If you’re a marketer, you’ve no doubt asked yourself, “How do I track clicks on a link in Google Analytics?”
By tracking clicks, you can better understand where your target audience is going from one page to the other. It also tells you which links they are interested in, which CTAs they click, and much more.
With the new Google Analytics 4, link clicks are tracked automatically. This is great as previous versions of Google Analytics couldn’t do this automatically. Before, you had to set up custom event tracking, which can be confusing.
But we’re here to help. If you haven’t set up Google Analytics 4 and aren’t sure how to start tracking clicks on a link, keep reading.
How to track clicks on a link in Google Analytics
- Add a Google Analytics 4 property to your website.
- Click View Your GA4 Property.
- Click Data Streams.
- Click on your site.
- Set up custom link clicks.
1. Add a Google Analytics 4 property to your website.
You can track links automatically in Google Analytics 4. While GA4 was introduced in October 2020, your site won’t automatically switch to GA4. You have to set it up.
To do this, click on “Admin” at the bottom left of your Google Analytics homepage. Then make sure the correct account is selected. A GA4 setup wizard is displayed in the “Properties” column. Go through the process (takes about a minute), then click Create Property.
You should now be done and set up GA4.
2. Click “Show your GA4 property”.
Once you are done setting up GA4 you should be able to click on “View Your GA4 Property”. This way you will have all the information you need about your property.
Before you proceed, be sure to take a look around and see what’s new in GA4.
3. Click on “Streams”.
After you’ve examined and set up your GA4 property, you’ll want to click on “Streams” in the left column.
This will give you detailed information on what GA4 is tracking for your site.
4. Click your site.
Lastly, all you have to do is click on your site and you should see the advanced measurement. It should turn on automatically.
This feature automatically tracks events like page views, scrolling, outbound link clicks, website search, video engagement, and file downloads.
To see this information, your GA home page should have an “Events” section where you can see outbound link clicks.
Here’s what it looks like when you see advanced measurements:
5. Set up custom link clicks.
Now, in the future, you’ve officially set up certain link tracking features. While this feature allows you to track a number of events, you may want to track certain link clicks in a targeted manner. In this case, you want to set up custom link clicks.
You can do this through the Google Tags Manager. If you don’t already have an account, create an account for your site and connect to your GA4 property.
For more information on event handling in GA4, see this video:
Essentially, you need to create a trigger to differentiate between the custom links you want to track and the pageviews and outbound clicks that the advanced metrics are tracking.
Go to your Google Tags Manager and add a new trigger. Then you need to connect that trigger to your event tracking.
Watch this video to learn how to set up the Google Tags Manager with your GA4 property.
While this is all great if you convert your current analytics account to GA4, it will only track those link clicks in the future. It’s not retroactive.
Now let’s go over how to track Google Analytics click events when you are not using GA4.
How to Track Clicks in Older Versions of Google Analytics
If you’re not using GA4, you’ll need to use Google Tags Manager. We have a detailed guide to help you navigate the Tag Manager as it can be confusing.
Without GA4, the process is the same as setting up custom events. Google Analytics was unable to automatically track link clicks before GA4.
While it does now, you may not be using GA4 and still want to follow these links.
That’s okay. You can read our in-depth guide, watch the videos in step 5, and check out how to set up custom link click tracking using the Google Tags Manager.
While it may seem confusing to set up, there are numerous resources available from Google that you can use to set up custom event tracking. And it’s worth it. Knowing where your customers click and being able to assign a certain number of clicks from one blog post to another is invaluable information.