Use Google Analytics to Track When People Print your Web Pages

March 30, 2012 by: 0

If you have a printer-friendly website, you can track when people print your web pages. You can also check out what type of content they are looking for on your website.

A web page can be printed in three ways:
1.Press Ctrl+P. Your web page will be sent to the printer.
2.There is a print button on many web pages.
3.You can also go to the File Menu to print the pages.

Google Analytics to Track When People Print your Web Pages

An event tracking based on JavaScript is tough to use in Google Analytics for tracking the print usage. The reason being that there are so many methods available for printing a page.

An invisible tracking image can be added in the web page’s printed version. When a web page is printed by a user, it downloads the tracking image on his/her computer. The print action can be easily tracked.

Use Google Analytics To Track Print Usage

You can implement the tracking code right away. You only need to copy-paste the required code before the closing </body> tag in the website template.

In case you are using WordPress, paste the same in footer.php file. You must remember that REPLACE_ME has to be replaced with the Profile ID of Google Analytics which is similar to – UA-12345-89.

Google Analytics takes some time for processing the usage data. Log in to the dashboard of Google Analytics. Go to Content –> Site Content –> Pages. Set /print/ as a search filter.

All the web pages will be displayed in a list that were printed. There is a Pageview column. It will show the total number of times your page is printed. Secondary Dimension can be set as Country/Operating System/Browser. Print function will give you more information about your users.

The following is an example of a print usage report.

Use Google Analytics to Track code

Photo Credit: Taleemzone.com/category/internet/

How Does Print Tracking Work?

If you want to know the technical details, check this out. The below mentioned CSS rule is added to the HTML webpage.
<style type=”text/css”>
@media print {
body:after {
content:url(“GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_TRACKING_IMAGE”)
}
}
</style>

This rule is activated when the print command is invoked by the user. The Print stylesheet can also be used by many PDF writing programs when web pages are saved to PDFs.

Try out this method to track when your web page is being printed.

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