# of Pages Viewed Counter eVar
This week I will round out my Pages in Conversion trilogy by discussing a # of Pages Viewed Counter eVar. Two posts ago I discussed some of the benefits of setting a Page View Success Event and in my last post I showed some of the cool things you can do by setting a Page Name eVar. While this post will not be as “meaty,” I wanted to share a quick tip that can help you out for a few cool analyses. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read my last two posts as it might be helpful.
Counter eVar Refresher
About a year ago I blogged about what a Counter eVar was in the following Counter eVar post. If you are unfamiliar with Counter eVars, I suggest you review that post before continuing. In a nutshell, a Counter eVar allows you to increment an eVar with a numeric value (usually incrementing by one) when a specific action takes place. For example, if you would like to count how many times website visitors conduct searches on your website prior to adding an item to the shopping cart, you would use a Counter eVar to store a numeric value in each website visitor’s cookie so that when the Cart Addition Success Event takes place, you can associate that number of internal searches with that Cart Addition.
# of Pages Viewed Counter eVar
OK. So now let’s get into this week’s topic. I often like to set a Counter eVar on each page of the website so I have a running count of how many website pages the current visitor has viewed. Setting this is pretty simple as you only need to set a Counter eVar to “+1” on each Page View and if you are setting a Page View Success Event it can be done concurrently. So what does setting this # of Pages Viewed Counter eVar get you? Well, no matter what Success Events take place on your website, it may be interesting to see how many pages the active visitor has/had viewed prior to that Success Event taking place. For example, let’s say you are trying to drive website Lead Capture Form Completions and you want to know if Forms are being completed relatively quickly (after 1-3 pages) or taking more time (after 10 pages). This is not easy to do with out-of-the-box SiteCatalyst reports. You can see Average Page Depth of each Form Page, but I find that very limiting. Using this Counter eVar, you have a simple, clean way to see how many pages visitors had seen prior to completing a Form (in this example):
However, you get more than just this. Since all eVars break down all Success Events, this one Counter eVar will work with all of your Success Events so you can see any Success Event broken down by # of Pages Viewed. All you have to do is add a different Success Event to the report above and you can see how many pages it took visitors to perform that action. In the following example, we can now see how many pages visitors see prior to performing an Internal Search:
In this case, we can see that about 50% of all Internal Searches are taking place in the first four pages that visitors see. This could be expected, but if your goal is to improve page content and navigation, this might be an indicator of how well your changes are doing over time…
Use with Subrelations
As they used to say in the commercials: “but wait…there’s more!” The above reports only scratch the surface of what you can do with this new Counter eVar. For example, let’s imagine in the first example above that we now want to see how many pages it takes to get visitors to complete a specific website form. If you are capturing the name of the Forms on your website in another eVar and it has Full Subrelations, you can see the following:
Again, the same concept would apply to other Success Events so in the Internal Search example above, you can use subrelations to see how many pages website visitors had viewed prior to searching on a specific phrase.
Don’t Forget Classifications
One quick little enhancement to the # of Pages Viewed eVar is that you can use SAINT Classifications to bucket pages viewed into more manageable groupings. For example, you can see the same Form Completions report above in more concrete buckets by using SAINT to see the following:
That is the quick overview of setting a # of Pages Viewed Counter eVar. Here are a few final things to keep in mind:
- As with all eVars, you need to determine when it will expire. I tend to like to keep the # of Pages to an expiration that is longer than a visit so if a visitor comes back multiple times, you can see how many total Page Views they had done across more than the current visit. You can use “Never” to see all Page Views or if you have one key Success Event, you can expire the eVar at that event and then start the counter over.
- You can use the same SAINT Classification file for all Counter eVars so if you create it once, be sure to re-use it.