How to Track File Downloads on a WordPress Website Using Plugin

Do you want to know how many  people downloaded your Ebook or PDF file which you had hosted on your WordPress site? In this article we will tell you how you can keep a track of the file downloads that happen on your WordPress website by using a plugin. 

In today’s article we are going to discuss about file downloads tracking on a Wordpress website by making use of plugin called Monsterinsights which is one of the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and comes loaded with a ton of cool features which you can use to take your business to the next level.

If you are having digital products like Ebooks or PDFs then it is of utmost importance that you keep a track of which files the users are downloading. Once you get the data about the file downloads you can get great insights on which particular file is been downloaded maximum number of times by your audience. Besides this you can also know if the audience are even downloading a particular file or not. This way you won’t waste your time, efforts on those files which are hardly downloaded by anyone.

Based on this data and the insights derived you can take informed decisions as well as plan your strategy and utilize your time, efforts and money wisely.

If you want to track PDF downloads or any kind of file downloads in Google Analytics then you have come to the right place.

We will have to follow certain steps in order to setup File downloads tracking for a WordPress website.

In this article you will learn the following things

1. How to easily set up Google Analytics (this is needed to keep a track of File Downloads)

2. Add file extensions to track as downloads

3. How to view the File downloads in WordPress and Google Analytics by making use of Monsterinsights plugin (The best part is that we aren’t going to get into any kind of complex coding stuff, this plugin will make our lives easier and save us from the coding hassles

As such Google Analytics doesn’t track file downloads by default and that is the reason why we would be making use of Monsterinsights so as to enable file downloads tracking inside of Google Analytics.

Eventually, you will see the data about file downloads inside your Google Analytics account but in order to do this you need to authenticate your Google account and associate it with Monsterinsights (worry not, we have explained the whole process step by step, all that you need to do is follow the below given steps).

Important Pre-requisite: In order to implement File Downloads Tracking you will need Monsterinsights Pro plan or higher

Step 1: Install and Activate Monsterinsights Plugin

In order to install the plugin follow the below given steps

Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard

Go to Plugins –> Add New

Add a New Plugin

Once you click on “Add New” you will come across a screen similar to the one shown below

Install Monsterinsights Plugin

Now click on Install Now and Activate the plugin

Once you are done with the installation and activation of the Monsterinsights plugin then the file downloads tracking feature will be automatically enabled and then you can get the information about the file downloads in the events section of Google Analytics without doing any further configuration, as Monsterinsights will take care of it.

Step 2: Add more File Extensions to track as downloads

Monsterinsights by default lets you track file downloads for the following extensions – pptx, docx, xlxs, zip, doc, ppt, pdf . If you want you can add more extensions which you wish to track and Monsterinsights provides you the option to add more file extensions

In order to add file extensions, follow the given below process

Go to Insights –> Click on Settings

Once you click on Settings you will come across a screen similar to the one shown below

Choose Engagement from the Top Menu and Scroll down until you find the File Downloads option

Important Note: In order to enable File Downloads tracking Inside your WordPress site using Monsterinsights you will need Monsterinsights Pro plan or higher

Step 3: Steps to view File Downloads information in WordPress

In order to check details about File downloads in WordPress follow the below given process

Go to Insights –> Reports

When you click on Reports tab you will see a screen similar to the one shown below. Choose “Publisher Reports” tab from there.

When you scroll down you will come across the File Downloads section. From this section you will find the top files that have been downloaded. Below is a screenshot of the File downloads section inside Monsterinsights

Step 4: Steps to view File Downloads information in Google Analytics

There are two ways how you can track file downloads in Google Analytics (but for this you need to ensure that Monsterinsights has already been enabled)

Option 1: If you have enabled File Downloads as pageviews then you can track the same by going to Behavior–> Site Content –> All Pages

Option 2: If you have enabled File Downloads as Events then you can track the same by going to Behavior–> Events

Now you can explore the Top events, Overview section to track the file downloads

IN the Events category all the file downloads are been categorized as “Download”

File Downloads Tracking IN Google Analytics

If you want to get an idea of which book/file was downloaded you can check the Event Action category, you will basically come to know the URL of the file downloaded

This way you should analyze the file downloads tracking data and derive insights from this and work on the files and file formats which are downloaded or preferred most by your audience.

We hope you enjoyed reading the article as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you lovely readers.

So what are you waiting for? sign up for Monsterinsights Pro or higher plan and start tracking your file downloads

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