How to Enable File Downloads Tracking on Your WordPress Website?

Managing WordPress websites is a complicated task, especially when you want to track the download times of your eBook and other files. Well, this task can be handy like a cakewalk with MonsterInsights.

MonsterInsights lets you track the file downloads accurately. But before moving on to file downloads tracking on your WordPress website, let’s know why you should spare time to track file downloads. 

Reasons to track file downloads

When you offer the downloaded resources to your visitors on your WordPress website, you will have the need to know if your visitors or people are actually downloading them. If you think Google Analytics can help you with this, then you are probably wrong.

Google Analytics doesn’t support tracking of file downloads as they request tracking pixel, because of which the databases of Google Analytics record nothing and can’t be tracked. 

So, you will need to get the MonsterInsights plugin. With the MonsterInsights plugin, you can enable file downloads tracking in Google Analytics without having to get dirty with codes. 

Some of the reasons for file downloads tracking are:

  • It helps you figure out how popular your downloadable resources are.
  • It helps you determine which resources to offer more and work mostly on. 
  • It saves your time and money by helping you analyze and produce the content your audience want. 

How to enable file downloads tracking on your website?

Let’s get back straight to our major aspect of enabling file download tracking on your website. Well, it is quite a simple and easy process if you are a little aware of Google Analytics and MonsterInsights.

Even if you don’t, fret not, the following steps will help you out. 

  • Firstly, you need to set up Google Analytics properly in WordPress using the MonsterInsights.
  • Secondly, the file downloads tracking is automatically enabled after the setup without requiring any further configuration.
  • Finally, the file downloads are tracked as events. The event tracking in Google Analytics is used to measure user interactions with media content like downloads, videos, mobile ad clicks, etc.

Sometimes, you might not be able to track all the downloaded files, as files may vary with their content. In that case, we need to add more file extensions to track such downloaded files. 

How to add more file extensions to track downloaded files?

If you are wondering how to add these extensions then firstly, you should know that by default, MonsterInsights lets you track the downloaded files with the extensions such as doc, exe, js, pdf, ppt, tgz, zip, xls.

If you want to track files with other extensions then you need to add it to the “Extensions of files to track as downloads” section, and that are separated by a comma. Later, click save. 

Now, that you know how to enable the file downloads tracking, let’s also have a look at how to view the downloaded files in WordPress.

How to view the downloaded files in WordPress?

Before you expect the steps to view the downloaded files in WordPress, you should know that in order to view the downloaded files, you will need to have the Plus level tier of MonsterInsights.

If you already do, then you are all good to go with the steps:

  • Navigate to Insights – Reports – Publishers Report
  • Then, scroll down to see the downloaded files.

If you want to view the file downloads in Google Analytics then you need to make a little effort. Let’s understand and know the steps behind it.

How to View File Downloads in Google Analytics?

In order to view the file downloads in Google Analytics, log into your Google Analytics account and choose the website you want to track the file downloads of.

There are two ways you can view the downloaded files in Google Analytics, which depends on what you have enabled downloads tracking as.

  • If you have enabled file downloads tracking as pageviews

Then, you can view the download report in the “All pages” report with other posts and pages. This report can be viewed by navigating from Behavior – Site Content to All pages.

  • If you have enabled file downloads tracking as events

Then, you can view the file downloads in the event’s report. In the event reports, navigate from Behavior to Events in the left panel to find our options namely.

  • Overview: This option gives you a summary of top events data o your website.
  • Top Events: This option gives you a list of events that keeps the visitors engaged on the website
  • Pages: It gives the list of pages that hosts the downloadable resource, or say, it is a list of pages and posts where the events occur on your website.
  • Events Flow: This option provides you with the report that helps you figure out which events keep your visitors engages and also to visualize the path of user’s navigation from an event to others. 

Out of all the options mentioned above, the one that is favourable to view the file downloads in Google Analytics is Top Events. Click on Top Events and click downloads to get a detailed report. 

Structure of File Downloads tracking with MonsterInsights in Layman’s terms

The files are categorized as “Download” in the event’s report. Apart from that, there are several important components in every report of downloads, video play or ad clicks, they are:

  • Event Category: Every downloaded file is categorized as downloaded
  • Event Action: When you want to track the file, you use the full URL. For instance: 
<a href=”http://example.com/my-ebook.pdf”>Download My Ebook</a>

Here, the event action is: http://example.com/my-ebook.pdf

  • Event Label: It is nothing but the label of href attribute. From the above example, the even label is defined as “Download My Ebook”.

Final Words

Voila, that’s how to enable the file downloads tracking on your WordPress website. Let’s hope the above guide helped you to track and view the downloaded files in WordPress using the MonsterInsights.

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