Easy Guide to Track External Links in GTM

There are several ways to track external links using addtional codding or link tracking tools. However there is a bigger question. Why would shoul you track outbound clicks?

Here are list of reasons why you would track external links and outbound clicks:

  • Understand what content you may need to add to your page to increase engagement
  • Track affiliate, booking engine, or conversion links
  • Understand where your users landed after leaving your site.

You can use customize code to add to your website or you can use Google Tag Manager. Its much easier to do this using GTM. This guide will show you how to create a trigger each time someone clicks on an outbound link. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Google Tag Manager.
  2.  Click on Triggers., Select New.
  3. Name your Trigger “Outbound Link Trigger”.
  4. Choose Click, in the dropdown, choose Just Links to configure the Trigger.
  5.  For additional options choose Wait for Tags and Check Validation.
  6. Enable when Page URL matches regex .*
  7. Fire when Click URL does not contain  your website’s domain.


How to View External Link Clicks In Google Analytics

In order to link this to your Google Analytics, you will need connect the Trigger to your Google Analytics Tag.  To do this you will need to follow the direction below:

  1. Click Tag.
  2.  Choose the Google Analytics Tag template,
  3. Choose Tag type Universal Analytics.
  4. Configure the Tag,  Add your GA ID to the Tracking ID.
  5. For Track Type, select Event.
  6. For Category, you can name this “Outbound Link Clink“.
  7.  For Action, choose Click URL.
  8.  For Label, choose Page Path.


Of course, it would be good for you to immediately check that this data is being fed into your analytics system.  The best way to do this is to use Real Time Event viewer.

Outbound link clicks can be tracked in Google Analytics with the Real time event viewer.

To reach the event view.

  1. Open Google Analytics. 
  2. Click Real Time
  3. Choose Events
  4.  Click the outbound link on the website to see it you can track external link clicks.

Watch the Video on How to Track External Link Clicks.