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How to Properly Track CTAs in Google Analytics

How to Properly Track CTAs in Google Analytics

September 20, 2021

By Mitch Transue

Properly tracking and measuring success is a crucial step when using calls to action (CTAs) on your website. But if your website isn’t built in a content management system (CMS) with built-in reporting tools, such as HubSpot, it can be difficult to get the insights you’re looking for.

Let’s take a closer look at how Google Analytics can be used to properly track CTAs and give you a better understanding of which CTAs are performing the best for your business.

The Importance of Properly Tracking CTAs

Calls to action are one of the critical components of any conversion path. Understanding how your website visitors behave and what the typical buyer's journey is for your customers can allow you to create relevant and compelling CTAs. 

Properly tracking your CTAs provides you with an additional level of insight that will allow you to see how your messaging performs with your website visitors. Using Google Analytics will help you understand which CTAs are performing best and resonating with them.

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How to Track CTAs in Google Analytics, Step by Step

1. Set up event tracking. 

Google has excellent documentation covering how to properly implement event tracking. In Google Analytics, events are interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web page or a screen load. These events include downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, and more.

Essentially, event tracking is centered around the addition of the following snippet of code to the page elements you want to track:

_trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)

From here, you can define a few important pieces that will make your tracking make sense back in Google Analytics: 

  • Category
  • Action
  • Label 
  • Value

You can view Google Analytics’ Anatomy of Events page to get a better understanding of these events. For the purposes of our example, the final snippet for the CTA we are tracking will look like this: 

onclick="_gaq.push ([‘_trackEvent’, ‘RequestADemo’, ‘FrontPage’, ‘Middle’]);”

If this is a little too far into the weeds for you, don’t worry. The team of SmartBug® inbound marketing professionals, or a competent developer, can help you out with this step. 

2. Find the data in Google Analytics.

Now that your CTAs are being tracked, you’ll want to find the report in Google Analytics. To do this, navigate to the “Events—Overview” section of the “Content” area. From this section, you can then sort by category, action, or label.

From this page you’ll now be able to see how each of your CTAs are performing and compare them to one another. However, you can get more detailed insights by using goals to track conversions such as demo requests or downloads.

3. Create goals for richer insights.

Goals measure how well your site is meeting your target objectives. A goal represents a completed activity such as a conversion. Examples of goals include making a purchase or submitting a form. 

To set up a goal, click the “Admin” tab in Google Analytics and locate the “Goals” field (usually on the far left near the middle).

With goal tracking set up, you will be able to:

  • Track the various referral sources completing the link
  • Create goal funnels to visualize where your visitors are dropping off
  • Get other event-specific information you wouldn’t be able to from just an event setup

Once event tracking is set up, you’ll have access to data on all of your calls to action, giving you the ability to see how they are converting and which of them are performing best, helping you reach your marketing goals. Over time, you can use the insights from this data to test new messaging, CTA designs, and more to improve your conversions.


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Topics: Analytics, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy