Google Tag Manager track file downloads

How to track file downloads with GTM

Let’s say you’ve put a .zip file or a .pdf file on your website available for download, and now you want to know how many times that file has been downloaded, for that particular purpose You can use Google Tag Manager (GTM), the following steps will guide You step by step on how to achieve that important goal.

Test page where visitors can download .zip files

Step 1 – Create new Trigger

Google Tag Manager – Trigger Name

Step 2 – Trigger Type

Google Tag Manager – Trigger Type – Just Links

Step 3 – Trigger Settings

Be sure to select “Click URL” from the first drop down menu, then “Contains” and finally in the last box put “.zip” or the extension of the file you want to track.

Google Tag Manager – Trigger Filter

Step 4 – New Trigger configuration complete

A new Trigger must be shown in the triggers list

Step 5 – Create a new TAG and link it to Trigger

The following image shows the settings you must configure when creating the new tag.

Step 6 – New Tag listed

Step 7 – Enable Preview mode and refresh the page

Once both the trigger and also the tag are configured you must enable the GTM Preview mode, take a look at this article if you need help enabling the GTM Preview mode, then open the page of your website where the .zip file available for download is located and proceed to download the file, at the bottom of the page you’ll see the TAG that was fired, see image below.

Google Tag Manage – Preview mode – fired tag

Tag was successfully fired

You can use the same steps to fire a tag to Google Analytics (GA) every time a .pdf file is downloaded, or if you prefer tu put both extensions .zip and .pdf in the same tag, then you can use a regular expression as shown below.