Google Analytics can’t track everything. Sometimes you’re going to need to give it a little extra attention to help it along. Event tracking is one of the premiere ways to capture visitor behavior when they use content that can’t have Google Analytics tracking code. With a little planning, and event tracking code, you can learn more ways about how your customers are using your website. This hard data will give you what you need to make informed decisions on optimization and automation down the road.

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Ways to use Event Tracking

Track RSS Downloads

Do you know how often someone is clicking on that RSS icon on your site? Do you know your subscriber to RSS click ratio? Create an event to track each time your RSS feed is clicked. Multiple RSS feeds can be easy to separate by using the “opt_label” parameter in the event code.

<a href="http://yourdomain.com/rss" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'RSS', 'Download', 'http://yourdomain.com/rss']);">RSS</a>

Track Outbound Link Clicks

Referencing work from outside your blog or website is important, but it can also be important to know if people are clicking on the links and getting additional information. The WordPress SEO plugin comes equipped with a feature to do this automatically for you, but if you’re one who would like to get into the code this can be easily accomplished.

<a href="http://www.anotherwebsite.com/article" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound', 'http://www.anotherwebsite.com']);" target="_blank">anchor text</a>

Track Carousel Slideshow Clicks

Carousel slideshows are a mixed bag of opinions. They are sleek and look great, but many are in the belief that slideshows don’t perform well when you’re looking for conversions. You still need to know if your slideshow is performing to the standards you set for your site. You’ll want to track each slide’s link individually. This calls for a little bit more creativity in the creation of your event tracking code. Each slide will need a different event tracking call in order to gauge the performance of each slide.

<a href="http://yourdomain.com/article" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'slideshow', 'click', 'Slide Name Here']);"><img src="http://yourdomain.com/images/image.jpg" alt="Alternate Text"></a>

You are ready to set up goals and dashboards to monitor the performance of your site once event tracking is in place.

Please share your comments and questions below.

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  • Chris Raymond

    For the slideshow, we randomly pull 4 slides from Featured category, so I’m unclear on how you could generalize the script for the onclick tracking as in your last example. Ideas?

  • http://brandoncoppernoll.com/ Brandon Coppernoll

    Do you use a plugin for your slideshow or is it custom developed? If it’s something you built or have access to code you might be able to add something to do so.

  • Chris Raymond

    We use the Anything Slider that came with the Oragnic theme, but the site is self-hosted and we do quite a bit of modification of php–though I am only at a novice level of understanding. For example, I was able to exclude certain posts from the featured img slider and change the sort order. But as to how to modify js files or functions file to integrate wordpress template tags and tracking codes in the slider links, that’s beyond what I could figure out.