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:
- You are an affiliate website, and you are interested in how many conversions (redirects) your website generates every week, month or quarter.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
- Log in to Google Analytics 4 and go to Admin page
- Go to Data Streams
- Go to Web Stream Details
- Activate “Enhanced measurement” and click on the gear icon
- Toggle on “Outbound clicks” and that’s it!
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:
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).
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 #2: Create a new blank report
Step #3: Import the following dimensions to your report:
- Link URL
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 #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 #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”.
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.
Outbound link tracking allows you to track links on your website that send visitors to other websites.
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!
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.