A couple of weeks ago we shared an events list for e-commerce sites. But this is the article for you if your business website’s primary purpose is to encourage people to fill out a form on your site or to get in touch with you.
A reminder: what is an event?
An event is simply any interaction on your site that GA4 records for you.
If you know what is being recorded, then you’ll be able to:
- interpret your GA4 reports
- understand what your GA4 set-up can report on, even if there isn’t a report already set-up for it.
Importantly if you can’t see one or more of the events below in your GA4 event report, then Google Analytics will not be able to report on that interaction for you.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’ll only be able to report on an event from the date you start collecting it. So it’s good to think about what you might also want to report on in the future.
The generate_lead event
This is your single most important event. This is the interaction that the rest of your site builds towards: the completion of the form. You could call this interaction anything you want to.
But please don’t!
Instead, you should use this exact nomenclature. This is because Google will recognise its meaning. Over time they will provide more and more functions within GA4 and the Google ecosystem that makes use of this event. For example:
- standard reports that will be tailored to the specific need of lead gen sites;
- used in the algorithms that will guide your automated Google Ads campaigns.
Seeing your events
Simply go to your “Events report” in GA4 by going to Reports > Engagement > Events)).
Make sure you can see all the following events in your report:
|1||page_view||Each time the page is loaded by the user (or the page is updated automatically). A view will be reported.|
|2||user_engagement||A bit of a Google mystery! but... User engagement is the amount of time someone spends with your web page in focus (i.e. they haven't disapeared off to another browser tab or window) so it measures when users are actively using your site. This leads to the various engagement metrics you'll see in your reports. Much better metrics than the old GA3 "Time on site"!|
|3||session_start||When a user starts using your site. A session initiates when a user views a page when no session is currently active (e.g. their previous session has timed out). By default, a session ends (times out) after 30 minutes of user inactivity. There is no limit to how long a session can last.|
|4||first_visit||The first time a user visits. This will also trigger a session_start and a page_view event at the same time|
|5||scroll||The first time a user reaches the bottom of the page (Note if you have an Attacat advacned or Intermediate set-up, this is triggerred at various scroll points on the page)|
|6||click||User clicks a link to a third party site (Outbound clicks)|
|7||generate_lead||Your most important one! Get it configured so it's triggered whenever someone does something on your site (e.g. fills out a landing page form) that you would consider to represent the succesful generation of a new lead. You'll also want to mark this event as a "conversion".|
You may also want some or all of the below events set up too:
|1||form_start||When a user starts to fill out a form (limited to once per session per form). This could be any form on the site from newsletter sign up in the footer, landing pages and your main contact form. If you have a login on the site this is also seen as a form.|
|2||form_submit||When the user submits a form (any form) on your site. You'll also want any lead generation forms to trigger this event in addition to the generate_lead event. This is because form_submit is a standard GA4 event and Google will likely provide reports and functionality that make use of it.|
|3||contact_form_submission||A user filling out your contact form and succesfully submitting it. You'll normally want to be able to differentiate these submission from other forms, not least because they often represent customer support enquiries and other non-sales enquiries.|
|4||contact_email_click||When a user clicks on (or touches on a mobile) your email address on your site. Typically this launches their email client.|
|5||contact_phone_click||When a user clicks on your phone number on your site to initiate a call. This is usally only done by smartphone users but some desktop users may also have the capability to do this. You obviously won't capture anyone who manually dials the number into their phone with this event (that activity can be captured using phone tracking that uses dynamic phone numbers)|
|6||contact_live_chat||When a user contacts you through live chat. (This is a suprisingly hard event to configure as it relies on your live chat provider to provide non-ambiguous signals - something they seem to not give much thought to)|
|7||file_download||When a user clicks a link to download a file (with a common file extension) such as a document, executable file (.exe), presentation, compressed file (.zip), video or audio file. Examples: brochure, sales deck|
|8||brochure_download||User downloads a brochure (All brochure downloads will also trigger a file_download event)|
|9||white_paper_download||User downloads a white paper. (Note: white_paper_download and brochure_download are just examples of any number of events you could configure depending on what's useful for you. Got a product spec sheet? Create a product_spec_download event and so on.|
|10||view_[insert custom page type]||Many businesses will have particular page types that they want to get users to look at as it represents a higer level of engagement than normal. For example product information pages, or specific location pages or a market tracker. Although these will be tracked as page_view events, it can be worth giving them this additional treatment as a means to grouping them or a desire to record more than the standard page_view information|
|11||view_search_results||Each time a user is presented with a search results page i.e. someone uses your site's search function. Note: many sites now have dynamic search where users may get result previews and therefore the search may not be recorded without customisation. See "search" event|
|12||search||When someone enters a search into your in site search. This is subtly different to the view_search_result event which is triggered when a results page is shown. "search" will only be triggered if you configure it. You'll want to get it configured if you have a dynamic search so you capture all the search terms your customers are using.|
|13||share||A user uses a share button on your site e.g. to share your blog post on social media|
|14||newsletter_subscription_all||When a user signs up to the newsletter via any means (i.e. combines all the other newsletter sign-up types)|
|15||newsletter_subscription_footer||Newsletter sign-up via a footer form|
|16||newsletter_subscription_page||Newsletter sign-up from the newsletter page|
|17||menu_open||User opens your site's menu (restaurants, tread carefully here!! We are talking site navigation, not your delicious offerings available to order!)|
|18||menu_item_click||User clicks on a link in the menu.|
|19||menu_promo_click||User clicks on a link in the menu that has been given special attention (e.g. a highlight image).|
|20||menu_close||User closes menu without clicking an option|
|21||open_faq||User clicks an FAQ accordion|
|22||video_start||When a YouTube video, embedded in the right way, starts playing.|
|23||video_progress||When a user watches an embedded YouTube and gets past the 10%, 25%, 50%, and 75% duration time|
|24||video_complete||When a user reaches the end of an embedded YouTube video|
|25||login||A user logs in.|
|26||sign_up||When a user creates an account. It should be kept for when a user creates an account/login rather than just entering an email address to, say, subscribe to an email list. It should measure the popularity of each sign-up method e.g. Google account, email). It's possible that you would also consider someone signing up for an account to also be a new lead. In which case you might want to get your site configured so a user creating a login triggers both a sign_up event and a generate_lead event.|
Only able to see a small portion of the above events?
(Warning. Build up to the sales pitch!)
You are not alone! There is a common view that GA should just work. This is not helped by Google saying they will set your GA4 property up automatically for you.
GA has never been a “does everything straight out of the box product”. It does, and always has, required a lot of technical configuration to take full advantage of its capabilities. So if you can’t see those events, and want to be able to report on them, you will need to get them configured.
Whilst some web developers may be able to do it for you, our experience is that it’s not something they have the specialist knowledge to do well. That’s really not surprising given the number of bases a modern web dev needs to be able to cover.
GA configuration requires a very specific combination of marketing and technical skills. It also requires some pretty forensic levels of testing and issue resolution to make sure you are not only recording the data you need, but that you are also recording it accurately and in a privacy-compliant way.
So can Attacat help?
But of course! 😊