For capturing user activity that does not generate a regular pageview, Google Analytics provides two options: events or virtual pageviews.
Of the many factors to consider when deciding between events or virtual pageviews, one of the most significant is that events appear in separate, dedicated Events reports, while virtual pageviews are integrated with regular pageviews in the Site Content reports.
For this reason, you may want to opt for a virtual pageview when the user activity is more akin to a regular pageview, such as opening a PDF. Similarly, you may want to go with an event for a user action, such as the completion of a video, that is less comparable to a regular pageview.
We’ll further compare events and virtual pageviews in an upcoming post.