How the Best SEM Companies Use Analytics Click Tracking Data

How The Best SEM Companies use Analytics Tracking
Learn how the best SEM companies leverage Click Tracking Data in GA4 & GTM to optimize marketing strategies. Complete with comprehensive step-by-step guides.

In this article

Why is Click Tracking Important to the Best SEM Companies?

At the forefront of digital marketing, the best SEM companies prioritize the accurate tracking and analysis of click data from both active campaigns and the corresponding websites.

From identifying the most effective keywords and ad campaigns to improving website navigation and user experience, proper click tracking is essential for any business looking to stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing landscape of online marketing.

In this article, we’ll explore why click data analysis is so important for these top-tier SEM companies, and how you can effectively use Google Analytics 4 to begin to differentiate and categorize important segments of your own click data.

By gaining a deeper understanding of your website visitors’ behavior and preferences, you can optimize your campaigns and website to drive higher engagement, more conversions, and ultimately greater ROI.

So let’s dive in and learn more about the power of click data analysis for SEM success.

Onsite vs Outbound vs Offsite Click Tracking

Comparing The 3 Major Types of Click Tracking
Type of Click TrackingDescription
Onsite Click Tracking

Onsite click tracking is a data collection process that involves the monitoring of user clicks on links within a website.

Onsite Click Data is used to gain a deeper understandings of user behavior within the website allowing for quantitative assessments into the efficacy of the website content and related digital marketing campaigns.

Outbound Click Tracking

Outbound click tracking, occurs when a visitor clicks on a website link that takes them to a different website.

Ascertaining the destination of outbound clicks from a website can offer valuable insights for optimizing the site’s performance and identifying potential partnership opportunities.  Since this Outbound Click tracking ability is packaged in with Enhanced Engagements, we’ll spend the least amount of time on this click-type.

Offsite Click Tracking

Offsite click tracking involves the monitoring of clicks on links on external sources.

This form of tracking is utilized to determine the efficacy of marketing campaigns, including those involving Google Ads, social media, email marketing, and affiliate marketing.

Did You Know Onsite Click Tracking Is Not A Default in G4’s Enhanced Measurements?

Thanks to sophisticated tools such as Google Analytics 4, the best SEM companies are able to leverage click tracking data quickly and effectively.

However, onsite click tracking is not included with the default Enhanced Engagements click-tracking within G4. These default settings are designed to track ‘Outbound Clicks‘ only by default.

We explain how to expand your Google Analytics 4 tracking to include onsite click data below with the additional use of Google Tag Manager.

Review of G4’s Enhanced Measurement features

(feel free to skip this section if you’ve already set up Enhanced Measurement)

Enhanced Measurement is a default feature in Google Analytics 4 that allows for the automatic tracking of various user engagement events on a website.

These events include:

  • Page view (event name: page_view)
  • Scroll (event name: scroll)
  • Outbound link click (event name: click with the parameter outbound: true)
  • Site search (event name: view_search_results)
  • Video Engagement (events: video_start, video_progress, video_complete)
  • File Download (event name: file_download)
enhanced engagements g4 example
Check if Enhanced Engagements are Enabled in Google Analytics 4 by following these steps:
  1. Log in to your Google Analytics 4 account.
  2. Click on the “Admin” gear icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  3. Select the property where you want to enable click tracking.
  4. Click on “Data Streams” in the “Property” column.
  5. Click on the “Web” data stream where you want to enable click tracking.
  6. Scroll down to the “Enhanced Measurement” section and toggle on the switch for “Engagement.” 

Tracking Onsite Clicks with Tag Manager & Google Analytics 4 Custom Events

One of the most basic ways to understand onsite user behavior is by tracking and analyzing onsite user clicks.

Since Enhanced Engagements in Google Analytics 4 does not capture onsite clicks by default, we need to set up some Custom Events in Google Tag Manager to do the job. 

Initially, we will establish a comprehensive Trigger and Tag combination to capture all onsite clicks before delving into more particular types, such as menu clicks or important Call-to-Action links.

Google Tag Manager: A Generic 'All Clicks' Tracking Setup Example

Steps in OrderDescription of Step
1Go to the Triggers tab in Google Tag Manager.
2Click on the New button to create a new trigger.
3Select Click as the trigger type.
4Select Just Links as the trigger subtype.
5Keep the trigger set to All link clicks to ensure that all clicks on links will be tracked.
6Save the trigger.
7Go to the Variables tab in Google Tag Manager.
8In the Built-in Variables section, click on Configure.
9Enable ALL click-related variables to ensure that all click data will be collected.
10Save the changes to the variables.
11Make sure to publish your changes in Google Tag Manager to ensure that the new tracking functionality is live on your website.
all clicks trigger in google tag manager
STEP 4 From Above
google tag manager built in click variables
STEP 9 From Above

Creating a Clear and Organized Hierarchy for Tracking Website Events

When using Google Tag Manager, it’s important to establish a clear and organized hierarchy for tracking website events.

One useful strategy is to utilize the built-in click variables provided by Google Tag Manager, such as Click Element, Click Classes, and Click ID. These variables can help to identify specific elements on a page and provide a more detailed picture of user behavior.

List of included variables & definitions:

Click TextThe text of the element that was clicked. Example: “click for more reviews”
Click ClassesThe classes of the element that was clicked.
Click IDThe ID of the element that was clicked.
Click TargetThe target of the element that was clicked.
Click URLThe URL of the element that was clicked.
Click ElementThe DOM element that was clicked.

For example, let’s say you have a website that sells products and you want to track user clicks on the “Add to Cart” button.

You could use the Click ID variable to identify the button element by its unique ID, such as “add-to-cart-button“. Alternatively, you could use the Click Classes variable to identify the button element by its class name, such as “btn-add-to-cart“.

In addition to these built-in click variables, you can also establish your own naming conventions for website elements based on their function or purpose. For instance, you might name all product images with a “product-image” prefix, followed by the specific product name. This would allow you to track clicks on product images across the entire website and gain insights into which products are generating the most interest.

Similarly, you could use a consistent naming convention for all navigation links, such as “nav-link” followed by the page or section name. This would enable you to track user clicks on navigation links and identify which pages or sections are most popular.

Establishing a coherent and uniform naming system for website elements can facilitate the optimization of tracking procedures and provide significant insights into user behavior for both individual marketers and top SEM companies.

Creating Custom Categories of Click Data Using Built-in Variables

Having a clear and organized hierarchy for tracking website events is essential for making sense of the data and identifying trends. By utilizing the built-in click variables and establishing your own naming conventions, you can create a system that is both efficient and effective.

Once you have a solid foundation in place, you can start to think about additional groupings or categories of click data that might be relevant to your website or business. The list below provides some examples, but it is by no means exhaustive. The key is to be creative and think about what information would be most useful to you.

With a little planning and effort, you can create a click tracking system that will give you the insights you need to improve your website and increase your conversions.

Additional groupings or categories of Click Data might include any of the following:

Menu clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to different sections of a website.
Call-to-action clicksThese are clicks on links that encourage visitors to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
Form clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to a form or form steps.
Button clicksThese are clicks on buttons, these might be form submissions, check-out, etc.
Image clicksThese are clicks on images.
Video clicksThese are clicks on links that play or take visitors to onsite videos.
Audio clicksThese are clicks on links that begin audio or take visitors to onsite audio content.
Quiz clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to onsite quizzes.
Poll clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to onsite polls.
Chat clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to onsite chat windows.
Download clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to downloadable content.
Subscription clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to subscription pages.
Donation clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to donation pages.
Contact clicksThese are clicks on links that take visitors to contact pages.

How to Track Specific Custom Clicks with Google Analytics 4 & GTM

Sometimes you may just want to track a specific link click or grouping of link clicks.

Let’s use a specific Call-To-Action link click as our example.

Perhaps we want to track all Link Clicks with Click Text  “Order Here”

First, you need to create a trigger with correct conditions that distinguish any click from a specific Call-to-Action link click.

Steps In OrderGoogle Tag Manager
1Triggers > New
2Trigger Type > Click
3Trigger Subtype > Just Links
4Advanced Settings > Click Text > contains Order Here
STEP 4 From Above

Next you’ll need to create an event Tag.

Steps In OrderGoogle Tag Manager
1Create a new Google Analytics 4 event Tag.
2Go to Tags > New > Google Analytics: GA4 Event.
3Select your existing GA 4 Configuration tag.
4Enter the event name, for example: order_here, order_here_click, or any value of your choice.
5Save the tag.
Custom Event Naming

Custom event naming presents a vast range of possibilities. In this specific case, the custom event label “order_here_click” was assigned.

However, in more intricate scenarios, such as when multiple links share the “Order Here” text but may point to different products or URLs, additional information like the Click URL may be necessary.

The inclusion of extra event parameters can address this requirement. Here we’ll use an event parameter Value called “Click_URL“.

Adding Extra Event Parameters

In this scenario, the new custom parameter to be created is ‘order_here_click_url‘.

Next, a variable must be inserted into the Value field that will provide the URL of the clicked item.

Google Tag Manager has a built-in variable called ‘Click URL‘ that can be used for this purpose.

To insert the variable, click on the ‘Insert Variable‘ button and select the ‘{{Click URL}}’ variable.

Here’s the same process STEP by STEP (starting with a Tag in GTM. Note: this could be a new Tag or a Tag we created earlier in this article.)

Steps in GTMGoogle Tag Manager
1Give this tag a descriptive name such as ‘Order Here Click Tag’.
2Under ‘Tag Configuration‘, select your existing GA4 configuration tag from the dropdown menu.
3In the ‘Event Name‘ field, we enter ‘order_here_click‘.
4Expand the ‘Event Parameters‘ section.
5Click on ‘Add Row‘.
6In the ‘Name‘ field, enter ‘order_here_click_url‘.
7In the ‘Value‘ field, click on ‘Insert Variable‘.
8Select the built-in variable ‘{{Click URL}}‘ from the list.
9You can Save the tag by clicking on ‘Save‘ in the top right corner of the page.
10Navigate to the ‘Triggers‘ section of the container.
11Select the trigger that you want to fire the ‘Order Here Click Event Tag‘ tag when the specified action occurs on your website. We use the Order Here Click Trigger from the example above.
12You can Save the trigger by clicking on ‘Save‘ in the top right corner of the page.
13You could now Preview &Publish your container to push the changes live on your website.

Adding Your Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics 4

Custom parameters can provide valuable information, but they must be properly registered within the GA4 interface in order to use them in reporting and analysis.

Steps to Register Custom Parameters in GA4:


1Go to the Admin section of your Google Analytics 4 property.
2Click on the “Custom Definitions” tab.
3Click on the “Custom Dimensions” button.
4Click on the “Create Custom Dimension” button.
5In the “Dimension Name” field, enter a name for your custom dimension.
6In the “Scope” field, select the scope of your custom dimension.
7In the “Event Parameter” field, select the data type of your custom dimension.
8Click on the “Save” button.

Once you have registered your custom parameters, you can use them in various reporting tools and analysis methods such as Funnel exploration, Free Form, and standard reports.

It is important to remember that registering custom parameters is an important step towards gaining valuable insights into user behavior and optimizing your marketing strategies. By following these simple steps, you can make sure that your custom parameters are properly registered and ready for use in your GA4 reports.

custom definitions G4 example

Custom Dimensions Can Help You Understand Your Audience Better

In today’s data-driven world, custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 have become an increasingly popular tool for businesses looking to gain insights into their customers’ needs and preferences.

It is important to note, however, that custom dimensions are not a one-stop solution. They should be used alongside other data sources and analysis methods to be truly effective.

Additionally, businesses must choose custom dimensions that are relevant to their goals and objectives. By doing so, they can make informed decisions that are based on a more complete picture of their customers, and drive long-term success in today’s competitive market.

Click Data Benefits the Best SEM Companies, Small Businesses, and Individuals!

Click tracking through Google Analytics 4 can offer valuable insights into user behavior, enabling businesses and individuals to enhance marketing strategies and improve website design.

Custom parameters can be especially advantageous for the best SEM companies, facilitating the creation of personalized, targeted campaigns that appeal to potential customers.

We hope that this article has been informative in highlighting the benefits of properly utilizing Click Tracking & Click Data parameters for data-driven decision-making in Google Analytics 4.

It is important to keep in mind that Google Analytics 4 and GTM are constantly evolving, and this article will be updated to reflect any new developments or updates.

ps – If you’d like to see more examples, let us know in the comments below and we will try to accommodate! 

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