Google Analytics Events
Events are different than Goals in Google Analytics in that they track visitor actions on your site that may not have any affect on your site revenue, but are still important to the overall performance of your website. Examples of important events to track include video plays, buttons pushed, internal content links clicked, and other relevant site behavior. Things that would not be considered events would be visitors landing on a specific web page, or actions like completing a purchase or filling out a form, which would be considered goals.
The main difference between a goal and an event in Google Analytics is that goals are tied to actions that affect website revenue, while events track website behavior that does not have to do with reaching a specific page on your site.
As website technology continues to evolve, tracking events on your site becomes easier and more important. A big example of this is Flash and AJAX-based site applications that don’t require a page refresh to load, but still serve buttons or dynamically load additional content while a user scrolls. Using GA events, you can tag these actions and then collect data on minute user behavior on your site, like clicking on a specific link or button, and then analyze the data on all of the visitors who have ever clicked on that link or button.
Features of event tracking
A website Event has four components, which are assigned values in GA, and which will display in your event reports:
Both “label” and “value” are optional, but you should still look into each to see how they could be useful components of your reports.
One of the biggest benefits of using GA’s event tracking technology is the ability to categorize events to make it easier to digest the information in reports. When you set up an event in your dashboard, you’ll add a Category, an Action, and a Label in each event, which will then organize each event into the correct data buckets for future reporting.
You can track up to 500 different events on your website, which should be more than enough for the average business. You may be tempted to track way more events than you actually need, but try to use a critical eye when deciding what’s really necessary information for you to determine the success of your site – too much extraneous information can be overwhelming and overshadow the elements of your site that are actually critical.
Unlike Goals, events can be recorded multiple times per user visit, meaning if they click on a button or load a video that you’ve tagged 10 times, your GA account will log 10 events, rather than just one. This allows you to see what areas of your site are getting the most engagement and what areas could use tweaking. You can check out the navigation flow of your users by going to Behavior > Events > Event flow.
Now that you understand the difference between an Event and a Goal, there’s another type of Google Analytics goal you should be aware of – Event Goals. Confusing, right? Event Goals are user actions on your website (or events) that actually have an impact on your business’ success. These might include things like form completions on a Get a Quote page, or a pricing tier download – actions that don’t affect your revenue directly but do give you important information on what your site visitors are willing to pay for and how ready they are to convert.
Start running with events and goals
Now that you better understand how to use Goals and Events in Google Analytics, sign up and start tracking so you can make smarter website and business decisions based on real data.Want more expert advice on your digital marketing strategy? Sign up for a free consultation with a Big Leap SEO expert and start making your website work harder today.