The Importance of Event Tracking

Author: Josh Porter
My name is Josh Porter, and I am a front end developer and have been doing it for the last 10 years. I have development experience in HTML5, CSS3, WordPress, and jQuery.
My choice of analytic tracking is Google Analytics. For one, out of the box, Google Analytics is a very powerful tool. It measures Sessions (Total number of Sessions within the date range. A session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (Screen Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.), Users (Users that have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users.), Pageviews (Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted), GEO location (Where the visits are coming from. it breaks it down by Country and City.), and Mobile (What device type was used to access the website. There are 3 device types: mobile, tablet, and desktop). These are just some of the items Google Analytics track once you add the default tracking code to your website.
For the last 3 years I was a Webmaster for a Digital Forensic and Cyber Security firm. There I learned the importance of lead tracking from the Marketing and Sales Department’s point of view. Before then I didn’t think much about why we should be tracking where people are coming from, let alone what they are doing while on the site.  This kind of in-depth knowledge of the website visitor really caught my interest. When I fell asleep I would dream of ways to track the visitor and see what ways I could serve information to them. I know it is pretty nerdy of me to say, it but it did excite me every morning to login to Google Analytics and see what actions from the previous day resulted into leads or sales.
Since my job responsibilities required me to be a one man show,  I felt responsible for the success or failure of every campaign we ran. The analytics that we were receiving were good but I became like the old lady in movie The Croods in her words “It’s not enough I need more!”. To better control the conversion rate of our visitors I needed to know what actions they were taking on our website.
I sat down and came up with a jQuery piece of code that pushes a click event every time a visitor clicks on a link. Here is the code:
This has to be placed below the google tracking code in order for it to work properly. This code is something that I built for the specific website but event tracking can be used in a number of ways.  Google has instructions here. The site does use the ga tracking code. There are two versions of the tracking code _gaq and ga. _gaq is the old version of it and ga is the newer one.
Google has these options available for event tracking –
jquery code line
to explain my code I am sending an event with a category of “click” action is “url”(this is a variable that captures the current page), and label is “link + linkurl”( link capture the href’s text lnikhref captures the href link).
The reason I chose to set it up like this is on the downloads page there are hundreds of buttons with the same text on them. This way I can tell which button is being click on the most. I can now see what software downloads, case studies, brochures, and white papers are more popular than others.
Here you can see the action is the current URL and see what page has the most interaction:
event tracking #1
If I click on the top link it brings up the event label view. You can see There are several “Download Page” buttons broken out now. I can tell the Marketing Dept and Sales Dept what our most popular software is.
Event Tracking #2
After Google’s latest update to the SEO algorithm, they tell you it’s about the website visitor’s experience. This is an excellent way to see what the visitor needs. I know if you implement event tracking on your client’s website. They will have a better idea on what information their visitors need and want. It will tell the client what information to update or go into more detail to get more conversations.
In conclusion, Event tracking will better help the client understand what pages are being visited and what the visitor is doing on the page. Once you know that you can make the visitor experience catered to them even more.
Author: Josh Porter