Easily track and debug Google Analytics events
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Introduction

Easily track and debug Google Analytics events with this plugin. No initialization or set up required for basic features.

All you need to do is:

  1. Include Google Analytics on your page.
  2. Include GA Events Tracker in your Javascript
  3. Add two data attributes to the elements in the page you want to track events against:
  • Category
  • Label

Category can be defined on a per-element basis, per-section / parent basis, or per-page basis. Label must be defined on a per-element basis, but can support more complex names by concationation. For more information read this section.

Usage & Overview

Google Analytics supports tracking user events on the page, and can capture how users interact with your site. This tool hopes to streamline adding events and allow for quick debugging.

The data that can be sent to GA when an event is fired is shown below:

  • Category - Describes the object the user is interacting with. These usually correlate with page components. (e.g, "Carousel", "Video", "Call To Action", etc) - Required
  • Action - Describes the interaction the user is performing on the object. Default value sent for this plugin is "Click." (e.g, "Click", "Play", "Hover") - Required
  • Label - Describes the individual instance of the object the user is interacting with. Helps you determine which compoinents on the page is being interacted with. These names should be specific.
  • Value - A numeric value associated with the event.

For more info on events, read the GA documentation

For quickest, out of the box functionality, you can simply add the following data attributes to your markup:

<a href="buy-it-now.html" data-ga-category="buy-it-now" data-ga-label="widget">Buy Widget Now</a>

This would send the following data to Google Analytics:

  • Category: buy-it-now
  • Action: click
  • Label: widget

Setting Category Precedence

If you had multiple "buy it now" buttons on the page, you can save some typing:

<section id="store" data-ga-category="buy-it-now">
  <h1>Store</h1>
  <div class="widget-1">
    <h2>Widget 1</h2>
    <a href="buy-it-now.html?item=widget-1" data-ga-label="widget-1">Buy Widget 1 Now</a>
  </div>
  <div class="widget-2">
    <h2>Widget 2</h2>
    <a href="buy-it-now.html?item=widget-2" data-ga-label="widget-2">Buy Widget 2 Now</a>
  </div>
</section>

Here, each individual anchor link tracks the unique ga-label that has been assigned to it (widget-1 and widget-2 respectively) but the plugin will assign the category of buy-it-now since it has a common ancestor in the markup - in this case, the #store section is a parent of both anchors.

This allows you to set categories on containers, or even on a page-level, instead of having to define them on an individual element basis. Note that the code will first look in the element itself, and then travel up the DOM tree to find the closest data-ga-category element and apply that value to the element:

<body data-ga-category="global">
  <a href="/" data-ga-label="home">Back To Home Page</a>
  <section id="store" data-ga-category="store">
    <h1>Store</h1>
    <div class="widget-1">
      <h2>Widget 1</h2>
      <a href="buy-it-now.html?item=widget-1" data-ga-label="widget-1">Buy Widget 1 Now</a>
    </div>
    <div class="widget-2">
      <h2>Widget 2</h2>
      <a href="buy-it-now.html?item=widget-2" data-ga-label="widget-2" data-ga-category="buy-it-now">Buy Widget 2 Now</a>
    </div>
  </section>
</body>

The mappings below describe what data gets sent:

Label Category Reason
home global data-ga-category was assigned to the body element. This value applies to any elements on the page that don't have a more-specific assignment.
widget-1 store data-ga-category was assigned to a parent element, #store.
widget-2 buy-it-now data-ga-category was assigned to actual element being interacted with.

Setting The Action

By default, the action sent to GA is click, but you can easily set a different value using the data-ga-action attribute.

The supported actions are:

  • click - will fire when user clicks or taps the element (default)
  • hover - will fire when user mouses over the element
  • hover-out - will fire when user mouses out from the object
  • hover-in-out - will fire when user mouses over the element, and again when the user mouses out from the object

sends a hover event when the user hovers over the element:

<a href="#" data-ga-action="hover" data-ga-label="some-button">Rollover To See More</a>

If you set a custom action name that is not supported, such as "play" or "touch" or anything else, that data will still get sent to GA but it will happen on the click event.

sends a tap event when the user clicks the element:

<a href="#" data-ga-action="tap" data-ga-label="some-button">Tap</a>

Setting Multiple Actions

If you want to track multiple actions, simply use a comma-separated list of actions. Note that this works best with the supported actions.

<a href="#" data-ga-action="hover, click" data-ga-label="some-button">Rollover To See More, Click To Visit Page</a>

If you set multiple actions that are not supported, it will send them all on the click event, which could add more statistical noise to the analytics.

Advanced Labels

You can construct advanced labels by setting different levels of labels in your markup:

  • Page Level
  • Section Level
  • Element Level (Default / Required)

The code will concatenate these different levels into a single label, separated by an underscore. You need not set all three levels, and can mix/match which label levels you want to set per element.

For example, given the following markup:

<body data-ga-page-label="store">
  <header data-ga-section-label="header">
    <a href="/" data-ga-label="logo" data-ga-category="internal-link"><img src="your-logo.gif"/></a>
  </header>
</body>

Your constructed label will be:

store_header_logo

The data sent to GA will be:

ga('send', 'event', 'internal-link', 'click', 'store_header_logo');

Which will indicate to you in GA that somebody clicked the logo, in the header, on the store page.

No additional configuration is necessary to use this feature, simply add the data attributes to the markup. If the code finds data-ga-section-label and data-ga-page-label attributes, it will automatically concatenate them into the label for that element. Additionally, if you do not want a page or section level label, simply omit these attributes from your markup. The chart below displays possible outcomes given the above markup.

| Page Label | Section Label | Element Label | Concatenated Label, sent to GA | | ----- | ----- | ---- | --- | --- | | store | header | logo| home_nav_logo | | [Null] | header | logo | nav_logo | | store | [Null] | logo | home_logo | | [Null] | [Null] | logo | logo|