I like blog posts that have solid themes, but some­times there are ques­tions I’d like to answer that may not be long enough to con­sti­tute their own post. In such cases, I’ll use a “pot­pourri” for­mat sim­i­lar to the pop­u­lar Bill Sim­mons mail­bag recur­ring fea­ture on ESPN​.com to hit a bunch of dis­parate top­ics in a sin­gle blog entry. So I hope you’ll for­give me as I bounce around a bit here and answer a few excel­lent ques­tions that I received via e-mail or Twit­ter within the past cou­ple of months that I haven’t been able to turn into sep­a­rate blog posts.

Q: What is a list vari­able, and how can I use it to mea­sure ad impres­sions on my site?

BG: Cus­tom Traf­fic (s.prop) vari­ables allow you to pass a “list” of val­ues, using a delim­iter of your choos­ing. This is great for sites want­ing to mea­sure things like ad impres­sions, where you may have mul­ti­ple ads on a sin­gle page. Here’s an exam­ple where impres­sions for three dif­fer­ent ads can be passed into Site­Cat­a­lyst on a sin­gle page view:

s.prop7=“1784713|4849122|0665781″

Site­Cat­a­lyst will break this value at the pipe (assum­ing that pipe was the cho­sen delim­iter), gen­er­at­ing a report that looks like this:

Ad Impressions

Of course, we’d want to add friendly names and group­ings to these raw IDs (in the case of ads, these group­ings might be part­ner names, page loca­tion, etc.), which can be done using SAINT. And while pathing and data cor­re­la­tions are not avail­able for list props in Site­Cat­a­lyst, cor­re­la­tions on list props absolutely are avail­able in Dis­cover and Data Warehouse.

(You prob­a­bly also want to track ad clicks. You can do this by apply­ing cus­tom link track­ing code to each of the ads in the onclick event han­dler, and pass­ing the ad ID either into a prop or into the link name. You can then get side-by-side report­ing on impres­sions and clicks using Excel Client,  Report Builder, Dis­cover, and/or Site­Cat­a­lyst dashboards.)

Q: Let’s say a user clicks a link in an e-mail and views one page on my site. Then they leave, but return to the e-mail and click a dif­fer­ent link, which leads them to view a dif­fer­ent page on my site, within 30 min­utes. Would this be con­sid­ered a bounce on the first page that the user viewed?

BG: No. A bounce is typ­i­cally defined as [Sin­gle Access] / [Entries]. The fact that the Sin­gle Access met­ric is included in this cal­cu­la­tion means that the numer­a­tor will only have a value when the entire visit con­sisted of one page. In the sce­nario described in the ques­tion, the user makes a sec­ond page view before the visit has expired, thus remov­ing the entire visit from inclu­sion in the bounce rate calculation.

Q: Can I copy cal­cu­lated met­rics across report suites?

BG: Cal­cu­lated met­rics cre­ated in the Admin Con­sole in Site­Cat­a­lyst can absolutely be dupli­cated across report suites. Here’s how you do it. In the Admin Con­sole > Report Suites page, select all of the suites to which you want to copy the met­ric, includ­ing the suite that already has the met­ric applied to it. At the bot­tom of the result­ing page, you’ll get a list of all cal­cu­lated met­rics that have been applied to at least one of the suites you selected:

Calculated Metrics

Click the “Edit” icon for the met­ric that you want to copy:

Calculated Metrics

This will load up the cal­cu­lated met­ric in the editor:

Calculated Metrics

You don’t even have to do any­thing here! Just press “Save.” The met­ric will be auto­mat­i­cally copied to all of the suites that you selected. This can be really use­ful for com­mon cal­cu­lated met­rics that you use across all of your suites, such as Page Views per Visit, Vis­its per Monthly Unique Vis­i­tor, or Vis­i­tor Con­ver­sion (e.g., [Orders] / [Daily Unique Vis­i­tors] or some­thing along those lines).

Q: How do I “push” a book­mark to spe­cific users in my account?

BG: The “push book­mark” fea­ture is a little-known but excel­lent way to dis­trib­ute reports to indi­vid­ual users. Typ­i­cally, when a book­mark is shared, oth­ers may access it, but it remains the prop­erty of your user account. “Push book­mark” copies the book­mark to other accounts so that Once you have saved a book­mark, go to My Account > Book­marks and click “Make Pub­lic.” This opens up access to the report for other users. The “Make Pub­lic” icon will appear in color, and you will see a “Users” link next to it:

Click the 'Users' link to push a bookmark

Click this link to launch a pop-up win­dow con­tain­ing a list of all users on your account. Sim­ply select the desired recip­i­ents of the book­mark and click “Save.” These users will receive the book­mark on the tool­bar that spans the top of the Site­Cat­a­lyst user interface:

The user will see the bookmark in the toolbar

So there you have it; four tips that I hope will help some of you. Let me know whether you like/hate this sort of a blog post and I’ll adjust my plans accord­ingly. And regard­less, please feel free to con­tact me per­son­ally with ques­tions, com­ments, etc. at any time via Twit­ter or e-mail (omni­ture care at omni­ture dot com).

5 comments
Rudi Shumpert
Rudi Shumpert

Great post! And I like the Q&A format. Now I just need to submit some Q's -Rudi

VaBeachKevin
VaBeachKevin

Great information! The only thing I would add is if you want to use a prop as a 'list prop' that you need to contact Client Cate to have it enabled. If you just start using it you will get the list of variables displayed in SiteCatalyst exactly as it was entered on the page.

Andreas
Andreas

Great post Ben. Keep going with this Q&A style blog posts. Reminds me of Matt Cutts WebmasterCentral video posts ;)

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Great point, Kevin. I definitely should have mentioned the role of ClientCare in that process.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Andreas: Now THAT is a compliment! Thank you! :)