Google analytics virtual page views and non standard event goals

With dynamic generated content, div overlays and Ajax generated pages, traditional page view count in Google analytics might not represent the true picture. For example when a user clicks a link to join a site and is presented with a div overlay membership submission form; should this count as a page view?

Whether or not an event should count as a page view is up to the site administrator but Google Analytics allows you to register any event as a page view via the API method:

 _trackPageView(uri)

Example:

_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/membership/join']);

Note that the syntax above follows the new recommended usage instead of using the method below which requires Google Analytics to be initialised first.

pageTracker._trackPageview('/membership/join');

Pages tracked using the track page view method show up in the Google Analytics contents report as normal page views. But virtual page views can also be used for tracking non-standard events as Google Analytics goals.

Google Analytics goals are based on specific event types i.e. destination URL visited, number of pages viewed and time spent on site. If the event you wish to track as a site goal does not fall within the three categories mentioned you can still create a virtual page view for the event and set your goal based on the virtual page visited.

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