File Download Links Recipe for GTM

September 14, 2016 | Bounteous x Accolite

A basic recipe to start tracking clicks on download links on your website.

Includes tracking for the following links with the following extensions:

  • .pdf
  • .doc & .docx
  • .xls & .xlsx
  • .txt



GA - Event - File Download


Link Click - File Extension Is PDF, XLS, DOC, or TXT


Page URL

Debug Mode

Click Element

Click File Extension

Click Filename


1. Download Container File

Download the container JSON file.

(You may need to right-click on the link and choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” to save the JSON file to your computer.)

2. Import JSON File into GTM

Log into your own Google Tag Manager container and head to the Admin section of the site. Under Container options, select Import Container. Check out this blog post for more details about importing a container file.

3. Update With Your Own Tracking ID

Update or create a new Constant Variable named {{YOUR_GA_TRACKING_ID}} with your Google Analytics Tracking ID (a.k.a. UA Number).

4. Preview & Publish

Use the Preview options to test this container on your own site. Try testing each of the events to make sure they’re working properly. If everything looks good, go ahead and publish!

Optional - Update Triggers

Currently the “GA – Event – File Download” will only fire for certain file extensions: PDF, XLS, XLSX, DOC, DOCX, or TXT.

If you would like to enable more file extensions, edit the trigger named “Link Click – File Extension Is PDF, XLS, DOC, or TXT.”