There are some website visitor behaviors that Google Analytics does not automatically track. Fortunately, on the websites we manage, the Web team has used Google Tag Manager to created custom “Events” to track some of these behaviors.
An “Event” occurs when a user takes a specific action that the Web team has decided to measure. For example, we’re measuring clicks on links that go to different websites. This particular “Event” is called an Outbound Link Click, because traffic is leaving one site and going to another. Since we’re tracking outbound link clicks we can better understand the relationships between our department and unit websites.
Examples of other “Events” we track are clicks on homepage carousels, footer or utility menu links, form submissions, and PDF downloads.
What is collected in the “Event data?
Every “Event” has an Event Category, Event Action, and Event Label.
- An Event Category is the name of the type of Event, such as Outbound Link Click.
- The Event Action describes what the user is acting on. For an Outbound Link Click, this is the page that contains the link.
- Event Labels narrow down the specific Event. For an Outbound Link Click, the event label contains the URL of the link.
Looking at a specific event in Analytics helps to get a better understanding of how all of this fits together. A good place to start is looking at Outbound Link Clicks.
Access the Data and Reports
The data is stored in Google Analytics. Send your gmail address to the college Web team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you access to Google Analytics, https://www.google.com/analytics/, then follow the instructions below. There are 2 ways to view the data: in a dashboard set up by the web team or dig deeper in the Google Analytics report view.
We’ve set up a “Select Events” dashboard, for most of the websites, for a snapshot of these special behaviors. Find “Dashboards” under the “Customizations” tab. Watch this 2 minute How-To video.
For the complete report go to the “Behavior” tab and open “Events.”
Example: Outbound Link Clicks
The ability to gather data about incoming traffic is a basic feature of Analytics, in the form of sources, mediums and referrals.
- To view events, go to the left sidebar of Analytics and click Behavior, which is the second to last option.
- Then click Events and underneath that click Overview.
- This will show a list of the Events that have been set up for your site. These will include Outbound Link Clicks, Downloads and others depending on your site.
- Click Outbound Link Clicks, which takes you to a “Top Events” view.
- From here, click Event Label.
- The next screen is a list of the top ten outbound links that have been clicked by your site’s visitors.
- To see more, click “Show rows” and choose a number from the drop-down.
- Clicks on email addresses (mailto links) and clicks on telephone numbers (tel links) from mobile devices are also included in this list.
Please contact us if there’s a website visitor action that you would like more information about tracking.