What can I track using Google Analytics?

This article describes what you can track with the previous version of Google Analytics, Universal analytics. Google will sunset that version of GA from July 2023. We advise you to migrate to the latest version, GA4. Learn how to set up GA4 for FlippingBook Online or FlippingBook Publisher, and how you can analyze your flipbooks.  

Google Analytics (or GA in short) is a great tool for gathering information about your flipbooks usage. It allows you to see how often certain pages were visited, what devices were used, which links your users clicked on, and much more.

To begin collecting data, simply upload a GA-enabled flipbook. to your website or to our servers. The statistics are normally available within an hour. In rare cases, it takes up to 24 hours for user activity to show up in your reports.

This article contains a lot of information to get you started with GA. If you’re looking for a quick solution though, feel free to check out our dashboard with the most common statistics.

General Google Analytics Data:

This part explains how to use GA in general. If you haven’t worked with it before, then you should find the information below useful. It covers:

  1. How often were specific pages visited?
  2. How often were your flipbooks visited?
  3. Understanding GA-metrics
  4. How to set the reporting interval?
  5. How did your visitors get to your flipbooks?
  6. How to see detailed information about your audience?

FlippingBook Specific events:

Here we explain metrics exclusive to FlippingBook and how to use them.

  1. How often were videos watched?
  2. How often were links in flipbooks clicked?
  3. Which search terms were used?
  4. How often were flipbooks shared on Social networks?
  5. How often were my flipbooks printed?
  6. Other events



Google Analytics in general

How often were specific pages visited?

Every page in your FlippingBook has its own link. For example, suppose that we have our flipbook uploaded as https://flippingbook.cld.bz/Demonstration. The link to the first page will be https://flippingbook.cld.bz/Demonstration/1, the second one https://flippingbook.cld.bz/Demonstration/2 and so on.

You can see how often each individual page of your flipbook is viewed in GA, by going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Note that the link in GA uses a hashtag instead of a slash!

The column Pageviews shows how often a specific page is viewed. In this case, page 1 is viewed 16 times, pages 4 and 5 are viewed 10 times, and pages 2 and 3 are viewed 7 times.

The Unique Pageviews column also shows how often a specific page is viewed. However, it doesn’t include views from returning users and only counts them once. For example, a reader opens your book on the front page and then goes to the next one. If he goes back to the front page again or opens the book on page two next time, the Pageviews number will change. Unique Pageviews will not since this reader has already viewed these pages before.

So in the example screenshot above, page 1 was viewed 16 times in 13 different user sessions. Pages 2 - 5 were viewed in 6 different sessions.


How often were your flipbooks visited?

If you want to know how often a flipbook was visited, irrespective of the exact pages, then that is possible too. All pages in your flipbook share the same page title. In GA, we can group pages with the same title by changing the Primary Dimension field to Page title. Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and click on Page Title.

The Entrances column shows how many times people opened your flipbook in general. Regardless of whether it was a unique or a returning visitor.


Understanding other GA-metrics

  • Average time on page: this shows how much time the average user spent on this page. Be very careful when the number of pageviews is low. If you have 3 page views, and one of your visitors went to lunch when this page was open, then the value will skyrocket!
  • Bounce rate: shows the percentage of people who left the flipbook without interacting with it at all. For example, they just closed it without going to other pages, clicking links, watching the video, etc.
  • %Exit: shows the percentage of people who left the flipbook after taking an action in it. For example, flipped pages, clicked links, watched videos, etc. Again, as opposed to the Bounce rate they interacted with the page(s).
  • Page Value: not applicable to flipbooks.


Specifying the reporting interval

It is possible to set a time frame for a specific period. You can do this at the top right corner of the page. Just click on the dates and choose the period you want.


By default, the reporting period is set to end yesterday. It will not include today’s clicks unless you change it. Good to know if you are testing or have just launched a new flipbook.


How did your visitors get to your flipbooks?

One of the most interesting facts to learn about your flipbooks is how people actually got there. Did they use a search engine? Social media? A sponsored link? You can view this information as follows.

Go to Acquisition and click on Overview. You will see a pie chart displaying which channels your visitors used to get to your flipbook.

  1. Direct: URL was typed directly in the browser
  2. Organic Search: used a search engine
  3. Referral: clicked on a link from another page
  4. Email: clicks from email and newsletters
  5. Paid Search: sponsored results in search engines
  6. Other Advertising: channels that are marked as custom campaigns by the third party that initiated the campaign
  7. Social: referrals from Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  8. Display: paid banners on other websites

For more detailed information, you can click on e.g. Referral to see from which links people were referred to your flipbook.

For example, this user got to our flipbook from a link on helpdesk.flippingbook.com


How to see detailed information about your audience?

Google tracks a lot of information about your audience. In the Audience > Overview you can directly see the ratio between new and returning visitors:


Audience > Geo > Location contains a clickable map where all your visitors are highlighted in different colors. A darker color means more users came from this location.


Information on your users’ browsers and operating systems is stored under Audience > Technology > Browsers and OS.

The Primary Dimension field allows you to switch between browsers, operating systems, and much more.

In Audience > Mobile > Devices you can see detailed information about readers who use mobile devices.


FlippingBook Specific events

In addition to the data Google gathers by default, we have events unique to your flipbooks. For example, you can track link clicks and see how many times people went to your website from the flipbook. Or for tracking ads performance. Another great example is video plays. This metric allows you to see how exactly people interact with your videos. Every event has three different attributes:

  1. Event category: describes what kind of event was generated. For example, Video.
  2. Event action: describes exactly what the user did. For video events, this could be for example Play, Pause, or Skip.
  3. Event label: describes on which object the action was performed. For videos, this would be the link to your YouTube or Vimeo video.


How often were videos watched?

If you have videos embedded in your flipbooks, then you can see how often they were opened. Be careful though, to look at the right statistic! 


  1. Go to Behaviour > Events > Overview
  2. Click on Video. You now see the total number of video events. It includes Play, Pause, Stop events for all your videos.
  3. Change the Primary dimension to Event Action. This will show the number of Play, Pause, and Stop events separately, but it still is the total number for all of your videos combined. 
  4. Click on Play to see the total number of times that your videos were played in detail.


How often were links in my flipbooks clicked?

There are two types of links, internal (to other pages in your flipbook) and external (normal URLs). To see information about the number of times an external link was opened:

  1. Go to Behaviour > Events > Overview
  2. Click on Link
  3. Change the Primary dimension to Event Action
  4. Click on External for links to other sites

In the table, you will see the links in your flipbook that were clicked, and the number of times that happened. In our example, we see that the link was clicked 5 times.

You may want to know in which particular flipbook the link was opened. To do that, you can change the Secondary dimension to Page Title

This adds the Page title as a secondary dimension, and you can now see how often the link was clicked and in which flipbook.

In the example, the link was clicked five times in the flipbook 5700XE Western Star Truck, and three times in Camaro-2020.

You can go even further to find out on which particular page a link was clicked. Change the Secondary dimension to Exit Page

In the example below, the two first links were clicked in one flipbook with ID 914401. This ID is a part of the full URL https://online.flippingbook.com/view/914401/ and it identifies the flipbook in FlippingBook Online. /914401/25 means page 25 in the flipbook where the link was clicked. 

To narrow down the results to a single flipbook, click on advanced >

set Exit Page as the Secondary dimension > select Containing > specify the flipbook's ID (914401 in our case) > click Apply.



Which search terms were used in my flipbooks?

Your clients can search for words or article numbers in your flipbooks. All search values are logged as events in GA, so you can see exactly what your visitors looked for in your flipbooks:

  1. Go to Behaviour > Events > Overview
  2. In the list under Event Category click on Search
  3. Change the Primary dimension to Event action
  4. Click on Search

If you use the same GA for more than one flipbook, change the Secondary dimension to Page Title. Otherwise, you will see the data for several flipbooks combined.

Under Event Label, you will see the search terms used by your users, and under Total Events the number of times this exact term was used. Note that import PDF and PDF import count as different terms. Since the number of different events will probably be large, you may want to export the results to Excel or Google sheets for further analysis. The screenshot below shows where the option is located.



How often were flipbooks shared on Social networks?

You can track how often your flipbooks were shared on Social Media. Unlike other events, this is not found under Events, but under Acquisition > Social > Plug-ins

Set the Primary dimension to Social Network to see on which social media your flipbook was shared.

If you have multiple flipbooks, then change the secondary dimension to Page Title to see which flipbook was shared on which network and how often.



How often were my flipbooks printed?

Your readers have the option to print the current page(s) or a selection of pages. In Google Analytics, you can see how many times users used the print option, and how often each page was printed individually:

  1. Go to Behaviour > Events > Overview
  2. In the list under Event Category click on Search
  3. Change the Primary dimension to Event Action

You will see 3 different entries per flipbook: Open and Close will be approximately the same. They denote the number of times that users opened and closed the print dialog box. Print shows the total number of pages printed. If you want to see the results corresponding to particular flipbooks, then change the Secondary dimension to Page Title.

4. Click on Print (under Event Action) to see how often each page was printed individually.

Again, change the Secondary dimension to Page Title to see the number of prints per flipbook.



Other events

Several other events are tracked in a similar way as described above, but these events are less relevant to most users. Please remember to set the Secondary dimension to Page Title to see results corresponding to particular flipbooks!


How often was a page viewed in spread mode or as a single page?

To view this information go to Events > Overview > Pages and click Event Action. The OpenInSpread events there allow you to see how many times pages were opened as spreads. The OpenInSlide events count the number of single-page views. This information may be useful if you have a single-page layout or slide mode enabled in some of your flipbooks. It’s also useful if the majority of your audience views the flipbooks in mobile portrait mode.


On which pages did users zoom in and zoom out again?

Under Events > Overview you will find the Zoom category. It shows two event actions, Zoom In > and Zoom Out, and data how often they were used. If you click on these actions, you will see the page number, showing on which pages exactly your users zoomed in/out;


How often was the Share button clicked?

Note that this is NOT the number of actual shares on social networks, which we described in detail above. But under Events > Overview you will see the Share category, with Open and Close actions in it— simply displays the number of times the share window was opened/ closed. These actions have no specific labels, simply because there is nothing more to say about them.


How often were your PDFs downloaded?

Click on the Download action in the Behaviour > Events > Overview. This shows the total number of actions in the Download category. But it includes actions for Open and Close of the dialog itself. Click on Event Action to see how often these actions were performed, and then on Download, which will bring up detailed information for the actual download actions.  

The actual file name shows how often a full PDF, a specific page, or any additional file attached to a flipbook was downloaded. In the example above, the full flipbook Quick Start Guide.pdf was downloaded once. Page 5 was downloaded twice, and the added file justpagenumbers.pdf was downloaded once.


How often was sound switched on or off?

This may be interesting if you use background sounds for your flipbooks. In the Sound category, two actions are checked, On and Off — that show how often your users clicked on the button to switch sound On/Off. There is no Event Label to describe them in more detail, but like with all other events, you may have to set the Secondary dimension to Page Title if you track multiple flipbooks.


How often did users utilize the Full-screen mode?

The Fullscreen category contains On and Off actions. They display how often fullscreen mode was activated and exited for your flipbook(s)


How often were the ToC and Thumbnails used?

Go to Behaviour > Events > Overview and click on either ToC or Thumbnails under Event Action. Open shows how often the ToC/Thumbnails side windows were opened, and Close — how often it was closed. Note that if you have set the Side window in your flipbook to open the ToC or Thumbnails by default, then every time the flipbook is opened, this metric will also be increased by 1. Also, note that there is no specific information gathered about which thumbnail or ToC-entry was clicked on.

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