Advanced Google Analytics: Virtual Pageviews and Event Tracking

The basic functionality of Google Analytics is based on the page view. It serves as the foundation of all of the measurements, being grouped into sessions and users. It reflects the basic functionality of a website: each page is a different set of information, loaded one at a time. But you don’t have a basic website, so why settle for basic analytics?

event tracking

Virtual page views and events are two methods for tracking activity on your site that isn’t a new page loading. While they can seem similar, they serve separate functions. A virtual page view can add page views in Google Analytics for things that are similar to a new page. For example, a lightbox on your site for images or a form won’t count as a page view, but a virtual page view can be added so that you can monitor the usage of the lightbox along with the other pages on your site.

Events are great for tracking other activity on a site. One of my favorite examples is tracking clicks on email addresses, files and offsite links. This can be done manually by adding additional information to the <a> tags in your HTML on specific links, but it can be implemented using JavaScript so that all of the links of a certain type are tracked as events in Google Analytics. Using this approach it is possible to start to understand why a page has such a high exit rate (people are following a specific link to another site or downloading a few files) or why a contact form isn’t getting filled out (people are opting for the email address on the side of the page).

What are some other ways that you have used virtual page views or events to understand what is happening on your site? Let us know in the comments!

Want to learn more about Google Analytics? See my previous post on URL tagging or join us in person at TKG’s Google Analytics Advanced Breakfast Bootcamp on September 18 . Click here to register for this FREE session!

While Kyle’s resume includes “former model,” our clients tend to appreciate his years of digital strategy experience. We love Kyle’s sense of curiosity, and that’s displayed here as he talks digital marketing, SEO, and more.

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  1. Pingback: Advanced Google Analytics: Understanding Conversions with Funnels | The Karcher Group Blog

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