Do you sell ebooks or other digital products on your blog? Then maybe you want to know how many times your visitors have download it. There is a WordPress plugin called MonsterInsights which will help you with accurately track your file downloads with Google Analytics. In this post, I’ll show you how to properly track file downloads in Google Analytics.

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Why is it important to track your file downloads?

If you’re offering downloadable resources to your visitors, you’ll need to know if they’re downloading them. Out of the box, Google Analytics doesn’t support file downloads tracking because those files can’t request a tracking pixel. Due to the fact, nothing is recorded in Analytics’ database and downloads aren’t tracked.

With the MonsterInsights plugin, you can easily enable file downloads tracking in Google Analytics without having to touch a single line of code.

A few benefits of file downloads tracking are:

  • You can discover how popular your downloadable resources are.
  • You can determine which you should offer more of – and which one is a waste of your time.
  • You can save your time and money by only producing the downloads your audience wants.

How to Track File Downloads on Your Website

To enable file downloads tracking, the first thing you need to do is to properly set up Google Analytics in WordPress using MonsterInsights. After the setup, file downloads tracking will be enabled automatically without any further configuration.

File downloads will be tracked as events.

In Google Analytics, events tracking are used to measure user interactions with content like downloads, mobile ad clicks, video plays, etc.

Add More File Extensions to Track as Downloads

By default, MonsterInsights lets you track downloads of the following file extensions: doc, exe, js, pdf, ppt, tgz, zip, xls.

To track downloads of more file extensions, you just need to add it to the Extensions of files to track as downloads field, separated by a comma.

download tracking

Then, click Save.

How to View File Downloads in WordPress

Prerequisites: To view file downloads in WordPress, you’ll need to have the Plus level tier or higher of MonsterInsights.

Step 1: Then, navigate to Insights » Report » Publishers Report.

Step 2: Scroll down to see your downloads.

Downloads Panel in MonsterInsights Publishers Report

How to View File Downloads in Google Analytics

To view file downloads, log in to your Google Analytics account and select the website where you’d like to track file downloads.

click on google analytics view

If you’ve enabled downloads tracking as page views, you can find out the downloads report in the All Pages report along with other blog posts and pages.

This report can be accessed by navigating to Behaviour » Site Content » All Pages.

If you’ve enabled downloads tracking as events, you can see the downloads data in your events report.

In your event reports, navigate to Behavior » Events in the left panel. You’ll now see four different options.

  • Overview: It gives you a summary of top events data of your site
  • Top Events: It shows you a list of events that keep your visitors engaged on your site
  • Pages: It shows you a list of pages in which your downloadable resource is hosted. In other words, it is a list of posts and pages where the events occur on your site.
  • Events Flow: The events flow report helps you discover which events keep your visitors engaged with your site. It also visualizes the path users take from one popular event to another.

To get a detailed report, click on Top Events.

download-tracking-in-google-analytics

Then, click downloads to get a detailed report.

downloads tracking in events report

The Anatomy of File Downloads Tracking With MonsterInsights

In your events report, you can see that all file downloads are being categorized as a download.

For example, take a look at the file downloads tracking report in Google Analytics below.

event category download

It is a screenshot of real-time Analytics stats, so you can figure out how downloads data are being shown in Google Analytics.

There are several important components in every event report whether it be downloads, ad clicks, video play or any other. They are:

  • Event Category: As mentioned, every file download is categorized as downloads.
  • Event action: It is the full URL of the file you’d like to track
  • Event label: It is the label of a href attribute. In the above example, the event label is Download My Ebook.

That’s it!

I hope this guide helped you to track and view file downloads in Google Analytics.