Google Analytics offers several methods for tracking user interactions beyond page loads.
Event Tracking - For tracking most user interactions that do not load a new page, it is recommended to use standard event tracking.
Social Interactions - Specialized events taking social-specific parameters that are then bucketed into special social event reports within Google Analytics.
Virtual Pageviews - Some interactions trigger a dynamic screen change without loading a new page (e.g. when a lightbox pops up on the page or a navigation element in a one-page web application). In these instances, you may send Google Analytics an additional pageview hit with a page value representing the content being viewed.
Every Google Analytics Event has parameters to help classify the interaction. Additionally, every event can have a numeric value associated with it. Lastly, events can be both interactive and non-interactive.
The first three parameters (Category, Action, Label) can be used to help categorize your events. Please note that these parameters are just buckets and have no explicit hierarchy or associated data validation. In other words, the value you put into Action does not necessarily need to be an action. Likewise, the value of Label does not need to be hierarchically lower than Category.
However, because of how these dimensions are presented in Google Analytics, it is recommended to think of Category, Action, and Label as hierarchical. The implications here are as follows:
- Category should have the fewest number of unique values
- The same Action value can fall into different Category values, representing different interactions
- The same Label value can fall into different Category & Action values, representing different interactions
Using a consistent naming convention will help ensure that the resulting reports are easier to interpret.