By default, Google Analytics has a basic out of the box setup. To get more out of Google Analytics, some custom configuration will need to be implemented, including multiple aspects across your profiles. One of these aspects is to do with the limited information about the interaction and engagement of users on a particular property. By default you can easily see how users came to the site and what pages they visited. This however is fairly limited in what it can tell you about how your users actually interact within the website. This is where event tracking comes in. It has now been made easier and simpler to set up using Google tag manager and now Google Tag Manager V2.

The events reporting in Google Analytics is a report that by comparison  is largely underused by the majority of GA users. Customised implementation and tracking can give you valuable insights and data about your users, which in the long term can help you target specific users to increase ROI. Measurement of these non-revenue based gains such as events on a website, can help long term plans for onsite improvements and can assist with the direction of an overall marketing plan. This not only includes events but all analytics data including demographics and bounce rates. In the long term, a true indicator of success will be a user that makes multiple purchases/conversions and also becomes a supporter or advocate of the brand.

Some of the types of events that you can track in Google Analytics include  the following:

  • Youtube views
  • Internal link clicks
  • Button clicks
  • External link clicks
  • PDF downloads
  • Form submits
  • Comments
  • Social shares

Event Tracking Examples

How valuable would this data be to your business?

How it Works

The days have long passed where you had to have a team of developers to change and adjust tags across the site. Long term, that was a complicated and chaotic approach to track user engagement. Now with Google Tag Manager V2, long term tag implementation will become increasingly straightforward for businesses, developers and marketers alike. Basic setup of events through GTM work like this-

  1. Create a GTM account and container (every web property should have its own container)
  2. Create a basic Analytics page view tag to fire on all pages you want tracked.
  3. Remove Analytics tag – site wide
  4. Add Google Tag Manager code before closing </body> tag
  5. Create event listeners to “listen for events on the web property.
  6. Start creating, debugging and publishing events through Google Tag Manager.


Once these events are in place they can then be converted into goals and even imported into Adwords. This can be important if the main conversion on a site cannot be set up as a standard goal using a URL or via the Google Adwords conversion tracking.


What about Ecommerce event tracking?

Go beyond the standard Google Analytics ecommerce tracking that typically gives basic user behaviour data. Enhanced ecommerce is a huge leap forward in terms of gathering more information about users in the funnel. With enhanced ecommerce you can see where users are dropping off in the sales funnel and better understand products in the funnel. Although the process is not as simple as it could be, it is highly recommended to migrate to enhanced ecommerce. The migration process is supported through Google Tag Manager so making the switch to both enhanced ecommerce and Google Tag Manager could be implemented simultaneously. Below are some events that would be extremely useful for any ecommerce store to have-

  • Cart errors – An important event to see common errors that users are coming across in an ecommerce store
  • Add to cart events – Not all users will convert. This event will show what events may have low conversion rates.
  • Products – Can show data on what products users are viewing and then adding to the cart.
  • Errors checking out– Showing data on errors for users attempting to checkout. Again this is important to monitor if trends occur.
  • Payment Method – Shows what payment methods are popular and have the highest conversion rates.



No longer is it beneficial or profitable to simply attract a large number of users to a website. Understanding the user and how they interact on a website is the key to success in 2015 and beyond. Getting highly targeted, converting traffic has a ripple effect in terms of social interactions, SEO and conversions alike. If a website currently has little to no events in place, a full review is essential to identify the key events that can be measured in order to gain more insights into user behaviour. The more events that can be measured on a website, the more you can understand how to increase conversions sitewide.


Whether you use Google Tag Manager, hard coded tagging within your website or other analytic platforms such as Mixpanel, event tracking should be part of any digital strategy. As the user journey becomes more fragmented and users convert across multiple devices it is becoming ever more important to measure and monitor users and their interactions on the site on these different devices to increase ROI.


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