Google Analytics - Event Tracking Report

The Event Tracking report is used to track actions performed by visitors that do not result in a page view. The event tracking is commonly employed when analyzing sites that use Flash, Ajax and video players.

Before trying to understand the contents and applications of the Event Tracking Report it is important to understand the different parts that make up events. Objects are components of pages, such as a videos or maps in the example below. Actions are subsets of objects and are represent behaviors performed by users (i.e such as zooming on a map). Labels are used to quantify actions, like in the example below a user can zoom (action), in or out (labels). In addition to this Labels can be allocated values based on the users discretion. Values are optional and do not have to be assigned to labels, in the example below we have allocated a value of 1 when a visitor zooms in and a value of 2 when a visitor zooms out.

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What is the overall significance of event tracking? Well, if event tracking did not exist you would only be able to track events that generate pageview and with many sites becoming more dynamic, embracing Web 2.0, it would mean that user activity generated would not be able to be analysed effectively.

Like the Site Search report, the Event Tracking report also provides several sub-reports which present statistics related to events in a variety of formats.

  • The Overview report summarises the events that users tracked on a site.
  • The Categories report displays statistics on the categories that recorded events. For example, you may have a category called ‘video’ and within that you have actions such as ‘pause’, ‘play’, ‘next’
  • The Actions report displays statistics on actions for all events within a site. This report does not display actions within its related category like the Category Report, but like the Category report you can drill-down and view the labels associated to each action listed
  • The Labels report allows you to view statistics on events related to each label
  • The Trending Report shows how many events occurred on your site (by day or by hour of day), refer to a screenshot of the report below.
  • The Hostnames report shows the hostnames and URL’s where events are occurring

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Considerations

  • Site owners should always look to use event tracking rather than virtual page views, as using virtual page views as a workaround to track events results in inaccurate data being recorded as virtual pageviews alter the pageview count

Benefits for Different Business Sectors

Multi-National Corporations

  • Multi-national corporations can use the hostnames report to drill down and understand which domains are generating the most actions,

Domestic Corporations

  • Gives companies that have an increased amount of dynamic content the ability to track visitor behaviours

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