Easy How To: Track File Downloads In Google Analytics [Tutorial]

Easy How To Track File Downloads In Google Analytics [Tutorial]
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Are you looking for a way to track your file downloads on your website? Well, you might have some eBook or a freebie that you want to see how many people have downloaded, right? There’s actually an easy method on how to track file downloads in Google Analytics as well.

Although you’ll be able to see how many people opted in for your freebie or eBook, but you can’t tell how many actually downloaded it. Did you know that now with the help of MonsterInsights, you can easily and accurately track all your file downloads with the help of Google Analytics.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to track file downloads in google analytics and also learn which type of freebie your readers like so you can create more of that to get more downloads.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Why Should You Track File Downloads?

The biggest reason why you should be tracking your file downloads is to actually know for sure if people are actually downloading them.

Whatever kind of resources you may be offering on your website whether that’s for lead generation or extra free resources, so far you know you can use opt-in forms to collect leads but you don’t know for sure if they actually downloaded them after opting in for that free resource.

That’s why you should start tracking your downloads.

By the way MonsterInsights, can help you with that.

MonsterInsights is the best WordPress Analytics plugin. Click Here To Get It For FREE!

If you must know, this is for sure that Google Analytics doesn’t record file downloads automatically. There’s no such thing like adding a pixel to track conversions or something like that.

Because of this, you’ll have no data about any of this. Nothing is being recorded for you inside Google Analytics.

But if you install MonsterInsights, you now have the ability to enable file downloads tracking inside Google Analytics without having to add any code or any of that stuff.

Let me tell you a few benefits of tracking all your file downloads. They are the following:

  • You’ll be able to identify all the popular downloads from your website.
  • Helps you identify the best type of content people like, so you can avoid wasting time on content people don’t like (because they don’t download it).
  • You’ll be able to save a lot of time and money by creating downloadable resources that your target audience wants and needs at the moment. (Not creating content that you think they want, but actually don’t want).

So now that you’re convinced, let me teach you how you can start to track all your file downloads within your WordPress website using MonsterInsights plugin.

How To Track File Downloads on Your Website Using MonsterInsights.

The first thing you need to do is to download and install MonsterInsights.

Then we’ve got to set this thing up properly inside your Google Analytics account so that it begins to track every single file download.

Once you set this thing up inside your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able start tracking them automatically. They’ll be recorded as events.

Since MonsterInsights helps will all of that you don’t have to worry so much about the configuration part. It takes care of that part.

Once you’re inside Google Analytics, you have to set up events tracking that tracks events like downloads, clicks, ad clicks, video plays, etc. This will measure every single activity and start recording them for you.

You can also view the stats in your MonsterInsights reports section without having to login into your Google Analytics account.

Add More File Extensions To Start Tracking All Downloads.

The team at MonsterInsights have built MonsterInsights in such a way that by default all the downloads gets tracked by their downloadable extensions like doc, pdf, ppt, zip, xls, docx, pptx, and xlsx.

So if you don’t see your downloadable file extension, you can add more to that list so you can begin tracking them for you.

So if you want to Add more new file extensions, just go to your WordPress dashboard, head over to MonsterInsights on the left menu panel, click on Insights and then click on Settings. You’ll have to select Engagement that’s available on the top menu and scroll down till you find File Downloads.

Here’s a snapshot of what I’m referring to. That’s where you add your file download extensions.

monserinsights-file-tracking-768x221

So above is the picture of the default extensions that MonsterInsights plugin actually have set up for us, you are free to add yours separating them by commas.

Go ahead and do that.

Related: Quick & Easy: How To Set Up Form Conversion Tracking In Google Analytics.

How To View File Downloads Within Your WordPress Dashboard.

So, if you’re downloads are being tracked by MonsterInsights plugin, you now want to view the reports. All you have to do is click on Top Downloads Report.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Head over to MonsterInsights on the left panel. Go to Insights >> Report >> Publishers Report.

Step 2: If you just scroll a little down you’ll be able to see all your downloads.

Take a look at the image below.

How To View All Your File Downloads Within Google Analytics.

Now that you know how to view them inside the backend of your website using the MonsterInsights plugin, you can also view them inside your Google Analytics account. All you need to do now is find your website. Select track file downloads.

Look at the image below.

google-analytics-property

All you need to do is to make sure you have enable downloads tracking inside your Google Analytics account.

Earlier, I told you that feature isn’t there, but the only thing you can do is track it as pageviews. Meaning when someone opts in and lands on the thank you page, it begins to track that. Linking it up with MonsterInsights, it does that job well.

So if you want to find out your downloads you need to check the downloads reports under All Pages. You’ll find it under there.

So here’s the shortcut link to access your downloads reports inside Google Anaytics: Behaviour >> Site Content >> All Pages.

I hope you can find it. Just head over to Behavior section on the left panel.

Like I told you earlier, if you enabled them as events, you can find them in the events reports.

To see your events reports, just go to Behavior >> Events. You can find them on the left panel of your Google Analytics account. 

You’ll also be able to see four other options too. They are:

  • Overview:  You’ll be able to see a total overview or a summary of all the events on your website.
  • Top Events: Here you’ll be able to see a list of top events. It shows where your website visitors are actively engaged with the contents on your website.
  • Pages: This allows you to see a list of page where your downloads are hosted and what’s happening with them. It can be your blog posts, or it can be your pages. So whenever there’s a downloadable file, it tracks it as events too.
  • Events Flow: With this you’ll be able to understand to see the flow at which readers, visitors and customers engage with your website. You can see the complete flow. It actually shows a visual image and what happened so far on your website.

Now that you want to extract a detailed report, you need to click on Top Events.

Here’s the snapshot of what I’m referring to. Hope all the information makes sense.

Now to view your downloads, click on the downloads link to view that detailed report.

Below is the image of the kind of reports you can expect.

How The File Downloads Tracking With MonsterInsights Works.

So if you head over to your events report, you’ll be able to see all your file downloads. They all are being named or tagged as a download.

Below is the image to help you understand.

Here’s an example of a file download that’s being tracked under your events.

Also, above image is the actual screenshot of a real-time Google Analytics account, It shows and gives you information about the downloads that’s happening on our website.

Here’s something you should also know. They categorize your events reports under some categories as follows:

  • Event category: This is the category that it falls into – a download.
  • Event action: This shows you the exact URL of the file that’s been tracked.
Below is an example URL to help you understand for the Event URL.

<a href=”http://example.com/my-ebook.pdf”>Download My Ebook</a>

So the event action URL is: http://example.com/my-ebook.pdf from the example above.

  • Event label: They add labels to identify the type. So here it’s “a href” since it’s a link. That’s the link to the event label to Download My Ebook.

Hope it all makes sense to you. So I hope you can now understand why you must start tracking your file downloads and know which type of content your audience likes and what you need to focus more on.

So, if you liked this tutorial, please drop a comment and leave any questions you may have below.

Make sure to grab MonsterInsights by clicking the link below.

Easy How To Track File Downloads In Google Analytics [Tutorial]
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Jehoyakim Jena

Jehoyakim Jena

Jehoyakim Jena helps people make money, save money & design their lifestyle. The #1 problem for most people is making money and if they can learn how to do so, they can change their whole course of life. Here is a free resource that teaches you how to make money: https://www.mydigitalyard.com/ebook

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