• http://twitter.com/thompsonpaul Paul Thompson

    The new version of Google Analytics has allowed tracking Events as Goals for over a year now. This was actually one of the big improvements in V5
    http://analytics.blogspot.ca/2011/04/new-google-analytics-events-goals.html from April last year.

    Given that all users have been pushed to the new version of GA for some time now, why are you still stating that Events can’t be used as Goals?

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Paul, as i stated on Twitter – I found this article as a source when writing my article: 
    https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/asyncMigrationExamples#VirtualPageviews.  

    Your sourced article didn’t come up in the search I did within Google Analytics help, or Google.com itself, but you might be on to something.  I’m definitely going to try it – we might have just solved the whole problem.

  • http://twitter.com/electricmice Justin Goodman

    A virtual pageview is great for website setups that otherwise dont change the url with a change in the page experience. However, for tracking an action, at this point i do not see any need to use a virtual pageview. The current event goal setup makes it obsolete for pageviews to be used to track events anymore. they can now do what the name implies and fire a pageview when the url otherwise wouldn’t change for GA to read. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks so much for your comments -I’m testing the event/goal tracking right now – will probably have an update to this article when I’m finished.

    The particular client mentioned above wouldn’t have been able to track this “submit” as an event because he didn’t have access to the “submit” button contained in the plugin without some pretty fancy “hacking” of the plugin, something he’s not qualified to do – and we got him set up with the virtual pageview goal without any hacking required.

    That being said, I think this will solve the problem for a lot of users that DO have access to their buttons to track an action.  

    Thanks again for your input – this is the great thing about our community – everyone helps out!Carrie

  • http://twitter.com/tysonkirksey Tyson Kirksey

    Another great thing about events worth mentioning is the ability to fire “non-interaction events”, allowing one to track small interactions *without* influencing bounce rate. 

    The only downside to using events for goals is the inability to have funnels, but this is slightly mitigated with the Event Flow reports. Nevertheless, it would be awesome to be able to create funnels using a combination of pageviews and events. 

  • http://www.analyticspros.com Caleb Whitmore

    Carrie,

    Paul is absolutely correct about event tracking.  I’m surprised that you haven’t noticed the Event based option for Goal configuration in the new version that’s been around well over a year now.  If you’re going to write articles on Google Analytics features I would expect you have been using them regularly enough to notice such an important change as this.

    One of the main remaining “pros” for Virtual Pageviews that you overlooked is that using Events in place of VPV’s can make Goal Funnel measurement impossible.  I commonly see this scenario play out where someone uses Pageviews for steps, and then an Event for the “goal” action.  Doing this means you can’t have a funnel or Goal Flow visualization that shows Step A > Step B > Step C > Goal.  This means no abandonment rate calculation too, which is very important.

    Thanks for writing on the topic and I hope your next article will not only inform readers, but inform them fully and accurately.

    Best,

    -Caleb

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.hill1 Carrie Hill

    Hi Caleb and Tyson
    I definitely SHOULD have seen the event setup in Goal configuration – I honestly never looked.  Its one of those things that just went right past my eyes and didn’t register.  

    I do agree that Funnels would require the VPV.  the VPV is also very handy when you cannot (or shouldn’t) edit the element you want to attach the “event” to – such as a submit button within a plugin, etc.

    I’m almost done testing event goals and will have my editor post an update to this article this week.

    Thanks for your comments,
    Carrie

  • http://twitter.com/scott_benson Scott Benson

    Event tracking is great.  I’ve often used this to calculate a user engagement level on social sharing / following buttons.  

    Also firing an event AND a custom variable allows you to segment your visitors by action (event = a goal) and to bucket these visitors into a group like “socially engaged” if they share your content or click-through to your social profiles.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.jensen.969 Brian Jensen

    Great read and topic. I’m currently studying for my GA certification test and this is a topic where I found the additional insight useful.