’t always capture these user analytics well.
Most analytics guru's will use one of two methods, “Virtual Page views” and “Event Tracking”.
'Virtual Page Views', are not the proper way to measure but up until recently have been a good workaround for at least getting data. Implementing virtual page views will add this report data to the actual page views, even though these are not original page views it will get added to the total/average page view reports. This means your data is not 100% accurate. 'Virtual Page views' also do not offer detailed information that 'Event Tracking' does.
By implementing 'Event Tracking', however, all this data will be recorded under the following link – “Content > Event Tracking”. Unlike virtual page views, 'Event Tracking' doesn't include extra pageviews for these type of interactions. So we get more accurate data.
Call _trackEvent() to register an event.
The specification for the _trackEvent() method is: _trackEvent(category, action, optional_label, optional_value)
The following are the four arguments used to organize the event tracking report.
The name you supply for the group of objects you want to track.
A string that is uniquely paired with each category, and commonly used to define the type of user interaction for the web object.
An optional string to provide additional dimensions to the event data.
An integer that you can use to provide numerical data about each user event.
As I mentioned earlier, arguments you provide when you call track events will organize your reports nicely. The following are the scenarios in which event tracking can be implemented in your website. Here I have explained how I implemented event tracking and the reports that I am getting through this.
NOTE: actual statistics have been altered for this example.
In the first scenario, let’s see how to create a report for the number of visitors migrating from the corporate website to blog (which is a subdomain) through the links present in website.
Pick out all the links pointing to the blog in the website and add the relevant event tracking code. Action argument can be changed with respect to the link location. In the following screenshot you can see the category is named as “TW to Blog” where TW stands for the TechWyse site
157 visitors are converted per day from the website to the blog. Of those 157, 107 visitors come from the header link. From 'latest blog' posts, there are 32 visitors. From the image link 17 visitors are migrated from the website to blog.
In the second scenario, we look at how to get the report of important clicks that occurred within the website. Pick out all the important links which leads to a lead conversion (in this case) and add the event tracking code.
For the specified time period 38 clicks happened for the link “Request Information”, 24 for “Get Started” and 21 for “View Smart Plan”.
In the third scenario, let’s learn how to track the number of conversions happening by filling out the contact form. First, integrate event tracking code in the submit button of the contact form.
In this example, 19 conversions have occurred in the website through the contact form.
As per the latest news in the official GA blog, you can also get the comparison of event tracking report with other metrics in advanced segments.
To learn more more about advanced event tracking here is a good video to watch.
If you are an avid Google Analytics person event tracking is your next step to ensure your data becomes 100% accurate. You do not need workarounds any longer by using 'Page Views'. Instead, watch some Google Analytics videos and start ensuring 100% data accuracy!