You can report on and analyze data about which links and buttons people click across your content.
Data that describes interactions — link clicks, button clicks, form submissions, video plays, etc. — is called events data in Google Analytics. Events data can help you understand what people are actually doing when they visit your Mass.gov pages and other Commonwealth websites and apps.
Events in Google Analytics typically refer to user interactions with content. Button clicks, link clicks, and video watches are all examples.
Events reports, including for specific pages, are found under the Behavior report in Google Analytics.
Events reports are located in the "Behavior" section in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics separates page views from events, as one page view might include many events.
You can analyze and report on events based on the metadata associated with them.
For example, each link click is associated with the page it happened on, the content type of the page, and the organization that owns that content. In addition, we keep track of the text that the user clicked, the URL clicked, and the Mass.gov component clicked (e.g., if the link click was a Mosaic image click on an Organization page, an inline link, a footer link, etc.).
You can find this information most easily if you’re familiar with these standard Google Analytics terms:
Event category shows the website that the event took place on and the service family (Service page and all its child pages) it took place in. For Mass.gov’s analytics, you will always see “massgov” for the website. If you’ve implemented cross-domain measurement and have access to another Google Analytics property, you may see your site’s name instead.
Event action describes the type of interaction and provides additional contextual data. For example, a link click event would begin with “Link click:” and also provide the actual text that the visitor clicked.
Event label usually shows a click URL.
What it looks like in Google Analytics
The website the event took place on and the service family it took place in.
massgov Department of Public Health
The type of interaction and provides additional contextual data.
Link Click: Apply Online for WIC
If applicable: shows the URL that was clicked.
We have also added a number of custom dimensions to Google Analytics that you can use to look up other interesting data about your events. For example, you can add “organization” or “hit timestamp” to your events reports to see what state organization(s) they’re associated with or the exact times they occurred.
Custom dimension name
What it looks like
All organizations associated with a page. You can add or remove these in the CMS.
The time down to the millisecond the event occurred.
The unique identifier of the session that the event occurred in.
The unique ID of the page that the event occurred on. (Matches the ID in the CMS.)
The Mass.gov component the visitor interacted with.
The content type of the page the event occurred on.
Internal, Outbound, or Download
Whether a click was to an inbound, outbound, or download link.
Shows the full list of service families the page that the event happened on is associated with.
vehicle registration, rmv services at aaa, disability plates and placards
Events reports can also be used to identify the content component that a user interacts with, such as a “Callout button,” “Header logo,” or “inline link.”
There are more than 50 event targets. Here is a sample of what's tracked to give you a sense of what kinds of data you can get:
Callout button link
Highlighted blue links styled as buttons on Service, Organization, and Topic pages.
Rich text link
Any inline link in a rich text section.
Table of contents
Links on any page's table of contents component.
The logo in the site’s header.
Image or associated text for Organization page Mosaics.
Interactions (play, pause, watch 50%, etc.) with videos hosted on Vimeo
Any interaction with a link in a contact information item, including phone numbers
How-to accordion click
A click that expands or closes an action accordion (e.g. for "phone" or "online") on a How-to page
What if I'm not sure what an event target refers to?
You can usually figure out what event targets are referring to by looking at related metadata. For example, look at what kinds of pages a particular event target happens on, check the event action dimension to see the exact text that was clicked, or check the event label dimension for the clicked URL (if it has one). You can also submit a Servicenow request, and we can verify what specifically is being tracked.
Making use of events data
Those of you who have made use of events data in the past, before late 2020, may notice that our events data labeling system is more clear and specific than it used to be.
While no data was lost during this transition, a report whose time boundaries overlapped with these changes will need more advanced filtering to combine old and new labels.
We are happy to assist with creating reports or updating old reports that might be affected. If you’d like our help, send a support request via ServiceNow.