Find out how often each document on a page has been downloaded

Google Analytics can tell you if people are downloading documents on individual Mass.gov pages.

Overview

Note: This article focuses on downloads by Mass.gov page. You can also look up how often a document has been downloaded on all Mass.gov pages.

You can use Google Analytics to look up all the document downloads that happened on a page. If you don’t have access to Google Analytics, Massachusetts Digital Service is happy to grant you access. Here’s how to associate your state email with a Google Account. You’ll need to do this before we can give you a Google Analytics login.

Getting Started

This article assumes that you are logged into the Mass.gov (Drupal) property and are looking at the All Public Traffic view. You can verify that this is true in the upper left:

Make sure you are logged into the Mass.gov (Drupal) Google Analytics property.

If it doesn’t, click the drop-down arrow and select the correct property--Mass.gov (Drupal)--and view--All Public Traffic.

Step 1: Find the “Events by page” report

Navigate to: Behavior -> Events -> Pages

The "pages" events report is located beneath the "Events" report, which is beneath the "Behavior" report.

Step 2: Search for the page where your document lives

Use the search bar in the middle right of the screen to search for the page you’re interested in. Search by URL without the domain name -- i.e. don’t include https://www.mass.gov. For example, if you want to look up www.mass.gov/service-details/example-page, you’ll search /service-details/example-page, or just example-page.

When the page you’re looking for appears in the table, click it.

After you search for your page, click the link in the table.

Step 3: Find the "Click to download file" category

The leftmost column in the table – the one with the Event Category header – lists the types of interactions being tracked across Mass.gov. To look up downloads, locate the item titled “Click to download file.” (It's possible that you will need to click to the second page of table results.)

Choose the "Click to download file" item in the "Event Category" column.

Step 4: Click "Download file link"

Once you've clicked "Click to download file," a new set of results will load in the table. Click "Download file link." (This will likely be the only option in the table.) If you don’t see it, it could be that there haven’t been any downloads in the time range you have set, or that they are being filtered out by sampling.

Step 5: Filter & interpret the data

You should now see a list of URLs under the column headed “Event label.” The “Total events” column shows the total number of downloads, while the “Unique events” column is the number of sessions in which a file was downloaded.

See the number of total downloads and sessions with a download in the 2nd and 3rd columns.

You can apply a date filter (in the upper right) and use the search bar to find a specific item in the table.

Need more advanced analytics?

The steps above can help you answer simple questions, but sometimes you need to answer a more complicated question – the number of downloads for multiple documents across multiple pages, for example, or whether documents were downloaded only by people using a particular browser. We can help with this. Let us know what you’re looking to do.