Event Tracking as a Goal in the New Version of Google Analytics
Previously, there were three options for goals in Google Analytics: a pageview, the time a visitor spent on the site, and the number of pages a visitor viewed. With the new version of Google Analytics, you can now track events as web conversions or “Goals”. This opens up your goal tracking to many more possibilities. Here are a few:
- Watch a video
- Listen to a recording
- Share content via social media
- Download a PDF
- Comment on a blog post
- Rate a product
- Track links to another website
- Fill out a form
- Interact with an application
What is the benefit of this?
For PPC campaigns in Adwords, these new event goals can be imported as conversions in AdWords. Now you can see which campaigns and keywords are engaging your audience and refine it down to the ad group level for your search engine marketing campaigns. Previously, to track a form submission as a goal, the form would need a unique “thank you” page. Now, we can track the click of the submit button as an event goal even if there is not a unique thank you page URL.
For search engine optimization clients, this goal tracking provides even more insight into how users are interacting with your site and increasing the view into engagement for the site variables (downloads, video views, etc). For example, you can track when a visitor views a video, and you can specify the amount of time that a person needs to watch the video in order for it to count as a goal completion.
On the social media side, you will be able to determine how users are interacting with your via social media networks. Learn how often they are sharing your content and which pages are most relevant to social media users.
Setting up the Goal
There are four event components that can be set up as a goal condition: a category, action, label, and value. At least one of these components must be defined but you have the option of defining all four. Think about all of the event goals you would like to set up before starting. It’ll make it easier to organize your goals into categories, actions, and/or labels that make sense and are consistent across your site. Then, choose a goal value, either the value you assigned to the event when you set it up or set a constant value.
Keep in mind that setting up events as goals requires you to add code to the website element you want to track. So, either you or an IT person will need access to edit the website code in order to benefit from the new event goal tracking.