You don’t need a tuxedo for this kind of event. Find out how to start tracking the events in your website or app and which are the most relevant tools in the market today.
What is an event?
A word that you definitely heard when working in product analytics is “Event”. According to Amplitude, an event is:
“any distinct action a user can perform in your product (e.g. add to cart) or any activity associated with a user (e.g. in-app-notifications, push notifications).”
To be a little more specific, an event can be a slide, a scroll, a click, a download, a text field being filled, a page loading, an audio or video playing. Usually, every event is tagged with the user action’s name as well as the element type and its name. So you can usually find, for example, events like “Create Account”, “Share Blog Post”, “Play Tutorial”, “Brochure download” or “Select Option”, to name a few.
An event may or may not be a conversion. There are things that people do on your website and that aren’t necessarily your main goal, but you want to be aware of them.
For example, an event can be “download a PDF” (something you want people to do on your page). However, an event can also be clicking on a button that leads to an external website, such as a button that leads to a customer’s site (something you don’t want people to do). With events, you can track when traffic is sent to the external page and from there improve your strategy.
Events are not just about clicking this or that, they also allow you to visualize the context in which those clicks occur. You can usually view details such as activity duration, the time of day when it happened, from which device it was made & where the person was geographically located.
At Google Analytics, for example, with each event, you can send parameters (additional pieces of metadata that add more context to the event). They can be used to provide context about the event that occurred and where, how, and why it occurred.
These metrics can help you paint a clear picture of usage patterns for any website or digital product, like mobile applications.
Why would you want to track events then?
Usage data tends to be much more reliable than just relying on qualitative information (such as user surveys or product testing).
For product teams, data can bring you a more complete picture and let you make the right decision to drive business outcomes and improve the product experience.
It’s not a secret:
To correct or improve your products or applications, you must obtain detailed knowledge about your users.
Tracking the metrics within the product provides that information: you can know in detail how, when & where your users interact with your product’s components.
With the right info, you can stop guessing what your users like and you can really know which features generate more engagement.
Get to know your star features and use them to generate a higher percentage of retention among your users (and therefore, a higher profit).
The big question: How can you start event tracking?
Amplitude also said about events: “When deciding what events to track, it is helpful to think of event categories first.”
Google Analytics records many parameters and events automatically, which allows to obtain a lot of information without so much effort. You can find information about all the pre-established events that Google Analytics has.
Besides, the number of events that can be registered is unlimited. This freedom, if paired with poor planning, can lead to problems in the setup of the data you wish to track.
Problems like: omitted events, poor names, and improper use of properties, can generate complications and prevent you from getting the full value of your data.
On the other hand, keep in mind that although the information may be unlimited, your time to analyze it and apply it to the product is not.
So before you even start tracking events, the most important task you need to do is think carefully about the priorities that your team must respond to, in order to measure them.
If you’re starting, maybe focus on two or three business objectives to pick which events you need to follow. Some objective examples could be improved user acquisition, optimized conversion, increased retention, or improved engagement.
Example time: Suppose that improved engagement is really important at the moment in your company. You have a lot of visitors or downloads, but just a few active users. In the case of a video platform/app, you can begin to track the duration of the plays per user or the number of videos the users upload daily/weekly.
Note: When your company is using a PLG strategy, it is important that you use product-oriented metrics and not simply the same metrics that marketing or sales teams use.
Now you have the basics to know how to track an event, you need to know which tools are available for the task.
Most popular analytics tools
No analytics article will be complete without mentioning the most common and popular analytics tool: Google Analytics.
Although Google Analytics is one of the first tools (and free!) that appeared on the market, it was developed thinking of tracking metrics for websites, at a time when there were only a few actions to perform and everything was more static.
So while it is still one of the best tools in general, it is not the best for tracking events within digital products.
In response to this, many other competitors have emerged and have established themselves as leaders in the area, such as Amplitude, Mixpanel, Hotjars, Looker, Heap, and Pendo.
These types of tools, unlike Google Analytics, allow you to choose which metrics you want to see by default and are designed for product team collaboration. They also offer a much friendlier user interface and clear terminology.
In this sea of product analytics applications and complex metric reports, what does Palabra add?
At Palabra, we analyze the needs of product teams. Thanks to this, we have developed a tool capable of displaying data easily with a super friendly interface for non-coders.
In short, you can see in real-time the paths that users have taken in your product (even drop-off) and all the possible combinations, just with a few clicks. It’s simpler and painless.
Solidify the foundations of your product team by tracking the correct events with the right tools. Book a discovery call and start learning how to unleash the power of event tracking.