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Why are Virtual Page Views important for precise Funnel Analytics?

January 23, 2018

For number of e-commerce sites the conversion process will have at least one step being an external page (such as payment site), which can’t be tracked in our web analytics. A similar situation may occur with one of the steps being a pop up, button click, or any other action which does not cause the page to reload or when a page has the same URL at different steps of your funnel. In this case too often the popular solution is to skip this step, even if it is necessary, and create your funnel somehow around it. But skipping it won’t make it disappear, nor will it make it less important.

Thankfully, Piwik PRO has a great solution to this problem – Virtual Page Views, a feature which allows you to attach a virtual page view to any event of your choice.

Why could this be helpful? Because you’d no longer have to skip any important funnel step (whether it be a button click or external payment site). All you have to do, is attach a virtual page view to this specific action and it will be reported like any other static page, therefore allowing you to include it in your funnel.

There are three popular uses of Virtual Page Views worth mentioning here:

  • Turning a pop up or push notification into a Virtual Page View.Example: “/pop-up-funnel-step”
  • Turning an external payment gateway not tracked by Piwik PRO tracking code into a Virtual Page View,.Example: “/external-payment-gateway”
  • Turning a click on an external link, or a dynamic element that does not cause the page to reload, or doesn’t open a file like a PDF into a Virtual Page View.Example: “name-of-the-file.pdf” or “address-of-the-external-link”.
  • Setting up virtual page views may require some basic technical skills but it’s not as complicated as it may sound . You’d have to add a snippet of code like this:

    <script>
    _paq.push(['setDocumentTitle', 'Sign Up Page']);
    _paq.push(['setCustomUrl', 'https://cloud.piwik.pro/register']);
    _paq.push(['trackPageView']);
    </script>

    And specify these three elements:

    Setting up virtual page views manually can be easily done with Piwik PRO Tag Manager.

    All you need to do is choose the Virtual Pageview tag from the predefined tags list, by clicking the plus icon under the “Tags” tab in your Piwik PRO Tag Manager.

    Next, you’ll need to fill some information that you’ll want to be stored in Piwik PRO:

    And configure a trigger that will activate the PageView. the “Click” trigger firing whenever the correct click ID is clicked works pretty well in such situation but feel free to experiment with other triggers as well:

    And that’s it! just hit the save button, repeat for your other pages and publish to start tracking page views.

    You can check the results in your Pages or Page titles reports:

    Additionally, you can fire up the transitions for said page to see that the traffic leading to it was sent from the right referrer.