About Events

An overview about Event tracking and Event reports.

Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.

Set up Event tracking

Event tracking is available for both web and app properties but requires additional technical set up that should be completed by a qualified developer.

For details on how to set up Event tracking, follow the instructions in the Developer Guide for your specific environment:

No data appears in the Event Reports until Event tracking is set up.

Although Event tracking requires a little extra work to set up, we strongly recommend you use it. Events are a flexible way to collect data about interactions specific to your site or app that might not otherwise be tracked.

Event Components

Once you’ve completed setting up Event tracking for your website or mobile platform, your data appears in the Event Reports. Look for the Events reports menu under Behavior category in your reporting views.

When you set up Event tracking, you can define up to five of the following components, and associate them with individual Events:

Category: The primary divisions of the types of Events you have on your site. Categories are at the root of Event tracking, and should function as a first way to sort Events in your reports. Videos and Downloads are good examples of categories, though you can be as specific or broad as your content requires.

Action: A descriptor for a particular Event Category. You can use any string to define an Action, so you can be as specific as necessary. For example, you could define Play or Pause as Actions for a Video. You could also be more specific, and create an Action called Video almost finished to trigger when the play-back slider on a video reaches the 90% mark.

Label: An optional descriptor that you can use to provide further granularity. You can specify any string for a label.

Value: A numerical variable. You can use explicit values, like 30, or inferred values based variables you define elsewhere, like downloadTime.

Implicit Count: A count of the number of interactions with an Event Category. Implicit Count does not appear in the standard Google Analytics reports, but you can access this data via API.

The values for these components display in the Event Reports. The more organized you are about setting them up, the easier it will be to read and interpret your reports. In your reports, the titles of individual Events are based on these component names. For example, Events in the Category Videos, with the Action Play, and the Label Funny, that Event appears as Videos + Play + Funny in your reports.

Visit the Anatomy of Event tracking section in our Developer Guide for more information on each of these components.

An alternative to Event tracking (For advanced setups)

There are some situations in which you might have an element that you don’t want to track as an Event, even if it loads independently. For example, if you load new content without loading a new page or screen, like in a pop-up or in a modal window, you could track it using a virtual page or screen view. This means that Google Analytics would count the element as a page or screen view when it loads. Learn more about how to track page and screen views in our Developer Guides: