Traffic Correlation Hack
(Estimated Time to Read this Post = 3.5 Minutes)
From time to time, I will see people talking about some of the limitations of SiteCatalyst Traffic Data Correlations on Twitter and blogs. Below is the most common request I see:
For those of you not familiar with Correlations, they are a way to break one Traffic Variable (sProp) down by another sProp, assuming that both are set on the same page (image request). Unfortunately, in SiteCatalyst, the only metric you can see for Correlations are Page Views. In the example below, I can use a Correlation to see what page a visitor was on when searching for a specific phrase in the internal search box:
While this is handy, what if I wanted to see how many Visits people searched for this phrase from each page or better yet, how many Daily, Weekly, Monthly Unique Visitors did this? Currently, the only way to get at this information is to use DataWarehouse or Omniture Discover. However, the following section will show you a handy little hack to get this information directly from SiteCatalyst…
So in this scenario, we will say that we want to see how many Weekly Unique Visitors searched for the phrase above from each page on our website (as in the example above). Here is the trick to doing this:
- Once you have the two data points available, create a new Traffic Variable (sProp) and concatenate the two values using a separator. In this example, if the user searched for the above phrase from the Japan Customers page, the value would be “キーワード検索:SFDC:jp:customers”
- After you have passed the concatenated value to the sProp, contact your Omniture Account Manager and tell him/her that you would like to enable Visits, Daily Unique Visitors, Weekly Unique Visitors, etc… on that sProp
When all that is done, using the example above, you will have a report that looks like this:
The confusing part of this hack is that you won’t actually use a Correlation report anymore. You will no longer open one report and break it down by another report, but instead you will simply open the new sProp report and add the metrics you want to see. In the report above, I have added Page Views, Visits and Weekly Unique Visitors and searched on the specific Internal Search phrase for which I am interested.
However, as you can imagine, you could have a lot of unique values in this report. One caveat is that you need to make sure you don’t exceed the SiteCatalyst variable limit which is 500,000 unique values per month. In this example, you would want to make sure that the combination of Page Name and Search Term does not exceed 500,000 per month, but for most sites this shouldn’t be a problem.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the above scenario is just one example. This “hack” is by no means limited to Internal Search Terms and Pages. Here are some other examples of what you can do with this “hack:”
- Unique Visitors/Visits who saw a specific page by visit number (i.e. Home Page:Visit 1, Home Page: Visit 2, Demo Page: Visit 1, etc…)
- Unique Visitors/Visits who searched for a term by visit number (i.e. Pricing: Visit 1, Pricing: Visit 2, Demo: Visit1, etc…)
- Unique Visitors/Visits who saw a specific page by country (i.e. Home Page:US, Home Page:UK, Demo Page:US, etc…)
- Unique Visitors/Visits viewing a specific product page by search engine (i.e. Product X:Google, Product Y: Google, Product X:Yahoo, etc…)
- Unique Visitors/Visits viewing a specific product page by search keyword (i.e. Product X:walmart, Product Y:walmart, Product X: walmart.com, etc…)
These are just a few examples and my advice is to look at whatever you are currently correlating (in Admin Console) and determine the items for which you would like to see Visits and Unique Visitors.
For advanced users out there, I wanted to call out a few more things you can do with this concept:
- If you don’t have a lot of unique combinations, you can add multiple correlations to the same sProp and use the search box to find the item combinations you need. For example, you may use the Internal Search & Page example shown above, but also store Page Name & Visit Number combinations in the same sProp. As long as all of your data is underneath the 500,000 unique value monthly limit you are ok. Alternatively, you can multiple sProps assuming you have enough variables that can have Visits and Unique Visitors enabled remaining in your contract.
- With this alternative approach, you can also view Trending Reports for each of your combinations if you enable Pathing. This means that you can trend Visits or Unique Visitors for any combination (i.e. Weekly Unique Visitors who view Product Page X on Visit Number 1 over the last 90 days). This temporarily solves the following Idea Exchange item (Allow Trended Versions of Correlation Reports)
So there you have it. Just a quick “hack” that allows you to get a bit more information out of SiteCatalyst. In the future, perhaps Omniture will allow you to see Visits and Unique Visitors right form the normal Correlation interface (please vote for this here: Provide Visits and Unique Visitors in Correlation Reports), but in the meantime, hopefully this will help bridge the gap…