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  • . Track Custom Parameters for Click Events in GA4

    Posted by Abigail on 11 November 2022 at 2:23 am

    Hey there, we recently stepped up our game and upgraded to GA4. Before that, we used a code to track our events (check it out below):

    `javascript
    ga(‘send’, { hitType: ‘event’, eventAction: ‘test_cameron’, eventCategory: document.title });
    `

    After the upgrade, the code took this form:

    `javascript
    gtag(‘event’, ‘test_cameron’, { event_category: document.title });
    `

    Thanks to the update, we can list our new custom event alongside the standard ones like clicks and page views that GA4 tracks.

    But there’s a hiccup. You see, we have over a hundred custom events, most of which are really just clicks masked with our custom names. We’re worried this might make our event list a messy pile of information.

    Ideally, we’d like to file all these events under one big ‘click event’ folder and use custom names as filters. But we don’t know whether this is possible in GA4 or how to go about it. And the idea of manually sorting everything in GA4 itself doesn’t sound fun at all. We’d love to be able to add more parameters to the standard click event instead.

    We tried this avenue, creating what you see here:

    `javascript
    gtag(‘event’, ‘click’, { event_label: ‘test_cameron’, event_category: document.title });
    `

    We hoped that we’d be able to track the clicks via the event_label, but we couldn’t find these labels anywhere in the GA4 UI events.

    And now we’re worried. Will doing this cause GA4 to track both the automatic click tracking and our new custom click code? This could result in doubled data for clicks. Is creating custom events the best way to track specific clicks? We’re not sure. Can you help us?

    Morgan replied 11 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Emma

    Member
    28 April 2023 at 5:54 am

    In short, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) gives you two main ways to track user interactions: automatic tracking, where GA4 figures out what to track for you, and custom tracking, where you code specific events you want to monitor.

    Now, your concern is that you’re tracking a lot of custom events (mostly clicks) that might look messy in the GA4 interface. You hoped to group all these different clicks under one mega ‘click event’, and the way you tried this was by tagging your custom clicks as ‘click’ events and giving them unique labels. This would, in theory, let you filter clicks by these labels and thus see each custom click’s data individually while keeping your events dashboard clean.

    But you’ve run into problems: namely, you can’t find these custom click labels anywhere in GA4, and you’re worried that your custom click tracking overlaps with GA4’s automatic click tracking, which might duplicate your data.

    Unfortunately, GA4 doesn’t currently support categorizing events the way you’re trying to do it — but don’t fret. You can instead use Google’s recommended approach of creating custom events for each of your unique click events, just like you were doing before. Though you might initially find it more cluttered, the extra organization can help you better analyze your interactions in the long run.

    Concerning the double counting of clicks, if you use GA4’s automatic click tracking and your custom click events together, you indeed might count some clicks twice. To avoid this, you’ll have to turn off GA4’s automatic click tracking if you decide to track clicks with custom events — or vice versa.

    Lastly, if leaving automatic click tracking on for some reason is not an option, then yes, creating custom events might be your best bet. But, if you have the flexibility, utilizing both automatic and custom tracking can yield the most comprehensive picture of user engagement on your site.

  • Morgan

    Member
    3 May 2023 at 11:55 am

    In Google Analytics 4, you can indeed use a large number of custom event parameters, which can be beneficial for detailed usage tracking. The downside you discovered is that too many custom events can convolute and overwhelm your ‘Event’ reporting. In GA4, defining a custom ‘click’ event different from the automatic click tracking performed by GA4 could indeed result in increased data, as GA4 might track both. Instead of creating custom events for each click, consider utilizing event parameters to differentiate between various clicks. However, the information you provide via parameters like ‘event_label’ might not show up as clearly in default GA4 reports. You may need to use the ‘Analysis Hub’ to customize your reports and extract the desired insights. While this might require a bit of setting up initially, it should offer a cleaner solution in the long run. It is highly advisable to take time and consider the best strategy for tracking events that suits your needs.

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