Google Analytics events show us how users navigate through a website’s content. Whether it be a click, download, or video play, events allow us to analyze users’ behavior on a website. With a little bit of customization, we can track these important interactions in Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager is a tool you can use to add code and event tags to your website all from one place. You don’t even need a developer! But, you may wonder, which events should I be tracking? It all depends on your organization’s digital goals. To get you started with some ideas, here are 7 events nonprofits should be tracking in Google Analytics.
15 Second Timer
Ever sign into your GA account, only to be greeted by a frighteningly high bounce rate? We’ve been there. Remember, a bounce happens when a user comes to your site, views one page, and leaves. This doesn’t always indicate a poor user experience. We have a solution for you: the 15 second timer. This event fires after 15 seconds, excluding these users from your bounce rate and reducing artificial inflation.
Outbound Link Clicks
You provide lots of useful content on your site, but you can’t include everything – sometimes you send users to external sites and resources. Are people looking at these? Track outbound link clicks to see where visitors go when they leave your site. Find out which links are most popular, and which links no one clicks. Because why let unused links take up precious site space?
Social Shares of Content
Your site is filled with awesome content, and your visitors know it. In fact, they like your content so much, they want their friends and followers to see it too! Social networks are great channels for expanding reach beyond your core audience. Create shareable content and optimize your social media images for sharing. Then, find out where, when, and how with social share events.
PDFs, videos, podcasts – you create this content to provide value to your site visitors. Are they taking advantage of it? Track downloads and find out!
Scroll depth is a great event to track for content heavy sites. How far are visitors scrolling down your pages? A quarter of the way? Half? Are they making it all the way through? Find out with scroll depth tracking! This implementation requires a custom HTML tag, but offers great insights about user behavior. You can download the scroll depth code for Google Tag Manager from parsnip.io.
Video tracking tells you a lot about the way people are using your site. Which videos are the most popular? The least? Which types of videos should you create more of? The insights are endless! Use this guide to create videos for YouTube – the #2 search engine. Then, track them with a custom HTML tag. You can measure video plays, pauses, exits, and percentage viewed. Follow this guide from Cardinal Path and get tracking.
Donation / Form Submit
For many organizations, donations are an important metric to track. You can set up a GA goal for visits to your donation page, but it won’t tell you how many people actually pulled the trigger. Create an event to track clicks or form submissions in GTM. Then, you’ll know who’s actually sending the dough.
There they are – the top 7 events to track in Google Analytics. With these configured, you’re ready to see what visitors are really doing on your site. This tutorial is a great intro to Google Tag Manager, and offers some step by step implementations.
These are our suggestions, but remember, you want to measure the metrics that matter most for YOUR organization. Stay tuned for more step by step implementations of these events from Whole Whale, and happy tracking!