We’ve still got a few posts remain­ing in our “15 for 15″ series, but today I wanted to high­light some fea­tures that haven’t been cov­ered else­where in a short “pot­pourri” post with no real theme, other than that there are some great things in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 that you might not know about yet.

Key Met­rics report

Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 intro­duces a new report called “Key Met­rics.” You will find it in the Site Met­rics area on the left nav­i­ga­tion menu. The pur­pose of the report is to allow you to add up to five site-level met­rics (such as Page Views, Unique Vis­i­tors, Rev­enue, Reg­is­tra­tions, Leads, Inter­nal Searches, etc.) and com­pare these met­rics against one another so you can eas­ily iden­tify diver­gent or con­ver­gent trends. (There is a nor­mal­iza­tion fea­ture which puts these widely vary­ing met­rics on the same scale.)

Graph showing metrics trended against one another in SiteCatalyst 15

In the graph shown above, I’m com­par­ing total Unique Vis­i­tors, Check­outs, Orders, Store Loca­tor usage, and Reg­is­tra­tions. I turned on nor­mal­iza­tion, so it’s clear to me how these met­rics trend com­pared to one another. Next, I can do a few things.

  • First, I can apply a seg­ment. This is where the report begins to become really pow­er­ful. I can see how these five met­rics (or any oth­ers) trend dif­fer­ently against one another for mobile users (as an exam­ple) com­pared to other users, lead­ing to ques­tions like, “Why are check­outs way up among mobile users while rev­enue is flat?” Any of the seg­ments that you can build and use in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 can be applied in this report, mak­ing it as easy as pos­si­ble to see the rela­tion­ship between met­rics on your site for key vis­i­tor or cus­tomer segments.
  • Sec­ond, I can add this report (with or with­out a seg­ment applied) to a dash­board for dis­tri­b­u­tion through­out my orga­ni­za­tion. Why dis­trib­ute five dash­board reportlets show­ing crit­i­cal met­rics when you can dis­trib­ute just one that allows any user to see trends over­laid clearly? Instead of hav­ing to build these dash­boards man­u­ally using Excel Client or Report­Builder, you can use this fea­ture to begin to tell a story that leads to the kinds of ques­tions and answers that really move the prover­bial needle.

Report Suite-specific Cal­en­dar Events

One of the most pop­u­lar ideas in the Idea Exchange since its incep­tion has been the sug­ges­tion to make cal­en­dar events—the abil­ity to over­lay your line graphs in Site­Cat­a­lyst with notes detail­ing events that occurred on cer­tain dates so that your data is always in context—report suite-specific. Pre­vi­ously, they had been company-specific, which means that an event which per­tained to a par­tic­u­lar area of your busi­ness would be dis­played on all graphs con­tain­ing the given date range, even in report suites which had noth­ing to do with the event. This was con­fus­ing and, in some cases, mis­lead­ing for orga­ni­za­tions with more than one or two pro­duc­tion report suites.

As one user told us, “Recently, I tried to mark a cal­en­dar event in Site­Cat­a­lyst to note a pro­mo­tion we did for one of our sites. I quickly real­ized that mark­ing a cal­en­dar event marked that date on every report for every site we track. This is not use­ful. The fact that I ran a pro­mo­tion on Site A is of no rel­e­vance what­so­ever to Site B and actively makes all reports except one harder to understand.”

We lis­tened! With the release of Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, you now have the option of mak­ing a new cal­en­dar event spe­cific to a sin­gle report suite; alter­na­tively, you can still apply cal­en­dar events to the entire com­pany if desired. And the best news of all? This fea­ture is avail­able to both Site­Cat­a­lyst 14 users and Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 users. Every one of you can use this fea­ture today.

Report suite-specific calendar events

When you go to Favorites > Cal­en­dar Events, you will see that there is a link allow­ing you to choose a report suite. Cur­rently, this fea­ture allows you to select either a sin­gle report suite or an entire com­pany. Now your users can see these con­tex­tual nuggets of insight at a much more gran­u­lar level, lead­ing to far greater clar­ity and bet­ter unearthing of insights.

Vari­abil­ity of Last-Touch Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel override

Sounds con­fus­ing, right? Here’s what happened.

The orig­i­nal release of the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels report gave you the abil­ity to define what­ever chan­nels make up your online mar­ket­ing mix, then com­pare those chan­nels side-by-side visu­ally on both a first-touch and last-touch basis. (Why be lim­ited to just one, right?) One of the lim­i­ta­tions that we quickly heard was that the “Direct” (no refer­rer on first page view of visit) and “Inter­nal” (inter­nal refer­rer on first page view of visit) chan­nels were over­writ­ing other, more salient chan­nels sim­ply because they hap­pened later in that visitor’s history.

Let’s say a user came to your site three times. The first time, he came via paid search. The sec­ond time, he came via an e-mail cam­paign. The third time, he came directly, and then pur­chased. Users wanted the abil­ity for that pur­chased to be tied to the E-mail chan­nel, rather than direct.

As of the release of Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, you now have con­trol over this over­write. (And yes, this one is also avail­able in Site­Cat­a­lyst 14!) If there are chan­nels that should not over­write an exist­ing last-touch value, you have the abil­ity to ensure that they don’t. In the exam­ple just given, you can decide whether the pur­chase should be cred­ited to Direct or E-mail. Here is that exam­ple rep­re­sented visually:

Three visits with three different channels

As an admin user, I can go to the Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel Man­ager in the Admin Con­sole and uncheck the box in the “Over­ride Last-Touch Chan­nel” col­umn for any chan­nel that should not over­ride an exist­ing value. Typ­i­cally this will be “Direct” and “Inter­nal,” as described above, but in the­ory you can turn this off for any chan­nel if you want it to receive credit only if there isn’t a pre­vi­ous last-touch value per­sist­ing from a pre­vi­ous visit.

Uncheck these boxes to ensure that these channels do not overwrite

To make things clear, we also added a mes­sage that you will see when­ever you define pro­cess­ing rules for a chan­nel that won’t over­ride an exist­ing chan­nel. It will say, “Only with new engage­ments (won’t over­ride exist­ing chan­nels)” clearly in the rule setup, so there will be no doubt how this rule will func­tion when it begins to act on your data.

Con­clu­sion

I really could keep going, but in the inter­est of time and word count, I’m going to stop here. I want to re-emphasize—even though I’m sure you are sick of hear­ing it from me—that we really are lis­ten­ing to your ideas and your com­ments and votes in the Idea Exchange. Each of these three ideas came directly out of feed­back we received there and elsewhere.

Also, it’s worth point­ing out that two of these three ideas are avail­able to all Site­Cat­a­lyst users today, regard­less of access to Site­Cat­a­lyst 15. You can begin using cal­en­dar events at the report suite level and con­trol­ling how your con­ver­sions are allo­cated to mar­ket­ing chan­nels immediately.

Please leave a com­ment and share with us any other favorite fea­tures in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15—or recent addi­tions to Site­Cat­a­lyst 14—that we haven’t cov­ered here!

As always, if you have any ques­tions about any­thing in this post, or about any­thing else related to the Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite, please leave a com­ment here or con­tact me on Twit­ter and I’ll do my best to get you the infor­ma­tion that you need.

2 comments
Herbal Potpourri Bulk
Herbal Potpourri Bulk

All the information above really caught my attention and it really helps me a lot. Keep posting!

Tomas Balciunas
Tomas Balciunas

"you can turn this [Override Last-Touch Channel] off for any channel if you want it to receive credit only if there isn’t a previous last-touch value persisting from a previous visit." Since the last touch value is set on the first visit then it means that first touch and last touch will look exactly the same? However, I'm more concerned about last touch channel rules being checked on every single page view during the visit. Not too mention I had to find this out in a very painful way I don't really see the logic behind it. It creates massive problems because each rule can be matched on any page. Therefore the rule hierarchy becomes not important (only if two or more rules can be matched on the same page). Most importantly it is very difficult (unless you use default rules) to create your own accurate rules because you have to think not about the last VISIT before purchase but about every single PAGE VIEW during that last visit.