How to Track Link Clicks on Google Analytics

Brody Hall
By Brody Hall
Romi Hector
Reviewed by Romi Hector

Published May 16, 2022.

A businessman looking at data with an overlay of a graph showing an increase

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic and one of the best e-commerce analytics tools. One of the features of Google Analytics is its ability to track link clicks.

When a user clicks on a link on a website that has been tracked by Google Analytics, the service records information about the click, such as the date and time, the type of link clicked, and where the click originated. This information can help website owners understand how users are interacting with their website and which links are being clicked most often.

How to Use Google Analytics

To use Google Analytics, you’ll need to create a Google account and then add a Google Analytics tracking code to your website. The tracking code will allow Google Analytics to collect data about your website traffic.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new property from the Google Analytics dashboard. To do this, select the "Property" button and enter the website's URL.
  2. Once the website has been verified, click on the "Tracking Code" tab and copy the code.
  3. Add the tracking code to the website. This can be done by adding it to the header within your website’s HTML code of each web page you’d like to track.

To make this process easier, rather than manually adding the code to each web page, some content management systems (CMS) have added streamlined ways to do this. For instance, WordPress has different plugins that automatically integrate the code into a website. Shopify also has a built-in section within its settings where you can paste the code, and it will automatically populate it within a website’s HTML.

However you do it, once the process is complete, you’ll be able to use Google Analytics to track and interpret a wide range of key e-commerce metrics, including:

Why Should You Track Link Clicks?

By tracking how many people click on your links, you can better understand which content is most popular and what types of calls-to-action are most effective. You can also use this information to improve your customer engagement, website design, and make sure that your visitors can find the information they're looking for quickly and easily.

How to Track Link Clicks on Google Analytics

There are a few different ways to track link clicks on Google Analytics. You can either integrate a plugin, set up custom Google Analytics reports, or use Google Tag Manager. We’ll explain the latter as it’s one of the easiest ways.

To track link clicks with Google Tag Manager, simply follow these steps:

  1. Set up a Google Tag Manager account.
  2. Open both Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager in separate browser tabs, as you’ll be jumping in between each platform.
  3. Now, create a Google Analytics variable by navigating to your Google Analytics account’s property settings.
  4. From here, click on “Tracking Info” and copy the tracking ID.
  5. Next, from the Tag Manager dashboard, click on “Variables” and then “New.”
  6. Then, click “Google Analytics Settings” under the "Utilities" tab.
  7. From here, paste the Google Analytics Tracking ID you copied earlier and click "Save."
  8. Ensure that all click-related variables are enabled—To do this, navigate to the “Variables” portion of the menu and click “Configure.”
  9. Click all the checkboxes listed under the “Clicks” portion of this submenu.
  10. Next up, we’ll need to create a link trigger. Call the trigger whatever you like, just be sure to select the “All Link Click” checkbox.
  11. Once that’s done, create a tag by clicking “Tags” > “New” > “Google Analytics” > “Event.”
  12. Fill out the relevant information and click "Save."
  13. Repeat this process for each link type you’d like to track.

Once you’ve completed this process, you can now track links from your Google Analytics dashboard. To do this, click on “Realtime” > “Events” > “ Top Events”. From this portion of Google Analytics, you’ll be able to check in with the variables you set up earlier, whether that be the number of clicks, how much time is spent on a page, etc.