How to Set Up Event Tracking in Google Analytics

Google Analytics Event Tracking allows you to easily track user events on your website such as clicks, downloads, form submissions, etc and automatically generate event reports and dashboards for analysis. Here’s how to set up event tracking in Google Analytics.


How to Set Up Event Tracking in Google Analytics

Here are the steps to set up event tracking in Google Analytics. There are two ways to set up event tracking in Google Analytics – manually and using Google Tag manager.


How to Set up Event Tracking in Google Analytics Manually

Here are the steps to set up event tracking in Google Analytics.

1. Add Google Analytics to Your Website

If you have not done it already, add Google Analytics to your website. To do this, log into your Google Analytics account.

Go to the Admin section at the bottom of left sidebar. Navigate to the property (website) you want to track.

Copy the tracking code from Google Analytics and paste it in <head> section of your website. If your website is built on WordPress, use plugin like Yoast SEO to set up Google Analytics on your website.

Also, note the tracking code on the Admin page of your web property.

set up event tracking in google analytics


You will need the tracking code to set up event tracking on your website.


Bonus Read : Google Remarketing vs Facebook Retargeting


2. Add event tracking code to your website

You need to add a small piece of event tracking code that is triggered with every user event. It consists of 4 elements

  • category – name of the element you want to track (e.g videos, pdf, etc)
  • action – type of user action such as click, play, download, etc
  • label (optional) – additional information about the event, such as file name, description
  • value (optional) – numerical value such as monetary value that you want to assign to each event

Here’s the syntax of an event tracking code, that gets triggered when user clicks an element.

onclick=ga(‘send’, ‘event’, [eventCategory], [eventAction], [eventLabel], [eventValue]);”

Replace eventCategory, eventAction, eventLabel, eventValue with values you want to track. Then place that code in href attribute of the element you are tracking. So it will look something like the following

<a href=”URL_to_track” onclick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, [eventCategory], [eventAction], [eventLabel], [eventValue]);”>link text</a>

Here’s a Google Analytics Event Tracking example. If you want to track PDF downloads of your ebook, your event tracking code will look something like

<a href=”” onclick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, [PDF], [Download], [Ebook about marketing tips]);”>Download Free ebook!</a>

Now every time someone clicks the link to download your ebook, your website will send event details to Google Analytics which will record and report it in Events page.


Bonus Read : How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics


3. View Events Report

Google Analytics generates multiple event tracking reports for your website. You can find them under Events menu under Behavior menu, on left sidebar.

event tracking report google analytics

There are 4 types of event tracking reports available in Google Analytics:

  • Overview – This report gives a complete overview of all event-related information about your website. For example, it will show information such as clicks, interactions with each element being tracked.
  • Top events – It displays the top event categories, actions and labels
  • Pages – It displays which pages have event tracking enabled
  • Events flow – It shows a visualization of how users interacted with your website elements till they triggered an event.


Bonus Read : How Does Google Remarketing Work


How to Set up Event Tracking using Google Tag Manager

Here are the steps to set up event tracking using Google Tag Manager.


1.Set up Google Tag Manager

Log into Google Tag manager and create an account.

google tag manager

You will be guided through a step by step wizard, at the end of which you will get a tracking code that you need to add to your website.

install tag manager

Bonus Read : Types of Remarketing Ads in Adwords


2. Turn on built-in variables

From GTM’s main dashboard, go to Variables on left sidebar, and click Configure.

built-in variables

You will see a list of variables to track. Select all those variables that you want to track.

built-in variables options


Bonus Read : How to Create Ad Group in Adwords


3. Create Tag

Click Add New Tag from GTM’s main dashboard.

add new tag


You will see many tag options which can be configured. Select Universal Analytics

universal analytics

Configure your tag by filling in relevant details such as category, label, action, etc. and click continue.

configure tag

Next, specify the trigger for your tag whether it is a click, page load, etc.

specify trigger

Save the finished tag.

save tag

That’s it! Google Tag Manager will automatically record and report events.


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