Tracking Events as Goals in Google Analytics

Tracking Events as Goals in Google Analytics

What are Events?

Google Analytics uses it standard tracking code to capture a number of things when a page loads.  This is how we get our great data like bounce rate, exit rate, time on site, etc.  What about the useful things that don’t happen when a page loads?  These could be but are not limited to icon clicks, downloads, or video views, in many cases, this is very interesting data.  Let’s say you have multiple social media icons on your site that directs a user to your specific social media page, should this really be counted as part of your exit rate?  It depends on the client, but in most cases you would say no.  They are still on your “turf” your digital advertising footprint, if you will; this is where events come into play. An event is designed to capture all of the non-page view things that we might be interested in on a site.

What are Goals?

A goal is basically a conversion, and a conversion occurs when a visitor does something on your site that you want.  This could range from something specific like a purchase or just some specific page view.  Identifying your goals is the most important step when setting up Google Analytics, because it identifies your purpose and ultimately provides you with a measuring point for success.  We don’t know where to go, unless we know where we’ve been.  In many cases, goals and conversions are mirrored in both the Google Analytics and Google AdWords account, respectively.  This allows for cross reference and insures that you are making marketing decisions using Google Analytics that is driving results in Google AdWords. You’re also limited to only 20 goals per profile in analytics.

Events as Goals

In the figure below you can see that Google Analytics now allows for events to be tracked as goals.


Why do we need to track events as goals or why is it important?

As mentioned in the events section, there are many times where events can be necessary. Typically what we see happen is that most sites launch with an idea of what is relevant and what is not. After a while the site owners start to notice that their site is drawing a lot of catalog downloads, but set that as an event and not a goal. Now you have the ability to keep the history that was set with the event and move it over to the goal. This makes finding values and relevancy easier than tracking down goals and tying them to the appropriate pages.

Also, let’s say you have a PDF download on your site that does not go to a thank you page.  If you know that the average order from the PDF is $100.00, then this event download could be tracked as a goal with a value of $100.00.   This could be further configured in the funnel setup so we could identify what did look like a visitor exit before is actually a goal completion.

In other cases you made be “forced” to use events as goals.  Some clients may use Paypal or some other third party payment processor.  In these cases, their site redirects to another site where traditional goals can’t be used.  We can use event tracking for a “Buy Now” click and track that event as a goal.  Although it may not be the best data, it at least gives us some end goal to begin optimization.

If you would like help analyzing your account or more information on tracking events as goals visit Accelerate Online Marketing for a FREE audit or call us at 1-877-676-2010.

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