Google Launches Autotrack To Help Sites Get More Out Of Universal Analytics
A library of plugins is designed to give sites common tracking features automatically.
Last week, Google launched autotrack for analytics.js (aka Universal Analytics) to make it easier for marketers to get more out of Google Analytics without having to go through a big customization learning curve.
The autotrack library “attempts to leverage as many Google Analytics features as possible while requiring minimal manual implementation. It gives developers a foundation for tracking data relevant to today’s modern web,” explains Philip Walton, developer programs engineer at Google in the blog post announcing the launch.
Autotrack offers a collection of Universal Analytics plugins that can be enabled collectively or individually. Autotrack is designed for properties that do not already have customized tracking code.
One of the plugins included in the autotrack library automates outbound link and form tracking. Tracking user clicks or form submissions that go offsite has always been a bit of a pain to implement, requiring code customization. With this plugin implemented, it can happen automatically.
In addition to declarative event tracking and automatic outbound form and link tracking, the autotrack library includes plugins for media query and breakpoint tracking, enhanced session duration tracking, automatic and enhanced declarative social tracking and automatic URL change tracking for single-page applications.
To implement autotrack, you’ll need to load the autotrack.js script file on your page, then update the tracking snippet to require the autotrack plugin.
Full instructions and additional details are available on Github. If you’re not currently customizing your analytics tracking code, then autotrack could be a handy solution for getting more out of GA without the complexity of manually implementing each of these common tracking features.
Postscript: Some have asked me about Google Tag Manager’s role here. Universal Analytics plugins are not currently compatible with GTM, so while you can set up all of this kind of tracking in GTM, you can’t do it by simply adding a plugin.
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