Implementing Omniture

January 13, 2009

I have seen several questions about how to implement Omniture throughout the years. I am going to cover the process that I go through to implement Omniture. Specifically, I am going to cover an implementation from a media site perspective. I have been fortunate enough that I have implemented Omniture on several new sites and a couple of re-designs over the last year and a half. Some of the new sites that I have tagged are: RecipeZaar, Front Door, Ecologue, and Food UK. The two re-designs that I have implemented Omniture on are: Food Network and HGTV. I am sure that most of you are aware that SEMphonic has their Omniture Implementation Toolkit. Right before SEMphonic’s XChange 2008 Conference, they had a contest for the toughest Omniture implementation question and the winners would get a free copy of the Omniture Implementation Tool. I was very fortunate enough to be one of the winners and received a free copy of the Omniture Implementation Toolkit. You can see my question and SEMphonic’s response on Jesse Gross’ Web Analytics Tool Time Blog. Since SEMphonic charges for the toolkit, I am not going to post any of the documents or any information about the documents, other than what can be found on their site. What I am going to do is share the documents that I personal use to help me implement Omniture.

Omniture is a great tool, but with all of the flexibility that Omniture offers there are challenges to implementing Omniture. When I begin to implement Omniture, one of the first things that I do is sit down with each of the various business owners of the site. I ask them what are their goals for the site, how would they judge success, and what information would they need to help them judge success? My meetings usually last about an hour with each group and while they describing what they are looking for, I am thinking about the best way to help them answer their questions (do I need to use a prop, an eVar, an event, or some combination of these). Hopefully at this point, you understand what a prop, an eVar, and an event are. If not, then I would recommend read the full Omniture Implementation Manual. It will explain what each of these items is. Depending on the size of your company, these meetings might take a couple of days to a couple of weeks. After these meetings and taking notes, I put a spreadsheet together where I filled out the props, eVars, and events that I though I might want to use to answer these questions. Here is the template that I use to decide which props, eVars, and events to use. This document goes through several revisions before I finalize it. Some of the categories that I set up to track are for on-site search, videos, page information, online marketing information, and flash and ajax interactions. As you can see in the document, I list the variable numbers, variable names, an example of the variable, the page the variable should occur on, if pathing or full-subrelation need to be enabled, plug-ins that I want to use, prop metrics, and eVar metrics that I want to use. Some of these setting will be different depending on your company’s contract. When I set up the tracking for each of these categories, I obviously make sure that we can answer our business questions, but I also set up the tracking to determine the usability of the site. Within each category, there are several items I setup to track, such as: URL of page, Friendly Page Name, Page Type, Search Terms, Dimension, Sub-Dimension, Video Title, Video Channel, Video Screen Type, Paid Search, Email Marketing, etc. Most media sites are primarily html based so they can serve the ad on the site, though part of the site is in flash. For the tracking that I have set up for the flash portion of the site, I typically reserve two or three props for tracking all the flash application, so to be able to differentiate the different applications I put the name of the application, then a colon, and then the action taken, for example: flashapplication: detailaction. In some cases I have run out of props, so then I will use an eVar with events. To help me set up the flash tracking, I use a separate spreadsheet which breaks the actions that need to be tracked and which events, if any, need to set up. You can use as many props or eVars as you need. To give you an example of this, for tracking video plays on the site (the player is in flash), I use several eVars and events to track the completion percentages of the videos. Both of these spreadsheets have helped set up the tracking for several sites and better communicate with our front end development team, our QA team, marketing team, and various other teams throughout the company.


11 Responses to “Implementing Omniture”

  1. Adam Greco Says:


    Great post! Lots of useful implementation ideas here. In case it would be helpful for any of your Omniture blog readers, I have started a SiteCatalyst blog that may be helpful:

    • webanalyticsguy Says:


      Thank you for the comment. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I am just trying to give some tricks that I have learned the last couple of years that I have been working with Omniture. By the way, great blog. It is already a part of my RSS feed.

  2. Great! Thank you very much!
    I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Regards, Timur I. Alhimenkov

    • webanalyticsguy Says:


      Thank you for asking. Yes, you can take part of my post. It would be great appreciated if you did link back.

  3. […] 12, 2009 When I wrote my first post on Implementing Omniture, I wanted to give a general overview of some of the techniques that I use to implement Omniture to […]

  4. Freddie Rick Says:

    Wanted to say hello – Freddie Rick
    Freddie Rick
    Freddie Rick

  5. […] users are doing on your site. I wrote two blog posts about this that I hope you will find helpful. First post about Implementing Omniture Second post about implementing Omniture Web Analytics Solutions Profiler This is a great tool to […]

  6. Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for this post. I’m in a new position which requires a lot of Omniture work 🙂 This will be definitely usefull for me.

    Thanks again!

  7. UID Says:


    I am Jr. UI developer and today was my first day in company. they din’t introduce me to company and gave me work on very first day. they want me to work on Omniture tracking which I m not familiar at all.

    This blog is very useful.

    Thanks for posting.

  8. Gunjan Says:


    I would like to know the startegy for implementing the Omniture. What are the steps required inimplementtaion.

    • webanalyticsguy Says:

      Gunjan, The best strategy for implementing Omniture is to go to your business users and ask them what information they are looking for. Start with your KBR’s (key business requirements) which will form your KPI’s which will determine your tagging strategy for SiteCatalyst. After you have a tagging strategy in mind, create a tagging document that lists all of the variables you want to use and want information you want to capture in them. Then create your report suite and set up your custom variables. Make sure to think about which variables you might to turn pathing on for and which information that you want to see how much success a user had and put that information into an eVar. I would start with the free training videos from Omniture and then look at the implementation guide. If you need some help with where to start, you can reach out to a consulting company (from Omniture or go to Keystone Solutions) and they would be happy to help with getting started.

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