4 Sources Of Custom Event Data in Google Analytics

How event data gets into your Google Analytics Account.

Brad Redding:

Let’s talk a little bit about how event data gets into your Google Analytics account. Let’s say you have yet to create an event inside of Google Tag Manager. In your mind, you’ve yet to add any tracking, but when you go look at your reports in Google Analytics, you’re going to see that you already have potentially a few event categories and a bunch of event actions that already show up. There’s four or five common places that are ultimately sending data into your GA account. Number one is Shopify. By default, the Shopify Google Analytics integration, they are sending events into your Google Analytics account as part of their overall integration. For example, what we’re looking at here, this is the default viewed checkout process. Starting from contact information all the way into the purchase page, Shopify is sending this data to Google Analytics via custom events, in addition to the page views for these.

That’s reason number one, while you’ll see event data that already exists inside of your account. Number two is third parties. For example, third parties like Privy for email signup, Justuno, Zendesk or other potentially other live chat platforms. Many times these third parties, when you’re in their account and you enter your Google Analytics ID, when they are triggering their email modals or potentially exit intent signups, or live chat signups, et cetera, they are also pushing in events to your Google Analytics account. We can look at things like, okay, well, what percentage of people that viewed my email modal sign up, actually signed up for it.

Let’s look at that example here. Here’s an example of an email modal. This is from OptiMonk. This is an email collection tool that has a send a messenger attached to it. For Brevity, this is a very, very important part of theirs and most everyone’s email or lead collection process of understanding how many people are seeing this modal versus how many people are signing up. OptiMonk and others like Privy, Justuno, etc, they are attaching events to these. You can look at impressions versus signups, get the calculation and try to approve upon that over time. That’s the second place that we generally see event data being pushed into your Google Analytics account. That’s outside of Google Tag Manager.

The third is this is getting into more of your world, would be in your theme dot liquid or other templates within your code base. Sometimes if you are wanting to track different events on a site and you create requirements, you’ll send that off to developers and they’ll implement tracking that as clinical hard-coded in your theme. Tracking clicks on links in a footer or other behavior, other things that aren’t page view related, they would add that to your theme about liquid and thus it’s hard coded and pushing that event data into GA.

The fourth, which is really what we’re all about here is pushing an event data into your Analytics account through Google Tag Manager. It’s pretty simple. Inside of Google Tag Manager, we’re going to select in most cases, most are still using the Universal Analytics set up here, and we just had a track type of event. And going through this event, we are defining our event category action label, and then ultimately assigning a trigger. Once the trigger is in place, and we have the event created, and this is live when users are performing that action. Clicking on an image, that event is then sent to the Google Analytics account that it’s associated to.

Those are four ways that people, whether it’s yourself, or other technology partners, are sending data into your Google Analytics account. Once that data is in here, then you have that at your disposal to start slicing and dicing it and analyzing it and putting it into your conversion optimization action.


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