How to Track Link Clicks in Google Analytics and WordPress

How to Track Link Clicks in Google Analytics and WordPress

Wondering if you can track link clicks in Google Analytics and WordPress? Good news: You can!

Whether you’re hoping to track clicks on links to other sites, affiliates, call to action buttons, or other kind of link, you can do just that.

In this article, we’ll go over how to track multiple different kinds of links and buttons on your WordPress site with Google Analytics.

Types of Links in WordPress to Track with Google Analytics

There are many different types of links on a WordPress site that can be tracked with Google Analytics. Let’s take a look.

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  • Outbound links: Links leading to other domains outside of your own site
  • Affiliate links: Many bloggers and other content creators use affiliate links to generate revenue (to Amazon products, for example)
  • Form submit buttons: Make these buttons trigger a goal or event so you can see your converting traffic in Google Analytics
  • File download links or buttons: Find out how many visitors are downloading your available assets
  • Click to call links: Visitors on mobile can click a “tel” link to call you
  • Add to cart buttons: See how many times your products are getting added to carts
  • Call to action buttons: Have a button in your header, for example, that leads to a conversion page? Track how many clicks that’s getting.
  • Media clicks: How many people are clicking the play button on your videos?

Those are the main types of links and buttons on a WordPress site. Tracking them used to be more difficult, with custom code necessary for each link or button.

Luckily, there’s a pretty amazing plugin for WordPress that can help you set up tracking for all of these different types of links.

For the rest of this tutorial, we’ll be using ExactMetrics.

Track Clicks in WordPress with ExactMetrics

ExactMetrics is the best premium WordPress analytics plugin. With ExactMetrics, there’s a whole list of things you can set up and monitor in Google Analytics and your WordPress dashboard, plus a ton of link and button click tracking features.

ExactMetrics Google Analytics Plugin

Our most popular features include:

With ExactMetrics, all your most important metrics are right there in your WordPress dashboard.

Get started with ExactMetrics now!

Now, we’ll go over some different link types and talk about how to track them.

Outbound Link Tracking

Tracking outbound links is incredibly helpful for a several reasons. First of all, you can track what your audience is the most interested in, then try to add content on your own site that satisfies that need.

For instance, let’s say you have a link to a certain product, and you’re not an affiliate for it. If it’s getting lots of clicks, perhaps you should reach out and see if they have an affiliate program.

Or, maybe you’re linking out to some statistics on email marketing (or whatever’s relevant to your industry). If that link is getting a lot of clicks, maybe it’s worth it to add a post on your own site about those statistics.

To track outbound links with ExactMetrics, all you have to do is install the plugin. That’s it! ExactMetrics will automatically begin tracking your outbound links. For help installing ExactMetrics, read how to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site.

Then, find the report in your WordPress dashboard under ExactMetrics » Reports » Publishers.

top outbound links

Affiliate Link Tracking

If you’re an affiliate, tracking your links is really important. Sure, you might get some data about how many clicks there were in a report from your affiliate, but wouldn’t it be great to see that data in your own analytics?

Plus, with your affiliate link data in your Google Analytics account, you can find out more data about those link clicks. What pages were visitors on when they clicked? What are the demographics of those who clicked the most? Did your traffic that clicked affiliate links come mostly from organic, referral, or another channel?

Affiliate link tracing is easy to set up using ExactMetrics and Pretty Links. For a full tutorial, read How to Track Affiliate Links in WordPress (the Easy Way).

Top affiliate links report

Form Submit Buttons

How many of your visitors are submitting your forms? You can see these numbers at a glance in the ExactMetrics dashboard. All you have to do to set up this feature is install ExactMetrics at the Pro level, and tracing will be set up for you.

Plus, you’ll also be able to see the number impressions and the conversion rate for each form, so you can easily see how they’re performing.

ExactMetrics Forms Report

File Download Links or Buttons

If you have files available for download on your site, you definitely want to know how many of your visitors are downloading them.

Luckily, ExactMetrics can track those downloads with no coding needed. Simply install the plugin, configure the types of files you’d like to track, and they’ll be tracked. You can track pdf, zip, docx, xlsx, and more.

file download settings exactmetrics

Once you have file download tracking set up, you’ll get a report of all downloads on your site:

file downloads exactmetrics

For a full tutorial, check out How to Set Up Google Analytics File Download Tracking.

Click to Call Links

Want to know how many people are clicking on the telephone link on your site to call you from their mobile device? Especially if you’re a local business that relies on people calling you, it’s definitely important to track those calls.

When you install ExactMetrics, the plugin will automatically create an event for you in Google Analytics. Your report will look like this, where tel is the number of calls:

tel event category

For a full tutorial, check out How to Track Phone Calls in Google Analytics (the Easy Way).

Add to Cart Buttons

If you’re running an eCommerce store, this is a big one. How many times are shoppers adding items to their carts?

ExactMetrics users have a whole eCommerce report that they can access within their WordPress dashboard:

ExactMetrics eCommerce Report

Plus, ExactMetrics tracks add to carts automatically. As long as you set up eCommerce tracking (available at the Pro license level), your eCommerce report will include Add to Cart events:

Add to cart metrics

Call to Action Buttons

Want to know how many times your users are clicking those carefully placed call to action buttons on your site?

With ExactMetrics, there are a couple ways to do that.

First, you can use a feature called Enhanced Link Attribution. This method just involves turning on the feature in your settings, then installing a Chrome extension. Once you do both of those things, you’ll be able to see a report like this with clicks on your CTAs:

Page Analytics Flags

For the full instructions, read Ultimate Guide to Enhanced Link Attribution in Google Analytics.

The other method of link click tracking is slightly more advanced, but still pretty easy. To make ExactMetrics send a custom event to Google Analytics when a link is clicked, you just need to add a little code snippet to your HTML that looks like this:

<a href="" data-vars-ga-category="Category goes here" data-vars-ga-action="Action goes here" data-vars-ga-label="Label goes here">Example</a>

So, if you’re tracking clicks on a header CTA to your donate page, for instance, your link might look like this:

<a href="" data-vars-ga-category="CTA" data-vars-ga-action="click" data-vars-ga-label="header-donate-button">Example</a>

After inserting that code, you’ll be able to access the data in the Events report area in Google Analytics.

Media Clicks

How many of your visitors are clicking on your videos? Are they watching them half way through, or more? Find out with the ExactMetrics Media Addon. With the Plus plan and up, you can simply install the addon to track video events. You’ll then be able to see a report in Google Analytics of video impressions and the percentage watched.

Vimeo video analytics by event action

That’s it! We hope this article has helped you track your link and button clicks in WordPress and Google Analytics.

Did you know there are even more “extra” things you can track in Google Analytics when you use ExactMetrics? Check out Google Analytics Custom Dimensions: Complete Beginner’s Guide.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the latest Google Analytics tutorials.

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