Page View tracking measures which pages on a website are viewed by individual visitors, their refering urls and visitor geographic locations, etc. These are pretty standard statistics that a lot of web analytics software provides. And often times, free.
Event tracking provides an in-depth analysis of your user’s actions on a page. With an implementation of event tracking, you are able to unveil events you wouldn’t normally see, providing a deeper insight into the usability of your page, the behavior of your visitors and the functionality of your webpage.
Mixpanel co-founder Tim Trefren said page view tracking is dead , that is not quite true. Page-view stats are still useful. First of all, page view stats software is often times the first package companies pick up when they decide to track their websites. It is a starting point for web site tracking. It is easy to install and it provides a general picture of your websites traffic. Events and page views are both user activities. Page view is a type of user activity that some websites like to track. In general, people only go to other packages when their existing page view tracking can no longer satisfy their needs.
Speaking for the trend, internet businesses are definitely moving into a different era, away from catching eyeballs alone. Websites are more interactive than 10 years ago with lots of activities happening on the same page (downloading, adding to shopping cart, playing videos, submitting order, liked something); web business models are changing from advertising-based model to subscription-based model. Page-view tracking alone can no longer meet such analytic needs. At the same time, the new generation of web users/visitors/customer are more self-conscious and identity conscious. Site owners need to understand their needs and psychology in order to keep them and serve them.
We need metrics that are customer centric that can help us understand customer behaviors and customer motivations and calculate customer lifetime value. None of these can be accomplished by using page-view tracking alone. We need event-based tracking to drive revenue and traffic. Rachael F. Arnold wrote a blog about when to use pageview tracking and when to event tracking in Google analytics. Glenn Gabe wrote a blog about conversional goal and events.
Recently, Tag management system (TMS) is emerging to help resolving the pain point of adding event tracking to websites. Eric T. Peterson, the founder of Web Analytics Demystified, Inc, has a good white paper that summarizes the pain points of adding tags and the benefits of TMS system.