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In Experience Marketing terms we have something called a Page Event. Sitecore's documentation explain a Page Event like as such:

Events track visitor activity on a website. Tracking events helps build up a more complete picture of a visitor’s behavior as they navigate your website. You should assign engagement value points to all events to reflect their relative importance to your organization.

Aside from a Page Event we also have a Goal:

Goals are activities that visitors can perform on your website. You create goals to track and measure how visitors engage with the website and campaigns – both online and offline.

Looking at the Goal template in Sitecore I noticed two sections - Options and Experience Profile Options, with two interesting fields:

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When you create a Goal, uncheck Is Goal and check Show in Events, the Goal behaves just like a Page Event (correct me if I'm wrong here).

So when and why would you ever use a Page Event?
Both Page Events and Goals get an engagement value assigned, both can be assigned to items (pages) and even if you specifically want a Page Event to be tracked you can still use a Goal that is configured to act like a Page Event.

13

It's not so much of a technical difference, as you can see, with a few settings you can get the goal to act just like an event.

The difference is more of a conceptual one:

Goals

Goals are "events" that occur at the end of a key user journey. They offer meaningful insight into how well your site is doing:

Examples:

  • Completing a booking form
  • Registering for the site
  • Requesting a brochure
  • Signing up to the mailing list

Page Events

Page events could for absolutely anything you want to track that doesn't necessarily mean a "successful goal" state was reached.

Conceptually these are likely less important but also meaningful to track. They are called Page Events as often they related to something the user carried out whilst on the page.

Examples:

  • A search returned no results
  • The user expanded an accordion option
  • The user canceled the registration dialog
  • Would there be a reason to specifically use the Page Event template or would you just use the Goal template for everything and mark goals to behave like Page Events? The only difference would be that Page Event items exist under the /system/settings node to which editors would not have access to. – Ruud van Falier Oct 19 '16 at 14:16
  • 2
    To add some background detail, the way that Goals are stored in xDB is that they are a "PageEvent" to the Interaction. The only difference is that the "IsGoal" is true property is present on the "PageEvent" record. – Pete Navarra Oct 19 '16 at 14:19
  • It's there, so I would use it. Typically page events are triggered programmatically so are more of a developer concern too (in terms of creating them) so I don't think editors would need access to these. – Kasaku Oct 19 '16 at 14:21
6

To put it simply, a Goal is a kind of Page Event. Page Events are more general. Just take a look at a default Sitecore install at the kinds of things that are registered as events:

  • Download
  • Login failed
  • Print

The Page Events are things that happened, but not necessarily a successful event; not necessarily something you wanted the contact to achieve. Whereas a Goal is something of importance to note; something we wanted them to achieve.

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