April 24, 2014 By BJ Cook,
In our last two post about Google Analytics – we spoke on annotations and demographic reports. Today we are talking part three on auto-event tracking…..


In the past if you were looking to get more data about your web visitors, you’d probably have to implement Event tracking code. But now, updates made to Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows marketers to control this without assigning a task to a developer.


In case you don’t have GTM implemented, here are the steps that will get you started:

  1. Create Google Tag Manager account
  2. Create your first container
  3. Copy the container snippet code found in Users & Settings and implement it site wide
  4. Create a basic dataLayer with your first two tags
    • - Tag 1: Click Listener
    • New Tag > Tag Type > Event Listener - Click Listener > Rule: All Pages
    • - Tag 2: LinkClick Listener
    • New Tag > Tag Type > Event Listener - LinkClick Listener > Rule: All Pages
  5. Create a new Version and Publish

Rules in GTM depend on variables in the dataLayer. Google Tag Manager provides many by default but you’re able to create others as needed or as you customize your dataLayer.

How To Inspect Page Elements for Event Tracking

  1. Right click a page (in a Chrome browser) that has GTM installed on the page
  2. Visit the Console tab, click on an element that has a link and open it in a new tab (Command + Click on Mac) so that the page is still open
  3. Type in “dataLayer”, and hit Enter and select the Object farthest to the right. The variables (in purple) seen are a result of the linkClick listener tag and you’ll use these variables as macros, which are needed to create rules for event tracking
  4. Go back to GTM and create a new Tag
  5. Tag Type: Google Analytics and enter Web Property ID (UA-XXXXXXXX-X)
  6. Track Type: Event and fill out the fields manually or select a macro
  7. Add Firing Rule and ALWAYS put the click listener or link click listener first

Utilize these three features to continually learn more about your web traffic and get more answers for why things are happening instead of what. As our Web Analyst, Dan Greco states:

"A few years ago, web analytics was mostly for large companies. Now, more and more small and mid-size companies are realizing that data driven decision making can propel fast-track their growth. Web analytics is about understanding.  If you can understand what's happening, what's working, whats not working and why, positioning can be facilitated.

I think the most challenging part for small and midsize businesses is finding the time or resources to do so. There's no doubt its an investment, but it's the first step in building a data-driven culture. It's a step that, in my opinion, that will continue to pay dividends."

With that being said - If you have any questions on Google Analytics don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

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