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tl;dr

Can Events (triggered and passed to GA by Tag Manager) be set up as Goals in GA to be used in funnel visualisation & flow without setting up a virtual pageview?

Context

Our lead funnel is as follows:

  1. User clicks "Get a Quote" button on the homepage (example.com): so the GetAQuote Event fires.
  2. User is taken to another URL (example.com/getaquote) where they enter their details and click submit (URL stays the same; QuoteRequested Event fires). Or they can click a "Call Me" button (CallMe Event fires).
  3. They get a quote (URL doesn't change), and then they can fill out more details to generate a lead, and when they click submit (URL stays the same), the LeadGenerated Event fires.

Question

We could set up virtual page views but we're launching into production tomorrow morning, so don't have time for that.

It is possible to set up Event-Goals for funnel visualization and flow in Google Analytics with these events and have everything report correctly?

Research done

I'm asking because I saw another question from 2014/6 that it's not possible, but wondering if it's now possible in 2019.

In this article by Bounteous, it's suggested that this should be possible:

OK, so we’ve made the case for Events. But what do we get by using Events as Goals? If Events, in general, give us versatility, Events as Goals give us precision.

This is a good time to mention a key difference between Events and Goals. Events can happen several times per session. Goal Completions only happen on the first occurrence. So lets say you use video views as an Event Goal Completion.

Google's documentation, however, only mentions Destination Goals in this context (and not Event Goals):

With a Destination goal, you can specify the path you expect traffic to take. This path is called a funnel. When you specify steps in a funnel, Analytics can record where users enter and exit the path on the way towards your goal.

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    Nothing has changed since 2014. Events still don't show up as funnel steps in the goal visualization. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 22 at 15:17
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Of course, you can. It's as simple as creating the tags in Google Tag Manager and set up those events in Google Analytics as Goals.

However, in this scenario, you can send the data to Analytics as events or virtual pageviews. As events, you can check them in the event's report and as virtual pageviews, you can work with them as usual URLs inside Analytics. That doesn't duplicate Analytics metrics as they are two different systems to analyze data. However, one will be enough for the analysis.

1 - Create tags in GTM

First of all, set up in Google Tag Manager the trigger for every action.

Send to Analytics as event

Create the Analytics tag as following:

  • Tag: Universal Analytics
  • Type: Event
  • Add category, action, and label

enter image description here

Send to Analytics as virtual pageview

If you want to set up them as virtual pageviews you should select the following:

  • Tag: Universal Analytics
  • Type: Pageview
  • Select "Enable overriding settings" in this tag and then "More Settings"
  • Fields to set > Add new field
  • Select Field Name as "page" and set as value the new virtual URL you want to use in Analytics

enter image description here enter image description here

2 - Set up the goal in Analytics

As a virtual pageview, you can use the Analytics conversion funnel as if it was a normal URL when you define the goal. As events, you can emulate a funnel conversion with Google Data Studio just including the different events as steps

Go to Analytics Admin dashboard > View > Goals.

Goal Set up as event

Create a new goal as the following for event type:

  • Type: event
  • Use the same names from category, action, and label as you defined in Google Tag Manager.

enter image description here

Goal Set up as destination URL

Create a new goal as the following for virtual page type:

  • Type: destination
  • Set funnel to ON and add all the virtual pageviews to the funnel process.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for your reply. Can a succession of these Event-Goals be set up to be viewed in funnel visualization & flow? In Google's documentation (support.google.com/analytics/answer/1012040?hl=en), it only mentions Destination-Goals, not Event-Goals as being able to do this: "With a Destination goal, you can specify the path you expect traffic to take. This path is called a funnel. When you specify steps in a funnel, Analytics can record where users enter and exit the path on the way towards your goal." – Baumr Oct 22 at 9:16
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    You can set up through GTM as an event or as a virtual pageview (not both, just one). As a virtual pageview, you can use the Analytics conversion funnel as if it was a normal URL when you define the goal. As events, you can emulate a funnel conversion with Google Data Studio just including the different events as steps. – Emirodgar Oct 22 at 10:12
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    No, you will have the information as events (you can check them in the event's report) and as virtual pageviews (you can work with them as usual URLs inside Analytics). That doesn't duplicate Analytics metrics as they are two different systems to analyze data. However, one will be enough for the analysis. – Emirodgar Oct 22 at 11:06
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    Thanks so much! Do you mind updating your answer with these comments when you have time? Just for others and so I can mark it as an accepted answer. P.S. I'm thinking to enable both metrics, because GA Goals vs. GA Events have some differences in how you can view and segment them (right?), and, for example, if you can pass them back to Ads. (We've already set up Events extensively to use in BigQuery & DataStudio, so now I just need to get pageviews from these actions for GA...) – Baumr Oct 22 at 11:37
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    You are welcome, just added all the info in the comments to the answer. Regards. – Emirodgar Oct 22 at 13:38

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