31 January 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Using Event Tracking with Google Analytics

Google’s Analytic software has a neat feature that allows you to track arbitrary events opposed to page visits. That means you can track activity on your site such as when a visitor clicks an affiliate link, when they click your Facebook link or when they do anything else involving an action on your page.

Why track events?

Most authors on the internet have a specific goal in mind when a visitor reaches their site. They may want them to subscribe to their RSS feed, connect with them on Facebook or click an affiliate link. I call these ‘conversions.’ If you make an average of 1 penny per user who clicks on an affiliate link then you know that the affiliate link is worth 1 penny, so if you get 100 people to click it in a day you just made $1.00/day or $30/month.

It’s a lot better to track this inside Analytics than to log into your affiliate control panel to see how much money you made. Analytics will be able to give you more detailed information such as where did the most conversions come from, search, referred sites or paid traffic? It also lets you test placement of links that you want visitors to see. You can quickly test a popup ad with a sidebar ad by using events.

Once setup and running for a week it will give you a graph telling you how many conversions you had each day and if you associate a value with each of those conversions how much you made each day.

Tracking Events

Make sure you have Google Analyticator setup, you can probably use other Google tracking tools in WordPress, but why would you considering Analyticator throws a chart right into your WordPress dashboard? Once it’s setup find the widget or the part of your theme that you want to track. For instance, if it’s a text link it will look like this:

<a href="affiliate_link">Check this ouT!!!111</a>

Add the following event tracking code:

<a href="affiliate_link" onClick="javascript: _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Category', 'Action', 'Label']);">Check this ouT!!!111</a>

Save the widget or HTML and then log into your Google Analytics account. You can create and manage Goals by clicking the gear in the upper right. Make sure you have the right profile selected and create a new goal like this:

Creating a New Goal

In this example I set the goal value to $7,000. It’s more likely your goal’s value is just pennies. Obviously you want to customize the category, action and label to make sense to you.

Once you create the goal and insert the code into your page you can view the goal overview on the left sidebar of Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a lot more powerful than just seeing how many people viewed your site yesterday, play around with it!

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