How to Track Outbound Link Clicks in WordPress & GA

How to Track Outbound Link Clicks in WordPress with Google Analytics

Ever wonder how many people click on the outbound links on your WordPress site to visit the sites you link to? If you’re linking other websites in your content, then you probably want to know how to track outbound link clicks.

As a marketer, it’s important to track these links because they can help you identify new ideas for growing your traffic. Not only that, but you can find opportunities to form partnerships and boost your visits or revenue.

In this article, we’ll show you how to set up outbound link click tracking WordPress with Google Analytics.

What Are Outbound Links?

Outbound links, also known as external links, are the links on your site that lead your visitors to another domain (website).

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Now, it’s easy to get confused between inbound and outbound links.

To help you understand the difference, consider this example. Here’s a link to WPForms. This is an outbound link on our website because if you click it, you’ll land on the WPForms website.

At the same time, the link is an inbound link for WPForms, since we linked to their domain from ours.

Now, why is it important for you to track outbound link clicks on your WordPress websites? Let’s find out.

Why Should You Track Outbound Link Clicks in WordPress?

There are many benefits of tracking outbound links, as they can reveal useful insights for your business:

  • Understand User Behavior – For starters, you get to know how people behave on your website, and which links they click to exit your site.
  • Find New Content Ideas – By tracking external links, you can identify content people are looking for outside your website, so you can create a better version on your site.
  • Form New Partnerships – If you’re sending a lot of traffic to another website, you can reach out to them and form a partnership, like starting affiliate marketing, collaborating on a content piece, or getting a backlink.
  • Promote the Right Product – Outbound link tracking can also help you discover which products your visitors like the most, so you can promote those products more on your website.

So, are you ready to learn how to set up outbound link tracking in WordPress using Google Analytics?

How to Track Outbound Link Clicks Using Google Analytics


Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking your site’s performance and finding out how your visitors use your website.

That said, Google Analytics doesn’t track your outbound link clicks be default. You’ll either have to edit code or set up custom events to track external links on your site.

Now, unless you’re an Analytics expert or a developer, it’s not possible for everyone. So, is there an easier way?

Using MonsterInsights, you can automatically track your outbound links in WordPress.

Track Outbound Link Clicks: Tutorial

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to easily connect your WordPress site with Google Analytics (both Universal Analytics and GA4), so you can view all the data that matters most right in your WordPress dashboard.

MonsterInsights Home Dashboard

Plus, with the click of a button, you can set up sophisticated tracking features such as event tracking, eCommerce tracking, form tracking, custom dimension tracking, outbound link tracking, and many more things that Google Analytics doesn’t track out of the box.

So to track outbound links, all you have to do is download and install MonsterInsights. Grab the plugin at the Plus level or above.

Then, download the ZIP files from your account area under the Downloads tab.

download monsterinsights

Next, upload the plugin to your WordPress website. You can do that by going to Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugins and clicking the Install Now button.

upload plugin in wordpress

After that, click the Activate Plugin button.

activate monsterinsights

Now, you’ll need to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress website. Using MonsterInsights, it’s a walk in the park. Just follow the steps in its setup wizard and the plugin will add Google Analytics to your site without the need to edit code.

Allow MonsterInsights to Access Your Google Analytics Data

For more help getting started, you can read our step-by-step guide on how to properly set up Google Analytics and MonsterInsights.

Once that’s done, MonsterInsights will automatically start to track all your outbound links by setting up events. No additional steps required!

How to View Outbound Link Clicks in WordPress

The best part is, you can view reports of which links your visitors click to leave your site right inside your WordPress dashboard.

To view your outbound links report, go to Insights » Reports » Publishers. Do note that you’ll need MonsterInsights Plus plan or higher to view the Publishers report.

In the report, you can see your top outbound links and the number of clicks they got.

publishers-report-top-outbound-link-affiliates

How to View Outbound Link Clicks in Google Analytics

Now, do you want to learn more about your outbound links? If yes, then you can view the report in Google Analytics and get deeper insights.

Google Analytics 4

Want to know which links got clicks, and which pages on your site they’re on? For that, we’ll build a custom report in GA4.

Start by going to the Explorations tab and clicking to start a Blank report:

Blank GA4 report

Now, give your report a name like Outbound Link Clicks, then click the plus sign in the Dimensions box:

Outbound link clicks custom report

Now, search for and check the box by four Dimensions:

  • Event name
  • Link text
  • Page title
  • Outbound

Select dimensions in the GA4 explorations report

When you’ve checked all three, click the blue Import button.

Then, click the plus sign in the Metrics box, select Event count, and click Import:

Import Event Count Metric - GA4 explore report

Now, click and drag your Link Text and Page Title dimensions over into the Rows area:

Link text and title dimensions

Then, click and drag the Event count metric over into the Values area:

Event count outbound link report

Now, click and drag your Event name dimension down into the Filters area. When it expands for you to enter details, choose Exactly matches and type in click. Then, click Apply.

Event name filter GA4

Finally, click and drag your Outbound dimension into the Filters area. Choose Exactly matches and type in true. Click Apply.

Outbound link filter GA4

That’s it! You now have a custom report that shows you which outbound links were clicked on your site, and which pages those links are on.

Outbound link custom report GA4

Universal Analytics

For instance, you can find the source of your outbound traffic by viewing the report in Analytics. And you can do that by going to your Google Analytics account and navigating to Behavior » Events » Top Events. Next, click on outbound-link.

Then click on Secondary dimension and search Source. The option is usually under Acquisition.

set-secondary-dimension-on-google-analytics-outboundlinks

This will show you the source of your outbound links. For instance, you can see that majority of your visitors are coming from different search engines like Google and Bing.

outbound-link-tracking-where-did-the-visitors-who-clicked-my-outbound-links-come-from

And that’s it!

We hope you liked our article on how to set up outbound link tracking in WordPress and Google Analytics. If you’re wondering what else you can do with MonsterInsights and how it differs from Google Analytics, check out MonsterInsights vs. Google Analytics – What’s the Real Difference?

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for more helpful reviews, tutorials, and Google Analytics tips.

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