Difference between events and metrics

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This topic describes how to:

Distinguish between events and metrics.

Events and metrics: what's the difference? Both have to do with tracking visitor actions and determining which variations are winning or losing, with some important distinctions.

In Optimizely Web Experimentation, Optimizely Performance Edge, and Optimizely Feature Experimentation, you use events to track visitor actions like clicks, pageviews, form submissions, and purchases. Events live on pages, which are reusable URL templates that let you choose where campaigns and experiments run. Each time you create a page, Optimizely Web Experimentation and Optimizely Performance Edge automatically creates a pageview event for it, but you can also create click and custom events. Events are always on, and you can track them in any experiment—not just the experiment where you create them—so they help you get experiments and campaigns up and running quickly, which saves you time.

In Optimizely Web Experimentation, events are specific to projects. They are listed under Implementation > Events.


After you add events to an Optimizely Web Experimentation, Optimizely Performance Edge, and Optimizely Feature Experimentation campaign or experiment, they become metrics. Metrics help you measure differences in visitor behavior based on changes you make to your site in experiment variations or personalized experiences. The event you choose as your primary metric determines which variations are winning and losing.

To find metrics for individual experiments, select an experiment and click Metrics in the Manage Experiment menu.


Related topics

  • Learn more about events in Optimizely Web Experimentation or Optimizely Performance Edge or set up an event
  • Learn more about events in Optimizely Feature Experimentation. 
  • Set up a custom event in Optimizely Web Experimentation for visitor behaviors that you cannot measure in pageviews or clicks