How to track outbound links in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

You are in Google Analytics 4; whether you just started with that or transited from Universal Analytics, you are eager to see how many visitors are leaving your website using links that direct them to the other websites – clicks on outbound links.  

You can have one of the reasons to measure it:

  1. You are an affiliate website, and you are interested in how many conversions (redirects) your website generates every week, month or quarter.
  2. You are an ordinary website that sells your product(s), and you want to keep website visitors as much as possible on your website to improve KPIs.
  3. You can have another reason that you can leave as a comment on this article 🙂 

Therefore, I deserve this blog post to explain how you can track outbound links clicks in Google Analytics 4 without code changes, additional custom dimensions and without using Google Tag Manager. 

How to set up outbound links tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

As I mentioned above, Google Analytics 4, compared to Universal Analytics, gives you the ability to track outbound links easier, using Enhanced Measurement. It means you can activate it in the GA4 interface. No code changes are required. You also don’t need to use any custom dimensions, and no usage of Google Tag Manager is required.

So, what steps do you need to take to track outbound link clicks?

  1. Log in to Google Analytics 4 and go to Admin page 

    Step 1 Admin Page

  2. Go to Data Streams 

    Step 2 Data Streams

  3. Go to Web Stream Details

    Step 3 Web Stream Details

  4. Activate “Enhanced measurement” and click on the gear icon 

    Step 4 Enhanced Measurement

  5. Toggle on “Outbound clicks” and that’s it!

    Step 5 Toggle on Outbound Clicks

Yes, 6 easy steps with Google Analytics 4 instead of 20 with Universal Analytics. 

After you follow the steps above, GA4 will start to collect “click” event with the following parameters:

Event ParameterWhat it is
Link classesThe HTML class attribute for an outbound link or file download. For example, if a user clicks a link “<a class=”center” href=””>“, this dimension returns ‘center’.
Link domainThe destination domain of an outbound link or file download. For example, if a user clicks a link “<a href=””>”, this dimension returns ‘’.
Link IDThe HTML id attribute for an outbound link or file download. For example, if a user clicks a link “<a id=”socialLinks” href=””>”, this dimension returns ‘socialLinks’.
Link textThe link text of a file download.
Link URLThe full URL for an outbound link or file download. For example, if a user clicks a link “a href=””>”, this dimension returns “”
OutboundThe text ‘true’ when a link leads to a website that’s not a part of the property’s domain.

The event parameters data above is the essential information to distinguish one link clicked from another on your website. All these event parameters will be accessible in Google Analytics reports.

Now, when GA starts to collect the first outbound information, let’s find the links data together in GA4 (remember that GA4 can need up to 48 hours to show you the data, and you will be able to see only new data collected, of course).

Where to find outbound links clicks in GA4?

Google Analytics 4 has a great feature – Explorations. It allows you to visualise the desired data in the format you prefer. So, if you want to see outbound links data in Google Analytics 4, follow the next steps:

Step #1: Log in to Google Analytics 4 and Go to Explore Tab

Step 1 Go to Explore Tab

Step #2: Create a new blank report

Step 2 Create a blank report

Step #3: Import the following dimensions to your report:

  • Link URL
  • Outbound
Step 3 Import the dimensions

Step #4: Import the following metrics to your report

  • Events count (to see how many clicks a link received)
  • Total Users (to see how many users clicked a link)
Step 4 Import the metrics

Step #5: Add custom metrics and dimensions to the report

  • Add “Link URL” dimension to Rows
  • Add imported metrics into “Values”
  • Add “Outbound” dimension to Filters (exactly matches “true”)
Step 5 Add custom metrics and dimensions to the report

Step #6: That’s it! GA4 will show you the data about outbound links clicks.

After you build this report, you can save it with the exploration name “Outbound Link Clicks”, and you will be able to return to it whenever you need it. 

Note: Please keep in mind that apart from “Link URL” and “Outbound” dimensions, you can also use “Link domain”, “Link ID”, and “Link text”. 

Final Word

As I explained above, Google Analytics 4, compared to Universal Analytics, tracks outbound links clicks easier.  Because It allows you to set it up using the Enhanced Measurement feature. As a result, you get the outbound links data without code changes and developer costs. 

The same is valid for data analysis. You don’t need to use any custom dimensions. GA4 Explorations feature has all metrics and dimensions you require. 

If you find it useful, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. 

What is outbound link tracking?

Outbound link tracking allows you to track links on your website that send visitors to other websites. 

Can Google Analytics 4 track outbound links clicks?

Yes, Google Analytics 4 Enhanced Measurement allows you to track outbound links clicks without code changes, GTM usage and custom dimensions.

Everything you need to do is to take the following steps:
#1 Log in to Google Analytics 4 and go to Admin page 
#2 Go to Data Streams 
#3 Go to Web Stream Details
#4 Activate “Enhanced measurement” and click on the gear icon 
#5 Toggle on “Outbound clicks” 
#6 GA has started to track outbound links clicks! That’s it!

How do I see outbound links in Google Analytics 4?

Firstly, you should activate outbound links tracking in GA4 Enhanced Measurement. 
Secondly, you should take the following steps to see outbound links data in GA4:
Step #1: Activate outbound links tracking in GA4 Enhanced Measurement. 
Step #2: Go to GA4 Exploration and create a new report
Step #3: Import the following dimensions: “Link URL” and “Outbound”
Step #4: Import the following metrics: “Events count”, “Total Users”
Step #5: Add imported metrics and dimensions to your report. 

23 Replies to “How to track outbound links in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)”

  1. Thank you, this is a good start.
    The report in UA I need to replicate shows the outbound link clicks, and percentage of people who clicked a link (which is the important number). Like all the typical reports it was for a particular period of time, and it had a graph of whatever you wanted at the top.

    I assume all this is possible to do?

  2. Hi, this is very helpful thank you. I notice that it will only display 500 outbound links when I set the report up under explorations. is there a way to display more than 500?

    1. Hi Jodie,

      There is no possibility to see more than 500 rows in GA4 Explore, but you can export the data into Google Sheets and access all data there.
      Please let me know if you have more questions.

      Best regards,

  3. Hey Ihar, great article. I can easily track phone link clicks with what you have already discussed (data showing up as expected). However, I would like those phone link clicks as conversions. I would like to add it as an event and then mark it as a conversion. Would how I have set it up as an event work properly? (I realise I would then mark as a conversion) Here is a screenshot:

    I know I can easily do so with GTM, but I would like to do so without.

    Please help and I look forward to your response.

    1. Hey Jack,

      Thanks for the question!

      GA4 “click” event tracks click that redirect a user outside of your website, basically. You track phone calls on your website; they are not leaving after that to another website, they are staying.
      In this case, you should set up a custom event via Google Tag Manager.

      Best regards,

  4. Hi.

    The reason I’m interested in this is that I want to track how many people clicked to go to my calendly from my website.

    Each campaign I’ve created has it’s own separate landing page, but I only have one calendly page. So I’d like to know what campaigns bring traffic to the calendly and also know how well each campaign gets appointments for me.

  5. Hey,

    Can you please do similar tutorial to set up tracking affiliate links. Let’s say they are all marked with /go/, how can I set up tracking /go/ affiliate links? As they are kind of internal links.

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Hi Ihar, this was helpful, thanks.

    How would you go about setting these link clicks as events so they can be marked as a conversion?

    1. Hi Brandon,

      Thank you very much for reaching out.

      In order to set up outbound links as conversions in GA4, you can use GA4 Interface and create a custom event from existing events (GA4 -> Admin -> Events -> Create events) with the following parameters:
      1. event name equals click
      2. link_domain equals (or contain) …

      After that, just mark this new custom event as a conversion in GA4.

      Let me know if you have questions.

      Best regards,

  7. Thanks for this…however, what would you do if after enabling enhanced outbound tracking and generating that report outbound url data was not being reported? It is just a blank field.

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Thank you for the question.

      If everything is right with the GA4 setup, then you should investigate the link format at the HTML level.
      I recommend you to look at the official Google documentation on GA4 enhanced measurement events.

      The full URL for an outbound link or file download. For example, if a user clicks a link ‘‘, this dimension returns ‘’.

      Let me know if this is helpful.

  8. Thanks for this, I did everything correctly, I been collecting outbound clicks for months but after I build report they only show me one row with this – javascript:void(0)

    1. Hi Thom,

      Most likely, the issue is with the HTML code your website uses for outbound links, which prevents GA4 from tracking them correctly.
      I recommend talking about it with the developers. You can also share the link to your website here.

      Best regards,

  9. Thanks for this tutorial! I am having an issue that others reported. Although I set this up, I am only seeing 5 rows of outbound URLs when there should be many more. I need to be able to track clicks on ads and text-based links that lead to our sponsors’ websites. What should I look for in the html of the links on my site? My site is Thank you!

    1. Hi Kim,

      I tested this outbound link (button) on your website, and outbound link tracking events are sent into GA4 with the necessary attributes.
      So please specify pages where outbound link tracking doesn’t work.

      Processing GTAG command: ["event", "click", {link_id: "", link_classes: "btn download-btn", link_url: "", link_domain: "", outbound: true, event_callback: [function], send_to: "G-4GN2RBZ61Q"}]

      Best regards,

      1. Thanks for your reply! I’m not sure what the issue is. The link for which you checked to see if the GTAG was firing is not showing up on the exporation I created. We have 100s of sponsors with links on our site (some are at the bottom of the home page) that I am trying to have included in this exploration, so I must be doing something wrog.

        1. Kim, you couldn’t create the exploration to see “click” event generated by me yesterday because GA4 Explorations have 24+ hours delay. Please check again in 6-12 hours when GA4 completely processes all of yesterday’s data for your property. Please also check that the measurement id is correct “G-4GN2RBZ61Q”.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *