Paid search and Google Analytics work hand in hand in so many ways (including right there in the AdWords interface).  This month’s series week is all about how you can make the most of Analytics in your account, whether that’s with content experiments, event tracking or custom reportingWe’re going to find all of the ways that you can get even more insight into the clicks that you’re paying to get.

By now, we know the value of Google Analytics. It can give us so much more insight into user behavior (which any followers of my contribution to PPC Hero know that I love).  Each time there is a new tool or strategy that can be used, we can’t wait to give it a try and tell you all about it!

So how can Event Tracking help you increase your understanding of your PPC traffic? Event tracking allows you to place code in various elements of your page. Examples of this are videos, chat boxes, banner ads on your landing page, and form completion.

Why and What

How do you know if you need to track an event? Because Google Analytics is only looking at the clicks that direct users to a new page, event tracking helps identify activity happening within that single page. Go to your landing page and walk through the various clicking opportunities a user might have. Is there a banner on the landing page? Do you have a video? External links? Live help?

As you identify paths a user might take that don’t result in navigating to a new page, you can create a list of possible “events” worth tracking.


While this has been covered to the end of the interwebs and back, the process of setting up an Event in Google Analytics is pretty straightforward. In the “Goals” tab, assign your Category/Event/Label/Value/Implicit count. This will create a code. This code must then be placed in the HTML of whatever “event” you want to track, such as a video or even the play or pause button on the video player. Whatever the event, you will have a unique code generated for it specifically. Paste it in and watch the data accumulate.

Event Tracking

Note: Implicit Count provides the sum of the quantity of interactions you’ve had in this category. This data set can be accessed through the Analytics API if you’re so inclined.

What Does This Get Me?

In your Event Tracking tab of Analytics, you’ll see the following segments:

–       Total events (All traffic activity)

–       Unique events (Event tracked once per session- even if they click 10 times)

–       Event Value (as specified by you earlier)

–       Average Event Value (take a wild guess!)

–       Visits With Event (how many visitors actually participated in an “event”)

–       Events/visit (average events user participated in per visit)

–       Top Events (this is a great one if you have lots of events on your landing page- it gives you the top category, action, and label)

 Tracking? Check. Data Collected? Check. Now what?

Let’s run through 3 scenarios that will totally rock your PPC tracking world:

1)   Video:

There is always a bit of a buzz about videos on a landing page. Do they bring in more leads? Do they garner more repeat business? What effect does the video have on overall behavior?

Setting your video as an opportunity to track events can give you much more insight into what your user’s doing beyond bounce/not bounce or convert/not convert.

With event tracking, you can actually place your carefully ID’d code on any of the clickable opportunities in your video player. Do they play and then pause? Do they use the playback feature? What are other aspects of your video from which you could gather data?

Puppy Fashion Show

In this case, I might label the two videos on my landing page as “Puppy Fashion Show” and “Puppy Fashion Show Bloopers.” For each video, I would have an action assigned to the play button as “Play” (confusing, right?) and also an action of “Replay” for those who watched it repeatedly. I assume these re-watchers may be more interested in purchasing the outfits seen in the video.

2)   Live Chat:

The idea here is that you would not only track the basic metrics of the live chat event, but get some specific detail about the conversation. The first suggestion is to identify the support person.  For my Live Chat tracking, I might have set the following:

Category: Celebrity Impersonator Live Chat Box

Action: Engaged In Chat

Label: Carrie “Chatterbox” Albright

The data collected from this event will then give me a much more informed view of what Chat Boxhappened. I could also include the specific landing page of the chat box, were you to send traffic to varying destination URLs. You may find that the chat box engagement from your About Us page varies drastically from the page specific to your “Local Celebrity Impersonator Options” page. You may also find that specific Chat Box introductions are more or less conducive to conversations or actual conversions.

3)   Abandonment of a form:  

This is a fantastic option if you are dabbling in different contact form structures. Creating an event for your form fields allows you to gather data about which fields were completed and which were skipped, regardless of the final choice to submit or not.  By setting your labels for each field “Name,” “Phone,” or “Celebrity Impersonator of Choice” you can then segment your activity data and see your number of events.

You can also see where people get stuck. What if they don’t know the answers to your question about date, time, or budget? This may be where you lose them and also lose your chance to employ that spot-on Agent Cooper impersonator. Knowing these tendencies may be just what you need to improve your contact form design.

Celebrity Impersonator Contact Form

Jim Gianoglio at LunaMetrics provided a script a while back that’s pretty useful. Placing it in your page’s code will then provide you with a breakdown of data in Analytics LINK.

What To Watch

An interesting side effect of this whole “event tracking craze,” as the kids are calling it has to do with Bounce Rate.

Prior to setting any events, Analytics looked judged bounce rate based on whether or not a user was directed to any other pages before exiting. Simple. What’s exciting about the effect of event tracking is that now Analytics knows there’s more going on. It is tracking those same-page actions as activity, which will begin to decrease your bounce rate (all the while, providing you with data about your traffic).

Obviously, if your event has to do with your page loading, your bounce rate’s gonna be a big ZERO.

Event Data

Interpreting your data can be as intense or as simple as you want.

From Overview (which gives you the classic Analytics highlights) to some of the more specific options like Pages, which lets you focus in on each page for which you’re tracking events. Here can can look at the specific page (like PPC Hero’s landing page) and then zoom in on the specific event category, action type, or label.Event Tracking Page Title

Similarly you can use the Event Flow option much like your visitor flow option, but this will revolve around your predetermined events.Event Tracking Event FlowYou PPC Heroes have been popping up across the globe when it comes to Events Tracking. For another set of tips on how to interpret you events data, Justin Cutroni provided some great insights with his post about Event Flow.

The long story short is that Analytics is always bringing up new ways to track what your user interactions are and how to analyze the corresponding data.  Events are a great way to get that little bit of extra information out of your website.

What events have you tracked and how have they helped you better market to your audience? PPC Heroes everywhere want to know! We always love your feedback and thanks for reading!