How to Track PDF Sales Using Google Analytics

PDF sales are a key aspect of many businesses, especially those in the e-book, white paper, or other digital download markets. Tracking these sales can be a challenge, but with the help of Google Analytics, it can become an essential part of your daily operations. In this article, we will discuss the steps businesses can take to track PDF sales using Google Analytics.

Step 1: Set Up E-commerce Tracking in Google Analytics

First things first, to track PDF sales using Google Analytics, you must set up e-commerce tracking. E-commerce tracking is crucial as it allows you to track the number of times a product is viewed, added to the cart, and purchased. To set up e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics, go to the “Admin” tab and select “E-commerce Settings” under “View.” Once there, toggle on “Enable E-commerce” and “Enable Enhanced E-commerce Reporting.”

Step 2: Upload the PDF to Your Website

Once you’ve enabled e-commerce tracking, the next step is to upload the PDF to your website. When uploading the PDF, you should have a dedicated page for the product, including details such as the title, author, a description, price, and any other essential information. Remember, this page should be optimized for conversion and allow users to add the PDF to their cart and complete the purchase.

Step 3: Set Up a Goal in Google Analytics

Now that you have your e-commerce tracking set up and your PDF is uploaded, it’s time to set up a goal in Google Analytics. Goals are created to track how many times a particular action is completed on your site, such as when a user completes a purchase. To set up a goal, go to the “Admin” tab and select “Goals” under “View.” From there, click on the “New Goal” button and select “Custom.” Under “Type,” select “Destination” and enter the URL of the purchase confirmation page.

Step 4: Set Up a Virtual Pageview in Google Analytics

A virtual pageview is a code snippet that allows you to track an event without having to create a new page on your site. In this case, we want to set up a virtual pageview that tracks when a user downloads the PDF. To set up a virtual pageview, add the following code to your site’s tracking code:

ga('send', 'pageview', '/pdf-download');

Make sure to replace “/pdf-download” with the URL of the download confirmation page.

Step 5: Set Up PDF Tracking in Google Tag Manager

Now that you have your virtual pageview set up, the next step is to configure PDF tracking in Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a free tool that allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags on your website. To set up PDF tracking in Google Tag Manager, create a new tag and select “Universal Analytics” as the tag type. Under the “Track Type” drop-down, select “Pageview.” For the “Page path” field, enter “{{Click URL}}” and under “More Settings,” select “Cross Domain Tracking” if applicable. Add a trigger for when the PDF link is clicked, and you’re all set.

Step 6: Test and Verify

Now that you’ve set up your PDF sales tracking, make sure to test and verify whether it’s working correctly. You can do this by downloading the PDF from your website and checking that the virtual pageview and goal are tracking correctly.
In conclusion, tracking PDF sales using Google Analytics can be an essential step in understanding your business’s performance and optimizing your website for conversions. With e-commerce tracking, goals, virtual pageviews, and Google Tag Manager, you can track the number of purchases, understand where your sales are coming from, and identify areas to optimize your website and boost conversions.

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