Event Tracking in Google Analytics | An Overview with Examples

The code for tracking Events corresponds to the Google Analytics version you are running on your site, either through the supported current Asynchronous Snippet before the tag or the outdated Traditional (pageTracker.) Snippet before  the tag.
  • Event Tracking is the Google Analytics component for tracking non-pageview website visitor engagement, such as: PDF downloads, dynamic engagement through AJAX, form submits that do not have a thank you page, hosted videos or visitor actions within Flash.
  • Events are triggered, recorded and sent to the Google Analytics data warehouse through OnClick javascripting. Every link you want to track separately, such as PDF download or Form Submit, set an OnClick command that also triggers Google Analytics Event Tracker.
  • Tracked Events in Google Analytics have to be classified or stored as: Categories and Action type. Both Category and Action are required and need to be defined for every Event set and tracked.
  • Each Event can also have additional meta data such as a Label and a Value. These optional attributes of a Google Analytics Event have to also be set at the same time as the Category and Action but are not required.

This post deals only with the current supported Google Analytics Asynchronous Code Snippet.

Event Tracking Code Samples

Tracking PDF Downloads with Google Analytics Event Tracking:

<a href="http://www.domain.com/example.pdf" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Whitepapers', 'Download', 'Name of PDF', 2.25]);">Download PDF Link Name</a>

The above code will track every time that specific PDF is downloaded into the Category "Whitepapers" as a Download, will track the name of the PDF and assign a value of 2.25 this number can be calculated against marketing spend to acquire a prospect that then downloads your marketing material, and generates a lead.


Event Tracking Code Components

Required:

category = top level type of event that contains all actions specific to the event, such as whitepapers vs specs
action = types of event behavior that are contained within a category, such as download

Optional:

label = name of the specific event that is captured by the action, such as PDF name
value = an number given to the action captured with the event, either value of event or counter


Event Tracking Limitations

Per visitor session only 500 (pageviews + events) interactions can be tracked. When tracking interactions or engagements within flash animations with many interaction points keep track of event tracking volume limitations.

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