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Introduction to MetaLocator Analytics
Introduction to MetaLocator Analytics

This article discusses how MetaLocator tracks events and utilization in a locator in depth.

Michael Fatica avatar
Written by Michael Fatica
Updated over a week ago

MetaLocator tracks activity inside Interfaces to help our customers understand user behavior and overall performance and value.

Users are greeted with a summary of analytics behavior on the MetaLocator dashboard.

This summary is derived from our integrated analytics platform. To access the Analytics platform, login to your MetaLocator account and click Analytics on the main navigation.

Analytics Dashboard

The analytics dashboard shows a complete picture of all analytics information related to your account. It can be filtered by hundreds of different segments including date ranges.

Heat Map

MetaLocator also provides a demand-based heat map. The heat map shows where users are searching. E.g. if a user searches a given postal code, the dot on the map appears for that postal code, regardless of the user's physical location.

Analytics Events

Locators are unique applications on your Web site.  Usual statistics like "page views" are still relevant, but less so since most users perform more than one action during their visit to your locator.  They might pan the map, change search options, search 3 or 4 times and finally take an action like clicking a phone number, submitting a lead or reaching a details view.  All of those examples could have occurred within a single page view, so how do we measure the real activity?  The answer is with Events.  Events record an action the user took.  

Events are recorded with an Action and a Name. The action is typically a verb representing what the user did, and the Name is a label identifying what the action was taken against. Examples:

Example Event Action

Example Event Name



Postal Code







Postal Code - This event action is triggered when a user enters a value into the Location search input, and performs a search. The Event Name included with this action is the searched value itself. That value may not always be a postal code, since the location search field supports searching by postal code, city name, addresses etc.

Search - This event action is triggered when the user performs a search.  The search could be triggered a variety of ways, depending on your locator configuration.  Any time the user causes the locator to display results, a search event is triggered.  Searches can also be triggered when AutoFind is enabled and the user's visit automatically causes a search to be performed.  A Search Event Action can include the following Action Names:

  1. (Autofind) - This action is triggered when an autofind search is performed, as in when the map loads and the user is automatically presented results.

  2. DragEnd - This action is triggered when Live Search is enabled. When the user drags the map, the DragEnd occurs when the dragging stops and a new search is performed.

  3. Submit - This action occurs when the user submits the search form, and it does not contain any location search. It's a fallback for users who have some configurations that may, for example, only include a "State" drop-down as part fo the search form.

OpenMarkerWindow - This event is triggered when a user clicks the results directory, or a map marker, and causes the map marker window to display.

Details - This event is triggered when a user clicks a "Details" link and loads the details page via Ajax.   Sometimes details pages are also displayed as separate pages as in our Location Landing Pages solution, in which case an event is not triggered, but a Page View is created.

Click [Email Form] - This event is triggered when the user loads the Contact Form.  They may or may not fill out the form to generate a Lead.

Click [Link Field] - This event is triggered when the user clicks a link field.  

Click [SendTo Email] - This event is triggered when the user clicks a Send to Email field.

Click [Directions] - This event is triggered when the user clicks Get Directions.

Click [OnlineTab] - This event is triggered when the user clicks the Online tab option in Buy Online

Click [InStoreTab] - This event is triggered when the user clicks the Online tab option in Buy Online

Click to Call - This event is triggered when the user clicks a phone number.  This normally only occurs on a mobile device.  

ShowPhoneNumber - This event is triggered when the user reveals a phone number. This can happen on desktop and mobile and is a great way of measuring phone calls.


Our users will commonly want to show the above events according to the context in which they occur.  For example, searches by product, clicks to "get directions" by state, searches by city, searches by category, and so forth.  The word after "by" in those examples is called dimension in Analytics.

We track all our events with standard dimensions and custom dimensions based on the search options configured in your locator.

The standard dimensions are as follows.  These are available in every account and are tracked with every event, when a value is available.

Standard Dimensions

Geographic Dimensions - Geographic Dimensions are established based on the geography of the user's search, or the auto-detected user's location in the case of an AutoFind search.


Common Dimensions - These dimensions are populated automatically based on any values found in the search form at the time an analytics event occurs.


eCommerce Dimensions - These dimensions are specific to our Where To Buy solution.  They record the retailer, SKU or GroupID active for the given action.


Not all dimensions will be populated if the data is unavailable, or does not apply.  For example, if a user searches for a city name, the PostalCode dimension will not be populated, since it is not relevant.  

Custom Dimensions

When an event is tracked, MetaLocator scans the search form and URL for available dimensions and checks against your account's configuration.  If any search option names match any custom dimension names, they will also be tracked along with the event.  Tracking custom dimensions is currently only available to Enterprise customers.

Tracking Cookies

MetaLocator now supports cookie-less analytics tracking. Cookie-less tracking will be the default value going forward (after Q1 2024). Cookie-less tracking is less effective at grouping multiple events into a single "visit" or "visitor" but offer improved cookie-related privacy compliance.

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