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Isolate Form Abandonment Using Virutal Pageviews as Funnel Steps

Virtual pageviews for form fieldsview at full size

By generating virtual pageviews, you can have each step in a funnel correspond to a form field.

By representing a single form as a funnel, you can isolate drop-off to specific form fields, but how can you track individual fields when each funnel step in Google Analytics corresponds to a separate pageview?

The answer is virtual pageviews.

Without loading a new page into the browser, you can take advantage of the form’s built-in event handlers, such as onBlur, to generate a “virtual” pageview as the user completes fields and clicks the submit button.

These virtual pageviews will match any corresponding goal URL or funnel step that you have defined, just as an actual pageview would.

<input type="text" onBlur="if(this.value != '')_gaq.push(['_trackPageview','field-completed-phone'])" />

Excerpted from the Google Analytics Conversion Funnel Survival Guide.

Thanks to Brian Clifton for demonstrating this technique.

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2 thoughts on “Isolate Form Abandonment Using Virutal Pageviews as Funnel Steps

  1. Hi Eric,

    We do this but with event tracking and not virtual pages views. I took it from lunametrics http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/11/13/track-form-abandonment-google-analytics/ and had my developers do it.

    I suppose with the extra page views, your inflating your pages views, but that is not really a big deal, you can filter it or create a segment.

    It might be nice if you could follow up this post in the comments comparing and contrasting the differences between the two techniques as I am not a programmer and would not be able to articulate it.

    Thanks, Mary Kay Lofurno

  2. Hi, Mary Kay –

    That looks like another very effective approach for the same objective, and it does avoid the issue of inflated pageviews. I’d say that the only slight disadvantage is that the data cannot be displayed as an actual Funnel Visualization since you cannot use events as funnel steps. With the way the Events report has been filtered and sorted in the blog post screen shot, however, the data does form a funnel clearly enough.

    By the way, the LunaMetrics approach uses jQuery to insert the Javascript event handlers. This is a good option in most cases as it avoids the need to manually add code to each form element. The jQuery vs. manual code choice is independent of the virtual pageviews vs. event choice – you could pair either with either.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention – lots of really good posts on the LunaMetrics blog.


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