Have you ever experienced someone in the marketing department (SEM, Email, Corporate, etc) asking you how well the marketing campaign they just ran has preformed, only to realize that the campaign was not being tracked? This can be a very frustrating situation to not be able to let the marketing department know how well the campaign performed. The campaigns can be a newsletter, paid search, banner ads, twitter, facebook, widgets, or tiny URLs. The marketing department can run a marketing campaign on any combination of these. If the marketing department is not aware that the campaign needs to be tracked, then it is hard to let them how well their campaign performed. One of the things that I do is set up a weekly meeting with the marketing department to walk through their campaigns to make sure everything gets tagged. A bi-weekly meeting might be enough, depending on your company. I also created a document for the marketing department on how to add the tracking tags to each type of campaign. I am going to go cover add tracking tags for Google Analytics, Omniture, and Coremetrics.
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Video Tracking

June 9, 2009

Video is starting to quickly become one of the most popular ways that sites are communicating and/or sharing information with its users. Sites like Hulu, Sling, and YouTube are growing in popularity. Portal sites, like AOL have a section that is completely dedicated to video. Media sites are putting more video on the sites than ever before, from video clips to full episodes. With this increased interest in video, it is important for accurate video tracking and to track the data that will help you understand how users are viewing the video. In this post, I am going to cover different tracking methodologies, video success metrics, the different pieces of information that you might want to capture about the video and video KPI’s.
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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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Implementing Omniture Part II

February 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 help inform business decisions. I have had a better than expected response to the post. I want to follow up with more techniques, but I am going to cover a few more items. I am going to go over the differences between an eVar, a prop, and an event and how I choose which one I use. I am also going to cover the Omniture plug-ins that I use and why I use them. I was looking at some of my RSS reader and I saw a post by Adam Greco of Omniture that goes over some of the plug-in that Omniture offers. I know there are some people who are searching to find the Omniture Implementation manual for SiteCatalyst. As far as I am aware, the only way to get the Omniture Implementation Manual is having a login for SiteCatalyst. You will need to go to Knowledge Base section under Help and do a search for “full implementation manual.” That should get you the result where you can download the Implementation Manual. To understand if you should use a prop, an eVar, or an event, you need to know how each one of these items is used. Understanding these items, will ultimately help fill out the Omniture Tagging Strategy document.

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Now that the tagging plan has been completed, the code has been written, and the tags in place one of the tasks that is usually asked is for web analyst to be-bug the tags to make sure the tags are what you expected when you created the tagging plan. This is a task I am asked to do on a continuous basis. I de-bug tags, not just when a site is first tagged, but on an ongoing basis. There are several de-bugging tools that you can use; Fiddler Tool, Web Analytics Solutions Profiler (WASP), Charles Debugger, and Firebug. The tool that I use the most often is the Charles Debugger, followed by the Web Analytics Solutions Profiler. One of the things that I like about the Charles Debugger is I can view all of the pages that I have viewed or actions that I have taken on a site, though I use the Web Analytics Solution Profiler for a quick check of the tags on a page. When I de-bug new tags, I open the Tagging Strategy Worksheet that I created and then I open up the Charles Debugger. I look at the different pages and take the different actions to test each scenario in the tagging strategy worksheet. This gives me an opportunity to see if the tags being thrown match what I had envisioned for the tag. If the tags being thrown matches my vision in the tagging strategy worksheet, I then put an “x” in the Working column to let me know that I tested that information, so when I come back to review the worksheet to do additional testing I know which tags are working. Continue Reading!