Page Tracking (also called Pageview Tracking) is the base tracking provided by Google Analytics as everything else builds on top of this.
Google Analytics Page Tracking Code must be installed on all pages of your website. Once installed, it allows you to measure the number of times visitors view individual pages on your website– also called ‘Pageviews.’ Along with that, it also tracks User Flow across all webpages on your website.
Pageview Tracking tracks Pageviews & User Flow across webpages on your website along with 40+ parameters
There could be some advanced use cases or scenarios where it might be necessary to track dynamically loaded content as individual pages as well. Since these Pageviews are not coming from actual pages, but instead from dynamically loaded content, these are called “Virtual Pageviews”.
Google Analytics lets us track “Pageviews” and “Virtual Pageviews,” both, with ease. This may be very helpful for advanced users, however if you are an absolute beginner, just make a mental note of this, and we will cover virtual pageviews at a later time.
PRO TIP : You should track AJAX loaded checkout steps as Virtual Pages as funnel set-up in Goals only accept URLs.
Is it Difficult?
Page Tracking is extremely easy. You only need a little technical knowledge to start using it. It is, in most cases, just as easy as copy and paste. Yes, (Ctrl+C) and (Ctrl+V)– that’s it!
However, there are options to customize this solution as well and make it more complicated for advanced users.
After generating the Tracking Code from Google Analytics, it is a simple Copy & Paste that can be done with ease.
What are the Exact Steps?
To complete the Page Tracking set up, we must complete 3 steps:
1.) Generate Tracking Code:
Creating an Account or Property in Google Analytics will generate a Tracking Code which can then be applied on your website. Once you have generated the Tracking Code, copy it.
2.) Paste/embed Tracking Code on website:
In this step we need to simply paste the Tracking Code directly within the <head> section of HTML of our webpages.
PRO TIP : This code must be pasted on all pages of our website. Pages without this code will not be tracked in Google Analytics. In modern CMSs, this can be done by using a simple plugin, or by making a change in the template file.
3.) Data validation:
Data Validation simply means making sure that data is flowing from the customer’s interactions and into the Google Analytics servers. You can do this using Google Tag Assistant plugin for Chrome browser. You can download this plugin for Chrome browser by clicking here.
How Does Pageview Tracking Work?
Once this Tracking Code is pasted within the HTML of our webpages, it becomes a part of HTML. From then on, whenever a customer views our website and loads a page, Google Analytics Tracking Code executes, and it sends a snapshot of all available customer information to Google Analytics server. This snapshot of information which is sent to Google Analytics server is called a ‘hit’. You can read how Google Analytics collects data in detail here.
Page Tracking only works when page loads
What Can You Track with Page Tracking?
- Page level: Page URL, Page Title
- Session level: IP Address, User Agent, Traffic Sources – Referrers/Campaigns/Sources
- User level: Client ID/Visitor ID, Location, Language
This example is just to give you a glimpse of the information tracked by Google Analytics. You can get an exhaustive list of everything tracked by clicking here.
- Pageview Tracking works with the help of a Tracking Code generated by Google Analytics, and it must be present on all pages of your website.
- It sends a hit to Google Analytics every time a visitor loads a page.
- At the most basic level, you could get up & running by just copying & pasting this Tracking Code.
- This Tracking Code helps you measure Pageviews, understand User-Flow across all pages of your website along with 40+ data points with out of the box implementation.
- This Tracking Code is the base code, every other customization is build on top of this.
- “Virtual Pageview” is an advanced use case to track dynamically loaded content as individual pages.
- Data Validation is an important step in which we check if Tracking Code implementation is working, and if Google Analytics is receiving hits appropriately.
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