How to Track File Downloads in Google Analytics

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I certainly believe, you are here because you want to track file downloads of your pdf docs or any other file on your website, right?

Well, you are in luck because plugins such as MonsterInsights, enables you to discover your most downloaded files such as PDFs, mp3, doc and more files using Google Analytics.

So, in this step by step guide, I’ll show you how to setup and track file downloads in Google Analytics. This will give you an insight of the type of files your visitors interact with most.

Why Track File Downloads?

When you are dealing with eBooks for example, a giveaway infographic pdf file, tracking file downloads helps you to discover whether your marketing efforts are paying off.

Track file Downloads in WordPress

Before we go any further, keep in mind that Google Analytics doesn’t track download activities for these files by default.

But there is an easier solution we can use to automatically log download events. For this to work we are going to use the MonsterInsights plugin. The plugin helps on using google analytics to track file downloads.

It’s the most downloaded WordPress analytics solution, and helps you track these file downloads easily. Get it free here.

The first thing to do is, Install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. And ensure to properly set up Monsterinsights with Google Analytics.

The file downloads log will be either events or page views. And file downloads tracking will be enabled automatically for the default file types without any further configuration.

MonsterInsights also allows you to add your own file extensions that you want to track. The default tracked files are: doc, exe, js, pdf, ppt, tgz, zip and xls.

View File Downloads Reports

To view the report of your downloaded files in WordPress, navigate to Insights » Report » Publishers Report. Then, scroll down to the Top Download Links report to view your downloaded files.

Note: to view the file downloads report, a Plus level tier or higher subscription of MonsterInsights is required. Checkout MonsterInsights pricing.

View the File Downloads in Google Analytics

Apart from the Analytics integration feature, MonsterInsights allows you to view tracked file downloads in Google Analytics.

Sign into your Google Analytics account and choose your website where you’re tracking the downloads.

You can view the downloads report in the All Pages report along with other blog posts and pages if downloads tracking is enabled as page-views.

This report can be found by navigating to Behaviour » Site Content » All Pages.

However, if you’ve enabled downloads tracking as events, you can see the downloads data in your events report.

In your event reports, go to Behavior » Events in the left panel. You’ll now see four different options.

  • Overview: summary of top events data of your site
  • Top Events: list of events that keep your visitors engaged on your site
  • Pages: list of pages in which your downloadable resource is hosted.
  • Events Flow: The events flow report helps you discover which events keep your visitors engaged with your site. It also visualizes the path users take from one popular event to another.

To get a detailed report, click on Top Events.

Then, click downloads to get a detailed report.

Monsterinsights makes it easy for you to implement and view various analytics data. Such as page views, downloads, devices and more without touching any code.

We hope that now you know how to set up and view your file downloads reports in Google Analytics on your WordPress site using Monsterinsights the number one Google Analytics plugin.


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