Igor asks, "What if I want to track specific file downloads as goals in Google Analytics? How do you do that?"
Igor's question is a followup from the April 25, 2019 episode. It's quite simple to track any individual file download as a goal in Google Analytics by using the same methods, but there are cautions to be aware of in terms of the number of goal slots available to you. Watch the video for details on how to implement this, and the planning process that goes into it.
Can't see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I'll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company's data and analytics? Let me know!
- Join my free Slack group for marketers interested in analytics!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today's episode, Igor asks, Is it possible to track the download of individual PDFs with Google Analytics? And the answer, of course, is yes, it's absolutely possible. However, one of the things you need to be careful of is that in Google Analytics, you're only given 20 slots for goals, a total of 20 goals, at least per view. So in order to track the impact of any one PDF, you're going to consume one of those slots. Now if that's okay, if there's a key PDF that you want to download, then of course, you absolutely can can do so. However, if you're just trying to get the overall performance of the PDFs on your site, you might want to lump similar ones together like white paper ones webinar, want ebook, ones and so on and so forth. The way you do that is exactly the same
Way, as we discussed in the previous video on how to use Google Tag Manager to track downloads, so you would, instead of having the PDF extension be tracked, broadly, you'll put in the exact file names of like, ebooks to that PDF of that was your PDF download main, you put that in the Tag Manager instance, as your goal conversion, send that event over to Google Analytics, and that will get you those those downloads.
I recommend that you develop before you start doing these things develop a consistent naming convention for PDFs for mp3 is for any kind of file that you're tracking on your website. And the reason for that is that if you have a consistent naming convention, then you can group PDFs together. So if you had like white paper
let's say you're a coffee shop you have like espresso dash white paper PDF, you have
Keno dash white paper PDF. By having those naming conventions that allow you to group together types of files, you'll be better able to set up goals that capture all of in a cluster of PDFs or whatever file type. and that in turn makes the larger districts the those goals slots further within that one view.
You could also create another view in Google Analytics that would one just for PDFs, one just for mp3 ease, whatever, however, will give you more bowl slots. However,
in general does a bad idea because the more views you have,
the harder it is to see interactions among things. So you wouldn't you would not for example, be able to see the performance of a particular mp3 on PDF downloads if you kept them in separate views.
You will use a role of analytics count one that you create for the purposes of tracking everything
Across the board,
using Tag Manager and those the just the file extensions to do to see the bigger possible picture. That said, the naming convention which requires some planning and strategy ahead of time is the best blend of the two. If all of your white papers have the same trailing name, and all of your webinars have the same trailing video name, and all of your ebooks have the same trailing file name, then you will be in really good condition to create those categories of actions that you want someone to take on your website. track them as goals and Google Analytics. And that gets you that gets you a good insight into the overall way to the overall performance of your content. So the
think the way to detect specific themes Google Analytics supports what are called regular expressions red X's and
Like the file names, if you have a theme,
then you could use what's called a regular expression to detect all similar theme files. So another example if you have
cappuccino dash white paper PDF and you were to expand that into a cappuccino, dash beverage dash white paper that PDF and you have espresso dash beverage, dash white paper PDF, but then you had cappuccino dash podcast dot mp3 or cappuccino dash podcast dot mp3, then by having the I forgot the beverage tax of cappuccino dash beverage dash podcast dot mp3
by having that dash beverage in the middle even though you've got one file type that's a PDF and one file type that's an mp3. By having that consistent naming convention you could use regular expression to group together
All of the
beverage related content, right? So you could you could group as a goal, the PDFs, the mp3 is the mp4 is whatever the case is, you group them together. And you could then slice either horizontally by the file type or the content type, or slice vertically by the topic type you using these regular expressions. And that way, you can make the most of those goals slots, and get a sense of your least a major categories what's working for you. So there is a lot you can do with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. The trick is, as with everything, build the plan, build the process, build the documentation upfront, and First, it doesn't have to be complex, you can do it right on the spreadsheet. But by doing that up front, it allows you to name things consistently, and be able to do advanced analytics by
all these different dimensions
Otherwise, you'd be if you didn't do that you're like, oh, we're out of goal slots already in Google Analytics. How do we how do we fix this better to do the planning and pre work up front? So lots, lots of more to do with Tag Manager and Google Analytics, I would suggest you learn regular expressions. If go to a number of really good websites, probably one of my favorites is red X 121 dot com totally free, and allows you to test out regular expressions, you paste in a list of matching and non matching strings, like URLs, for example, and then you test your expressions and see which ones light up and if the ones that you intend to light up do you use successfully done a bag of expression correctly? If I'm your hand doesn't work out that way, then you know that you need to tune it up some more. So great question, Igor. There's a lot to unpack. So give it a try. And,
and let us know what follow up questions you have as
As always thanks for watching. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter. I'll talk to you soon. What helps solving your company's data analytics and digital marketing problems. Visit trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you
You might also enjoy:
- How To Start Your Public Speaking Career
- You Ask, I Answer: Creating Content for Search Engines?
- Almost Timely: The 2020 Essays
- How To Set Your Consulting Billing Rates and Fees
- How to Set Your Public Speaking Fee
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers