Customizing Megalytic: The Events Summary Widget

Published February 5, 2016
Google Analytics Events allow you to track website interactions beyond default activities. While Events do require some manual setup, they are helpful for tracking anything from video plays and mobile ad clicks to PDF downloads on your site. You can even use Events to track site engagement and evaluate how far users are scrolling through content.
While we’ve previously covered how to set up Google Analytics Events (such as in the articles linked above), reporting on these Events is the natural next step for marketers. After all, once you’ve taken the time to set up custom tracking on your site, you’ll want to be sure to call out these results.
Once you have configured Events to track your site’s interactions, you can begin including these in your analytics reports. Megalytic’s Event Summary widget allows you to recap this activity in a concise format.


The Most Popular Widget in Megalytic - Tracked with Google Analytics Events


Customizing the Events Summary Widget

Upon adding the Events Summary widget to your report, you’ll see a line chart by default, representing total events for the last 13 weeks.


Megalytic Events Summary Widget


The Events Summary widget allows for a wide array of options for customization. You can, of course, modify the chart type and apply segments as with other widgets, but there are also a number of customization options specific to Events. Let’s look at some of those.


Customize Megalytic to Show Google Analytics Events


First, you can choose which dimension to show in your chart, selecting from:

  • Event Category
  • Event Action
  • Event Label

Note that these dimensions will reflect what you’ve defined when setting up custom tracking for Events on your site. Next, you can choose the metric to count, selecting from:

  • Total Events (total number of times events occurred)
  • Unique Events (events counted once per Session)
  • Event Value (total value per event)
  • Sessions with Events (number of Sessions in which events occurred)
  • Avg. Event Value
  • Events per Session with Event

Finally, you can filter the data to include a select category, action, and/or label. As an example of using these options, our initial chart shows data by category, in this case correlating to PDF clicks, video plays, or outbound link clicks.

External Link Click Events

Let’s say we want to report on clicks to external links. We’ll change the Dimension dropdown to Event Label, since we’ve set up the site to report the external URL as the label. We’ll also change the chart type to Table Graph. Finally, we’ll filter Event Category to “outbound,” which delineates a click to a link off of the current site.


Label Google Analytics Events in Megalytic


In the final widget, we see a breakdown of the URLs clicked from the site, with Total Events and Unique Events broken down for each. As you can see, was the most popular link in this timeframe.

Video Play Events

As another example, let’s say we want to track weekly video plays. In this case, an Event triggers anytime someone clicks a play button on an embedded video. We’ll choose the Time Series Bar Chart, which will show us video play Events by week when we’ve set the date range to weekly.

Next, we’ll set the metric to be Unique Events, so we don’t count video plays multiple times for people who played it more than once while visiting the site. Finally, we’ll set the Event category to “video,” limiting to just video plays and excluding other Events like offsite clicks.


Customize Megalytic to Show Video Plays


Upon saving this configuration, we’ll see the chart update to show video plays by week. As you can see, the bar chart allows you to easily pinpoint weeks when increases or decreases in volume occurred. We can see video plays spiked in the first week of 2016, which we know that for this site correlates with a boost in advertising spend driving users to the site.


Charting Weekly Video Plays in Megalytic


Showing Events from a Specific Channel

You can filter the widget to show Events that occurred from a specific channel. For instance, you may want to show specifically how users from organic search engaged with your site. Using the Segment section, choose the Organic Traffic segment.


Use Megalytic to Show Google Analytics Events from Organic Traffic


In this example, we’re showing how people from organic search interacted after landing on the Megalytic site. We can then use this data to analyze how likely people who searched for Megalytic are to sign up for a free trial account. In addition, we can look at how existing customers searched for Megalytic when they had an intent of either deactivating or upgrading to a paid account.

Reporting on Product Engagement

If you provide an online product, such as Megalytic’s reporting software, you can use Events to track how likely people are to click buttons within the site, run into errors, etc. In a report, you can show what options people are most likely to use within a product. This can serve to evaluate usability, as well as to see how well people are utilizing new features (or if they’re not using them at all).

In this example, we’ll show what widgets people are most likely to use when creating Megalytic reports. We’ll choose a bar chart to show the top ten widgets, with usage tracked via Google Analytics Events.


The Most Popular Widget in Megalytic - Tracked with Google Analytics Events


In this case, the Event Label represents the widget, so we’ll set that as the dimension. We’ll once again look solely at Unique Events, with Editing as the Event Category (limiting events to those related to adding widgets in reports).

Here, we can see the Notes widget, by far, ranks as the most used, with the Image widget close behind. From this data, we can make decisions about what widgets to make most prominent when people are choosing from among options for their reports. Conversely, we can observe what widgets we may like to see people using but that aren’t represented here.

To show widgets in the chart besides the top ten, we can use the Series selection dropdown toward the bottom of the widget options. This allows us to select from all the available Event labels (in this case, widget names) to show in our chart.

The filter bar allows us to search quickly for series to add. For instance, we may want to show all widgets specifically related to conversion. Note that the widget allows a maximum of 12 series in the chart.


Choose Google Analytics Events to Show as a Series in Megalytic



For those who have customized Google Analytics to track Events, the Events Summary widget allows a powerful way to show engagement on your client’s sites. Using the categories and labels you’ve assigned, you can report on how likely people are to click videos, visit external links, or engage with your online product.

A variety of charts allows you to compare multiple data sets, as well as to show trends over time. If you’re looking for a way to report on custom events from your Google Analytics account, give this widget a try in your reports.


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.