Since many of the customers I work with are not given Administrator rights to SiteCatalyst, they are often unaware of some of the cool things they are missing.  In this post, I am going to cover some of my favorite Admin Console tips so that you can pester your SiteCatalyst Administrator and show them how to make your life easier!

Report Suite Segments
A while back, I wrote a post on how to create visitor Segments for use in DataWarehouse and ASI. Creating these segments can be tricky at times and often requires a lot of testing.  Wouldn’t it be great if someone at your organization who is well versed in creating SiteCatalyst Segments could create a bunch of them and share them with everyone else?  Well you can, but may not know about it!  In the Admin Console, there is a place where an Admin can add as many Segments as they would like and all other users can then take advantage of them.  As shown here, I have created two basic Visit-based segments which can now be seen by anyone using that report suite (note that you cannot share Segments across report suites!):

Once this is done, when other users of that report suite use DataWarehouse or ASI, they would see the following:

As you can see, the two Segments the administrator created appear in the list, but are “locked” for everyone else.  Obviously, users can create as many of their own segments as they want, but using these global segments can go a long way to ensuring “apples to apples” reporting.

Default Metrics
Do you ever get annoyed that every time you create a new conversion report, SiteCatalyst always defaults to certain metrics (i.e. Revenue or Orders)?  Maybe your site doesn’t even sell anything!  Did you know that you can choose which metrics show up in reports by default?  For example, in my case, the metrics I use the most often are Blog Post Views, Visits and Blog Posts.  Why not have each new conversion report I open default to these instead of what SiteCatalyst wants to show me?  To do this, you have your Administrator set the report suite default metrics in the admin console (again, these are on a report suite by report suite basis):

Keep in mind that once you start working with reports in a session and alter the metrics, those metrics will be used until you logout and will not revert back to the default metrics.

Quick Tip: If you want to set different metrics for each Conversion Report instead of using the same three above, simply:

  1. Open the Conversion Report
  2. Add/remove metrics as needed
  3. Same as a Custom Report
  4. Move the new Custom Report to the appropriate place in the menu using the Menu Customizer
  5. Hide the original version of the Conversion Report  using the Menu Customizer

Track Key Visitors
If you have ever dreamed of being a “private eye” you will like the Key Visitors feature.  In reality, it is not terribly exciting, but it can be fun.  The idea behind Key Visitors is that you can specify up to five domains or IP addresses from which you are receiving traffic and see traffic form these in separate reports.  Usually, clients use these to track competitors as shown here:

Once you have enabled these, you can see Page Views by these Key Visitors (found under the Visitor Profile >> Visitor Details area of the left navigation) and what pages on your site they have viewed:

Using this, we can see that some WebTrends folks have taken a keen interest in some of our blog posts ;-).  Please note that these reports do not count traffic referred from these domains, but rather traffic that originated from the domains.  In other words, the report above is showing traffic where the visitor’s ISP was registered as webtrends.com, not traffic sent to blogs.omniture.com from webtrends.com (though if they wanted to send us traffic they could!).

Paid Search Detection
I can’t tell you how many times I have had an irate client call me and tell me that they are not seeing any data in their Paid Search Keywords or Paid Search Engines reports.  They tell me that they have added tracking codes and query string parameters, but the reports are not showing any data – SiteCatalyst must be broken!  I then proceed to ask them if they have enabled Paid Search Detection in the Admin Console so that SiteCatalyst knows which query string identifiers it should treat as Paid Search and which ones it should not.  That is usually when I hear a long pause…  Hopefully this has not happened to you, but just to be sure, please verify that your Administrator has this set-up correctly (this can be applied to multiple report suites at one time).  It looks like this:

Once this is set-up, all search engine traffic will be split out into Natural and Paid reports instead of being lumped together into the “All” reports found in the Traffic Sources area.

Finding Methods Allocation
Many of my clients that use the Finding Methods reports (i.e. Referring Domains) do not think about how those reports use Allocation.  In the Conversion Variable post, I explained the different eVar allocations, but there are special allocations associated with the Finding Methods reports.  These reports normally “expire” values at the end of the Visit and only have “First Value” and “Linear” as allocation options.  However, you can modify these expirations such that these reports expire when a Success Event takes place if that Success Event takes place prior to the Visit ending (since the longest these reports will expire is a Visit).  You can see the various options here:

Internal URL Filters
Often times, you have multiple domains that are part of your entire website infrastructure.  For example, your website might be www.abc.com but you also have a marketing “micro-site” with the domain www.abc-rocks.com.  In this case, SiteCatalyst would not know that the latter is owned by your organization and it might treat referrals from www.abc-rocks.com to www.abc.com as if they were coming from a random Internet site.  While there may be some cases where that is what you want, it is more likely that you would like to treat www.abc-rocks.com as though it is no different than www.abc.com.  To accomplish this, SiteCatalyst provides an Internal URL Filters area in the admin console.  On this page, you can specify which domains you want to treat as part of your site and which are truly external to your site.  In this case, you would add the following:

Therefore, if you ever look at your referring domains report and notice domains that your company owns, tell your Administrator that they need to add them to the list above and they will not appear in the referring domains reports again.

Classification Hierarchies
For those of you who have mastered SAINT Classifications, Classification Hierarchies offer a way to take things to the next level.  Often times there are relationships between the various items that you set-up as Classifications and Classification Hierarchies allow you to “nest” classifications so you can build reports that breakdown the item being classified into logical buckets.  For example, let’s say that you sell electronics and have many different types of Products.  You have already classified Products into Product Group, Product SubGroup and Manufacturer.  These classifications allow you to slice and dice all of your Product data by any of these elements separately, but what if you wanted to see Product metrics by Product Group, then for each Product Group broken down by SubGroup, etc…?  To do this you would use the Classification Hierarchies area of the Admin Console and drag over all of the classifications you want nested as shown here:

As shown above, you can choose from any classifications that have been set-up for the Products variable.  Once you have done this, you save it and when you look at the Products report area you will see a special icon indicating that a Classification Hierarchy exists and will have the ability to drill down by all of the items you have added to the hierarchy:

In this view, we can see Products broken down by Product Group, Product SubGroup and Manufacturer and the Revenue and Orders for each.  Clicking on “Apple” or “Sony” would take us to the lowest level, which in this case is Products.  You can create multiple classification hierarchies for the same variable and you can create classification hierarchies for any Conversion variable that has classifications.

Have a question about anything related to Omniture SiteCatalyst?  Is there something on your website that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best practices you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@omniture.com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I won’t use your name or company name!).  If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/Omni_man.

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9 comments
socialACK
socialACK

I know this is a little dated at this point, but the classification hierarchies are very interesting. Can you also use these with campaigns? Would you happen to have an example of that?

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5 mistakes

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BUNANE
BUNANE

Very useful blog.Thanks!

Bill
Bill

Thank you for expanding on SiteCatalyst's traffic tracking with filtering functions. The filtering functions allow "slicing and dicing" of data to arrive at actionable information to powerfully enhance productivity of paid search results!

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skyline residences

Its very complicated to use but once i read your post, its has become clear to me thank you so much

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how to lose belly fat in 1 week

Glad you showcased classification hierarchies - one of those incredibly powerful features that I suspect very few end users ever turn on despite its clear end user benefits! Wonderful stuff.

Kelly
Kelly

How can we turn off the percentages that appear next to each column and take up a ton of space in Reportlets?

James Dutton
James Dutton

Hey Adam, Great post as usual. Here's a little feedback, which I recently shared with @omniturecare - the admin console needs some updating to allow the default metrics to be updated for multiple rsid's (making changes to dozens of rsid's in multi suite tagging situations is a horribly time consuming process at the moment because the change is limited to a single rsid at a time). Glad you showcased classification hierarchies - one of those incredibly powerful features that I suspect very few end users ever turn on despite its clear end user benefits! Wonderful stuff. Cheers, James.