Measuring Content with the New Google Analytics

Measuring Content with the New Google Analytics

There’s a new version of Google Analytics just released, and am starting to become familiar with the new functionality. Google’s updates are:

  • A completely redesigned, faster interface
  • Multiple dashboards—build a custom dashboard for each department
  • Event Goals! Track your PDFs with events, or configure 2 minutes play time on a video as a goal.
  • More powerful custom reports

Let’s talk about the new Event Goals.  Events can now be tracked as conversion goals.  Previously we were just able to track page URLs and engagement goals like time spent on site and number of pages viewed. Each goal was assigned an optional goal value. Goal values are a way to “prioritize” conversions.  For example, web form submissions would have a high value, but a view of the “about us” page on your site may have no value, as far as page conversions goals go.

Event Goals give value to those activities or links that are clicked on but don’t necessarily direct traffic to another page on your site. Examples of these events are video views, podcast listens, content downloads, social media shares, and links to external pages or PDFs (if you have an offsite blog, for example). These activities also contribute to site engagement. Of course the outcomes for measuring events and engagement is the continuing task of tracking keywords, mediums, referral sites with regard to quality traffic analysis. It provides an analysis of which events or content pieces work better in attracting interested prospects.  For instance, if your white paper is deemed more important as an event than your case study as a download, each of those content assets can now be given unique values, with the white paper a higher value.

Here’s an example of how goal conversions work utilizing a mix of page URLs, engagement goals, and event goals with values; let’s assume a scale of 1-10.

Contact Us-Thank You Page:  10

Product X quote request:  9

ROI White Paper download:   8

Blog Page Viewed:   7

5 minutes on site:    6

Case Study Z download:  5

Video viewed for over 1 minute:  4

Facebook “Like”: 2

Now, here’s a quick sample of an analysis:

Keyword or Site                 Visits            Completed Conversion Goals         Per Visit Goal Value

XXXXX                                        50                                   5                                      .86

YYYYY                                      30                                    4                                      .53

Keyword or referral site XXXXX has a lower conversion rate than YYYYY, but XXXXX visitors showed higher engagement, because the per visit goal value is higher.  Per Visit Goal Value is calculated by multiplying the number of conversion goals by the value of each goal, then dividing by the visits.  Therefore in my analysis, XXXXX is performing better than YYYY because of the increased engagement with the site.

Google Analytics Help has comprehensive details on how to track events.

Click Here for Overview

Click Here for Details on Coding

But here’s a quick primer.

First, you (or your tech guy) need to implement Google Analytics event tracking into the pages and within the code where those events occur on your site. Below is the code utilizing onclick protocol, which tells Google Analytics to measure a click on the event.

Onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’,’category’, ‘action’, ‘label’, ‘value’];”)

Then, you need to replace the placeholders “Category,” “Action,” “Label,” and “Value” with actual events. It would help to have a spreadsheet handy to make a list.

Categories (A group of objects you want to track):




Social Share

Actions (Paired with categories, but describes the specific event):

White Paper

Case Study




Labels (Optional) (Provides additional detail on the event):

Increase ROI

Marketing with social media podcast

Capabilities brief

Value (Optional) (Provides a numerical value to an event)

Downloadable content values (8, 15, 20)

Video or audio time spent (3 for 3 minutes, for example)

Once you have your master list of event codes ready, get your developer or programmer to embed these event tracking codes into the site as described above.  Now we’re ready to track event goals.

First, click on your website profile, and click Goals

Then, set up your event goal details, and provide a value that meets those event conditions. You can use the actual value from the code per above, or overwrite the actual value with a constant value.

Ok, you witnessed above a short example of how event goals, conversions and values can be measured.  Here’s a little more. We can evaluate the behavior of specific audience segments, with the goal to analyze what kinds of event behaviors lead to form submit or purchase conversions.

Here’s a custom audience segment that lets me track how many people viewed my ultimate conversion (web form Thank you page) and that downloaded the Increase ROI white paper.  We don’t have to go that far; we can stop at download (How many audiences downloaded something/anything, and converted to a web form submission) or stop at all audiences who downloaded white papers.  With this, we can then track what keywords or referral sites brought high quality, engaged traffic who were interested in my content.

Here’s one more.

I am tracking New Visitors to the website, and combining overall conversion goal values (over 20) and event values (over 10).  My goal again is to measure what keywords, adgroups, and sites bring me quality traffic so I can make marketing decisions; not just on media and keyword, but also what content is attractive.

It’s safe to say there are many ways to slice the data. It’s important to have these goals and audience segments planned out, and have a real strategy on what your goal outcomes should be, and what reports are really needed to make actionable decisions.  The above are not real-world, but examples of the capabilities for site engagement measurement.  Now if only the new Google Analytics can return the PDF export reports……

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.

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