Learn to Automate Event Tracking in Google Analytics


Do you like automation? I do. It speeds up my work. In the next few minutes I will teach you

how to automatically track File Downloads, Email clicks and External links across a website of any size with very little work from you or your developer and that too FREE of cost.

 But first, the million pounds question


Why you should automate Event Tracking?

By default if I have to track file downloads across a website I will add following event tracking code on all the download links across the website:

<a href=”http://www.abc.com/gu/dw/seo-beginners-guide.pdf” onClick=”_gaq.push ([‘_trackEvent’,’guides’,’download-seo’,’seo-beginners-guide.pdf’,10]);”>Download SEO Beginners Guide</a>

Now if my website has say 5000 pages and some 400 pages contain the links to download my ‘SEO beginners guide’ then imagine how much work I need to do to track all these downloads.

I will have to manually find all the web pages which contain the download links and then manually place the tracking code on each and every link.

Now imagine I also need to track all the external links on my website and determine how much traffic my website is sending out to other websites (esp. if I am an affiliate). Now how you can do all these tasks without spending weeks/months in putting event tracking code on each and every external link?

The answer is event tracking automation.


Even Tracking Automation begins….

I recently came across this awesome tool which i have been using for a while now.

Meet Analytics Engine.

Through this tool you can track email clicks, external links and file downloads across a website of any size in few minutes.

All you have to do is put a little tracking code in the head section of each web page on your site.

Once you have placed the code, ‘analytics engine’ will automatically begin reporting to Google Analytics how visitors are engaging with your contents and you will start seeing additional event categories in your Events Overview Report. For example:


The ‘outbound’ event category tracks all the external links on my website and the ‘download’ event category tracks all the downloads occurred on my website.

As you can see from the report above, 109 downloads occurred on my website and all the external links on the site were clicked a total of 13,873 times in the last one month.

My website doesn’t have any email links. Otherwise you would have seen a separate event category for that in my report.

Now take a look at this report:


From Fig.2 you can see the list of top 10 websites which have got traffic from my site eventeducation.com in the last one month.

Such type of tracking is known as Exit tracking or outbound links tracking and it can be very useful esp. if you are an affiliate.

I can also determine the pages on my website which are sending the outbound traffic by selecting ‘Event Label’ as my secondary dimension in the report above:



So what you need to do, to use this tool?

Step-1: Sign up for the free Lite version. Hey i am no way associated with the business behind this tool. I just found it and thought of sharing it with you.

Step-2: Copy paste the tracking code provided by the tool in the head section of all the pages on your website. Wait for couple of hours and then check your event tracking report in Google Analytics. That’s it.

I have put the same tracking code on my blog and now I can track clicks on virtually any external link on my blog.

The Pro and Enterprise version of Analytics Engine (which are off-course paid) provide additional features like form interactions, scroll tracking, cross domain tagging, custom rules etc. Its interface make event tracking pretty much effortless.

So if you are heavily involved into Analytics consulting or are a big agency/company then you should consider investing in this tool.

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  • http://successhowto.com Hezi

    I don’t even use event tracking on my sites, but after watching your post I think that I should start :) and yes, I love automation.. Thanks for the report!

  • http://www.ybonline.co.uk/ Abraham Flockton

    Hi Himanshu! Thank your for your post. I am new to event tracking and just not getting how to use event tracking on an external link . I don’t see any data in Google Analytics.

  • Kadyn

    Thanks for this post Himanshu. I was actually looking to automate event tracking for my big website. One question: how i can track videos on my website. I have searched a lot but have not found any good resource so far.

  • http://www.itrush.com IT Rush

    Awesome, been looking for this kind of automation for tracking outbound clicks.. This is great and hope to try it real soon.. Thanks for the links.

  • http://www.skyglue.com Cindy Wang

    Thanks for the great post Himanshu. Please allow me to introduce another tool here: http://www.skyglue.com.

    SkyGlue providing interactive dashboards and automatic on-page event tracking for Google Analytics with copying just one snippet of JavaScript to your webpage. All your on-page activities such as clicks, buttons, downloads, videos, images and many more can be automatically tracked.

    In addition to event tracking automation, SkyGlue also gives you full detail of visitor activities and their life-time stories.

    All these are done with just one piece of code.

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Thank you for sharing this new tool. I will try it at some point.

  • Greg

    I have added the Analytics Engine code to my site, but getting no results, even though I know there are downloads, any suggestions?