One of the important features in Google Analytics 4 is events. Events allow you to track data or more specifically, the interactions made by visitors on your website or app. There are primarily four different event categories which are:
You can read about them here.
In this article, we explain GA4 enhanced measurement events and their related details, let’s get started. If you have been using the UA, you know that previously, measuring the events required additional steps and could be tricky, particularly for non-technical users but that’s not the case here.
The thing about enhanced measurement is that you can track and measure the various interactions that occurred on your website by enabling options, more on that later. For this, you don’t have to configure the Google Tag Manager and no code changes are required. Once enabling the options, the Google Analytics tag starts sending events right away.
Events tracked by GA4 enhanced measurement
Now you know what these events are, let’s see the various types of events that are automatically tracked and explain each one:
- Page Views
- Outbound Clicks
- Site Search
- Video Engagement
- File Downloads
For the full list of events, their function and event parameters able to be used can be found here.
Denoted as (page_view), this is the normal standard event for websites in GA4. What happens here is that once the visitor loads a new webpage or the browser history state gets changed by the active website, the events are collected automatically. The latter part is now a common feature in single-page website applications and collecting events from browser history events was recently added to GA4.
When visitors scroll down a webpage to a certain depth, the interactions are measured using the scroll event. Through this event, you can track how much of a particular webpage’s content has been seen. However, for the event only fires in enhanced measurement when the user has reached approximately 90% depth of the webpage. This setting cannot be changed.
Outbound Clicks (click)
Click event is used for outbound measurements. The event is tracked when a user clicks a link each time on a website that leads away from the current domain. Outbound click events are tracked by default for all clicks leading away from the current website. According to GA, outbound are those domains not included in the cross-domain tracking list. If your website has multiple domains, click event may need additional configuration. Some of the event parameters sent along with this event include link_classes, link_domain, link_url, link_id, etc.
view_search_results is the event used for this measurement option. This event will be sent to GA4 if the page loads and the webpage URL contains any one of the following query parameters mentioned below:
Let’s take an example. Consider the following URL of a particular search results page:
https://www.abc.com/search?key=my+search+term, then you should enter the word “key” without quotation marks. At least one parameter is usually sent with the search event but you can configure more.
Another interesting detail that can be tracked through enhanced measurement is the interactions of the video embedded on your website. These are the events that are automatically captured:
This is sent when a user starts watching a video
This is sent when the user reaches a particular video threshold such as 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, etc.
This event is sent when the visitor completes watching the video
Various event parameters such as video_current_time, video_duration, video_percent, video_provider, video_title, etc are automatically tracked by this feature.
As the name implies, This event is tracked when a downloading of a file is detected each time a link is clicked by the user. The event is used to track a wide range of file extensions, all of which are common file types such as:
- Compressed File
If you want to track any other extension not on this list, it must be done by setting up an event in the Google Tag Manager.
Enabling & Disabling GA4 Enhanced Measurement
As explained in the intro that the various interactions occurred on your website can be tracked using events by enabling options, here is how they are done:
Pros & Cons of Using GA4 enhanced measurement
As mentioned, GA4 enhanced measurement allows website owners to collect additional events without any additional implementation. Even though this might look like a quick way to track more user interactions on your website and gain more data, some pros and cons are worth considering before enabling the enhanced measurements.
While they may provide an easy way to set up tracking, it is essential to have full control over what is being collected and how. Implementing the enhanced measurements by yourself is a wise option to get more control over Analytics. The events can be named the same way they would be named if enhanced measurements are enabled and you can reuse some of the parameters that are already being sent. Alright, let’s see what are the pros and cons of using enhanced measurements.
Easy to use
This is one of the main advantages of using enhanced measurements. With a few clicks, you can enable them and they work right out of the box. This makes it valuable for those businesses not having enough resources to invest in complex dedicated analytics.
Lack of customization
If you are looking for extensive customization and control over individual measurements, this is not the place as they are limited. For example, if you are tracking page_views through enhanced measurements and want to add an additional event say, a page_type, you can’t do that.
The accuracy of some events is also a concern especially with form interactions as they have been proven to be the least accurate of the various enhanced measurements. Just like every other automated system, enhanced measurements also rely on certain prerequisites which must be available for it to work. If your website doesn’t meet those requirements, the events might not work or can be inaccurate.
GA4 enhanced measurements without a doubt are a useful addition to GA4 tracking capabilities. Understanding how users engage with your website and the contents help provide valuable insights that improve user experience and conversion rates. With enhanced measurement, you can easily start collecting additional insights without altering your code. However, it’s highly essential to consider the pros and cons before enabling them for your digital marketing campaign.
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