Google AdWords, PPC

Event Tracking Horizon

Making decisions relating to PPC is all about seeing things clearly. As an account manager you can optimize an account as much as you want but your decisions will only be as informed as the data you are working with.

  Experienced account managers will know that 1 in 5 Adwords accounts are neglected after set-up.  This commonly means that an account is put in place and keywords are implemented, but little or no attention is placed on gathering information about what the clicks that are gained actually end up doing on the site or landing page in question.  

  For the modest Adwords user, adding conversion tracking code to a thank you page can be a way to monitor the amount of Adwords users who are completing a form or visiting a URL that you deem valuable. But what if, for every ten customers on my site, only six fill out this form?  

 Do those customers who clicked on a link to email me, or pressed the “ask a question” button on the site rather than the full quotation form, really have zero value to me as an advertiser?

The chances are “no”, and with a growing amount of time spent online for users spent liking, favouriting and sharing, even more actions are becoming of note to the average website owner.

  So What is Really Going On? With Google Analytics installed on the site, Event Tracking in analytics gives me much greater visibility into what users are doing on any of my client websites. All we need to do is generate a simple piece of code for any link, button or video that we want to track the use of, and suddenly we can visualize a wealth of data about that element within the analytics interface. There is a variety of documentation about how to build a piece of event tracking code; none of which is exhaustive. However the basic anatomy is as follows:
  • Category –
  • Label –
  • Event –
Combine these elements with onClick=”_gaq.push([‘insert anatomy here’,]); and we are well on our way to seeing how our site is being used. We’ve built a handy calculator here in the Google doc below to help you get started building an event, along with a few common examples. Just make a copy of this document and you should be able to enjoy full editing and tweak it as you need:

Analytics Event Tracking Generator

  The Arc is Built…What Now? The final step in using an event is seeing it in action in analytics. My favourite way to verify that an event is working is by using the new Live Events function in analytics which allows you to see in real time as an event is fired on the site. Ask a colleague or client to visit the site and play around while you sit back and marvel at your new found visibility.  

  History You can also view historic events underneath the content tab in analytics under events>overview. Here you can use the elements of the anatomy explained earlier to filter and browse through the events in a non-destructive way for easy and quick analysis and benchmarking.

 Goals Finally, don’t forget you can set up any event to be a goal within analytics in the same way you would set up any other goal under the admin>goals menu. You can also assign events values or group them in different ways to create further patterns of values for your visitors. In short, using events along with simple conversion tracking can provide a much more robust way to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns and is a vital tool in uncovering user behaviour and optimizing your on-line experience.  

Written by Dan Pillay