Traffic Sources Reporting

March 15, 2010

I have been back for a little over a week from another great Omniture Summit and my fourth summit. I went over my notes from each of the sessions that I attended and some of the slides of the presentation that I could not attend. I am not going to write a full recap of the summit this year, as there are already a few of them out there that do a great job recapping the summit and some of the sessions. Some of the sessions during the summit covered different ways to track the traffic sources. For those who attended last year’s summit, you might remember the announcement of the Channel Manager plug-in. The Channel Manager plug-in is very similar to the Unified Sources VISTA Rule (USVR). The biggest difference between the two is the Channel Manager plug-in needs help from the consulting group and the Unified Sources VISTA Rule needs help from the Engineering Services group. I am going to write about the Unified Sources VISTA Rule, some of the reports that we had created from the USVR, and some of the decisions that can be made from these reports. When we decided to go with the USVR, the next decision was decided which reports we would like to have set up. We talked to several of our internal clients and then thought about the business and which reports would help the business make better decisions. I worked very closely with the engineering services group to make sure the logic would be exactly what we wanted.
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In the years that I have spent in web analytics, one of the main questions that I have been asked is how do I determine success for the sites that I have worked on. That is a very good question and obviously determining success will very from site to site. The first few years that I spent in web analytics was spent on e-commerce sites. Determining success for an e-commerce site is fairly straight forward. For an e-commerce site you are going to look at revenue to determine success. Though you can also look at number of items purchased, Average Order Value (AOV), or Average Order per Visit, which all of these metrics are ultimately based on revenue. Though I have not worked on an airline site or a hotel site, determine success for either one of these sites is also fairly straight forward. For an airline site or a hotel site you are going to look at revenue as well, though you can also look at number of bookings or the look-to-book ratio to determine success. Another way to determine success for an airline or hotel site is the number of sign-up for the frequent purchaser program. I have spent the last couple of years working on media sites and determining success for media sites is not quite as obvious or straight-forward. So that leads to the question, how do you determine success for a media site? Well, the answer to that question is it depends on the site. I have been fortunate enough to work on several different media sites the last couple of years in a couple of different categories and determine success for each of the sites were slightly different, even for two sites in the same category.
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