10 Minute Guide To Understanding Google Analytics Event Tracking, Campaign Tracking & Goals - In Tech We Love
As far as free analytics tools go, Google Analytics is ubiquitous. It’s a great option and with a little investment of time a lot of additional insight can be gained in addition to the out of the box reporting. This guide aims to give you a top line overview of Event Tracking, Campaign Tracking and Goals.
One of the most important things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of these tools is that the reports will only ever be as good as the data you put into them. When working as a team, it’s important to share naming conventions and ensure that links are named consistently. To help with this, we’ve included some handy excel files that can be set up as shared documents to enable your team to collaboratively manage event and campaign tracking.
Event tracking is a really important to tool to enable greater insight into how users are interacting on your website. Essentially it gives you a set of parameters that you can use to build up powerful and insightful reports.
The structure of event tracking is pretty simple when you break it down.
_trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)
This is non-optional and represents the category you’d like to assign the tracked event to. For example, you might wish to categorise interactions into categories such as ‘news article’, ’review’, ‘banner’, ‘form’, ‘video’ or ‘social media’
This is the final required parameter & should be used to specify the action taken so this could be ‘outbound link’, ’download’, ‘internal link’, ‘submit’, ‘play’, ‘facebook’ etc
This is an optional parameter, that is used for adding the in the detail of the specific event so it might be ‘www.bluesyncmedia.com’ , ‘SEO video’ or ‘login’
This can be a measurement of any numeric value – seconds, pounds, dollars, height etc.
This is used to let analytics know whether or not count the event as an interaction for the sake of bounce tracking. When set to true, it won’t track the event as an interaction.
An event tracked link would look something like this:
Once you’ve got your head around the basics it’s worth looking at event tracking in more detail. Here are a couple of examples of things you can to:
- track how long a video was watched for
- identifying how many fields in forms were completed before they are abandoned or submitted
- rank tracking of organic search terms
- measure how far users scroll down pages
Event Tracking Reports
Campaign tracking works in much the same way as event tracking but rather than giving data on what users do on your site, it gives access to more detailed information about how users get to your site. It does result in the generation of some rather long urls but these can always be shortened. You should use campaign tracking for as much as your drive to site activity as possible so that you can understand what’s successful and what’s not.
Instead of relying on top line referral data you can attach a campaign source, medium, term, content and name to all inbound links. These links will then appear in traffic sources / campaigns for you to filter by keyword etc. You can also test links and view results in realtime / traffic sources.
Here’s example of the parameters you might use to track a link in an email campaign called newsletter01 to a competition to win a trip to Florida:
Simply add the parameters to the end of your link, for example if your link was
The link would become
Here’s a campaign tracking template (Campaign_Tracking_Demo.xlsx) you can set up as a shared document with your team and use to generate links to your site with campaign tracking. As always, it’s important to ensure you work closely together to agree naming conventions and ensure you can get the most out of your reports.
You can test links in Google Analytics in Realtime under Traffic where you should see the medium and source values you’ve added to your links. For full reports go to Traffic Sources / Sources / Campaigns.
Goals are a simple way to record how successful your site and different drive to site activities fulfil your target objectives. Goals can include everything from purchases, bookings, sign ups, enquiries or any custom event.
Every time a visitor to a site completes a goal, a conversion is recorded to which you can assign a value monetary or otherwise. Goals will only start recording from the point in time at which you set them up.
Once goals are set up you can analyse user journey to complete goals, where users came from and much, much more.
In Google Analytics you can set up goals by navigating to the admin section of your account. Here you’ll find goals listed under VIEW (PROFILE). Click create a goal and you’ll be given the options to use a template (including options to measure revenue, acquisition, engagement and inquiry) or create a custom goal. Custom goals can measure visits to destination urls, visit duration, pages per visit and events.
You can check your goals are set up correctly by using the ‘Verify this goal’ link – which will show you how many times your goal would have converted over the last 7 days. Alternatively, if you don’t have any historic data in Google Analytics to verify against you can test your Goal in Realtime / Conversions. Your full reports will be available in Conversions / Goals.