Over the recent months we've been getting a lot of requests from our clients to gather data on what page an event occurred on. It turns out the solution was the just right mix of dimensions and filters.
First, a little background on Google Analytics event tracking:
Google Analytics gives you the ability to track different actions that visitors take on your website through some customization of the stock Google Analytics tracking code . Some of the most popular event tracking applications include clicks on outbound links, document downloads, video stats like plays, pauses and finishes, flash elements, AJAX elements, slideshows and load times. Granted, not all of these are relevant to what I'm about to show you but I wanted to at least introduce you to the power of event tracking in Google Analytics.
Enough background, lets get to the part where we actually learn something. Here's the question we'll be answering in this post; "What pages on my site did the most pdf/doc downloads happen on?". A simple question, yes? Not exactly.
This can be achieved in the New Google Analytics custom reports. These new custom reports allow for flat table reports and Explorer (drill down) reports. Historically, only Explorer reports were available. Using the flat table report we can have up to two dimensions on rows. First, you'll want to put this report into the right context, including only the Event Actions that you're interested in. In this case the event actions we're interested in are "PDF" and "DOC". Because event action labels can be set to whatever you want, the required filter may differ from profile to profile. If you use the same event action label for multiple events, you'll also need to include a filter for the event category that you're interested in. Next, you'll want to set the report type to "Flat Table" instead of "Explorer". Set the dimensions to "Page" and "Event Label" and the metrics to "Unique Events" and "Total Events". A screen grab of this custom report can be found below.
Having the page path next to the event label restricts the data output to only give you the number of downloads that happened for that special combination of page and event. When this report is run, it returns a table with the page paths and event labels on rows and the corresponding metrics for each unique combination on columns. We can now quickly analyze what pages have the most downloads and what downloads were most popular on that page, if there are multiple.
Each month, or whenever you would typically need to report on this data, you would need to log into Google Analytics, select the custom report, run the report, export the data to a spreadsheet and then format it to make it presentable.
Using ShufflePoint we can save a lot of time. All you need to do is setup the query, format the output and then each month click the "refresh" button. This saves you about 15 minutes for each time you would need to export this data from Google Analytics. If it's weekly, you just saved yourself 13 hours over the course of a year. Now you can use that extra 15 minutes to actually analyze the data.
Here's how we set up the query in Shufflepoint:
On Columns: Metrics - Unique Events descending and Total Events
On Rows: Dimensions - Page Path and Event Label
Filters: Dimensions - Event Action that matches "PDF" or "DOC" (or however your download actions are labeled)
This combination returns exactly how many downloads occurred on each page and the sum of the total unique events matches the Events report. If we were to filter based on event labels that ended in ".pdf" or ".doc" we might also get data for outbound links that end in ".pdf" or ".doc" (if you are also running outbound link tracking through events and do not have another filter for the Event Category).