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 last seven years that I have spent in web analytics one of the biggest challenges that I have had is getting adoption of web analytics in the company. This can be very challenging for a variety of reasons. Some of the people in the company might not know about, know how to use, or understand web analytics. Some people in the company might not think web analytics can help them. These are just a couple of the reasons why adoption of web analytics in a company might be challenging. This was not any different for the first company that I worked for when I first entered into web analytics. They are a multi-channel retailer and were primarily a catalog company. They are a small company and became very well known through the catalogue. They launched the website as an after-thought. In the beginning, they really did not have any type of tracking on the site. Of course this was way before Google Analytics came around. The only tracking they had were which products were purchased on the web site. I think they might have had something that told them how many visits the site received and the entry and exit pages. Though no one looked at it and all of the decisions about the site were made based on how many products were purchased through the catalogue. When I came on board, I was the second full time employee dedicated to the web site. My main responsibilities were marketing of the site and web analytics. After we picked a web analytics solution, one of the next things that I worked on was to get adoption of web analytics in our company.
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When I started thinking about what I was going to write for my next blog post, I had a couple of topics in mind trying to keep with my original plan for my blog of sharing my experiences in web analytics. Then the news broke that Adobe has agreed to purchase Omniture. Whether this acquasition is going to be good or bad, only time will tell. There has already been enough written on this topic, so I am going to focus this post on another topic. When the news broke of the acquisition, an idea for a post came to me. About a year ago or so, I co-presented a webinar with Omniture for an Adobe online seminar. Little did I know what would transpire a year later. As you can see from the title of the post, the webinar was about measuring and optimizing Rich Internet Applications. I have been very lucky in the last couple of years to have the opportunity to measure and optimize RIA’s and to work for the company that worked with Omniture to develop their flash tracking (ActionSource). Though I am not a developer and have never actually added the ActionSource tracking I work very closely with our flash developers to make sure the tracking that I would like is added to the RIA’s. Though I have tracked many different applications, most of the RIA’s that I going to cover in this post involve flash video, but I think this will give you a good idea of some of the tracking capabilities.
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As I mentioned in my last post, Video Tracking, video is starting to become one of the more popular ways that sites are communicating and/or sharing information with their users. With the increased focus on videos, that begs the question, are the video plays hurting page views? This is a very interesting question. I am going to share some of the experiences that I have had of the last couple of years with the sites that I have worked since we have had more of a focus on video plays. The media sites that I work on also have tv channels that go along with the sites. Whenever possible, we publish full-episode videos to get users to come to the site to watch the episode that they missed on tv. Though there is also content about the show on the site, our theory that we had was that was that the video plays were hurting page views. Did this theory hold true?
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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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