One of the top­ics I dis­cussed in my Site­Cat­a­lyst Sum­mit pre­sen­ta­tion last year was JavaScript plug-ins.  Not being super-technical myself, the best I can do to explain these plug-ins is that they are addi­tional snip­pets of code you add to your Site­Cat­a­lyst .js file that allow you to add func­tion­al­ity.  One of the advan­tages of being asso­ci­ated with the Omni­ture Con­sult­ing group is that you get to work with a lot of tal­ented peo­ple who come up with these plug-ins to solve unique cus­tomer issues.  In fact, many of the fea­tures you use today in Site­Cat­a­lyst orig­i­nated from plug-ins writ­ten by the con­sult­ing team.  In this post, I will share with you some of my favorite plug-ins and explain how they are used.

Get Query Para­me­ter Plug-in
This is the most com­monly used plug-in since it is essen­tial to Cam­paign Track­ing.  This plug-in looks for para­me­ters in the URL and assigns them to the Site­Cat­a­lyst vari­ables that you des­ig­nate.  For exam­ple, when a vis­i­tor arrives at your site from a paid search key­word, the cam­paign track­ing code is nor­mally extracted using this plug-in and placed in the s.campaigns Con­ver­sion Vari­able (eVar).  How­ever, there are many other uses for this plug-in since it can grab any query string para­me­ter.  I will often use this to grab the search term used in an inter­nal search query on a client’s site.  For exam­ple, on this web­site, when the user con­ducts an inter­nal search, the phrase they used is passed in the URL of the results page such that the text found after the “q=” can be pro­gram­mat­i­cally passed to a Traf­fic Vari­able (sProp) or Con­ver­sion Vari­able (eVar):

Pre­vi­ous Value Plug-in
This plug-in allows you to pass a value that was stored on the pre­vi­ous page to a vari­able on the cur­rent page.  I find this plug-in to be extremely use­ful, espe­cially when it comes to Traf­fic Vari­ables which do not have per­sis­tence.  A com­mon use of this fea­ture is to pass the page­name value from the pre­vi­ous page to a cus­tom sProp on the cur­rent page, in effect, storing the refer­ring page­name in a cus­tom sProp on the cur­rent page.  Why is this use­ful?  Let’s say that you want to see what page the user was on when they searched on the term “eurodol­lar” as shown in the exam­ple above.  Unfor­tu­nately, there is not a straight­for­ward way to do this, but if you have the search term in an sProp (as shown above) and the pre­vi­ous page in an sProp (through the plug-in) all in the same image request being sent to Site­Cat­a­lyst, you can then cre­ate a Traf­fic Data Cor­re­la­tion between the two.  Through this Cor­re­la­tion, you can see all of the pages that users were on when they searched for “eurodol­lar” and you can see the con­verse, which is the abil­ity to see all of the terms that users searched for while they were on a par­tic­u­lar page (i.e. the Home Page).  By com­bin­ing the Pre­vi­ous Value Plug-in and a Cor­re­la­tion, you can get some pretty pow­er­ful data for very lit­tle work.

Get & Per­sist Plug-in
This plug-in is very basic, but has many pow­er­ful uses.  All it does is pass a value stored in a vari­able on one page to all sub­se­quent pages.  It saves you the time/effort of stor­ing val­ues in your own cookie and lets your Site­Cat­a­lyst .js file do the work for you.  When would you want to do this?  Let’s say that you have reg­is­tered users on your site who log-in to use the site.  Upon login, you cap­ture their User ID, but it would be great if you could pass that User ID to a Traf­fic Vari­able on every page of the visit.  If you did that, you would be able to cre­ate a Traf­fic Data Cor­re­la­tion between the User ID and the s.pagename vari­able so you could see all of the pages that each User ID viewed on the site.  The Get & Per­sist plug-in makes doing this much eas­ier and lets your IT staff focus on more impor­tant tag­ging work.

Time Part­ing Plug-in
This plug-in allows you to store the Day of the Week and Time of Day in Site­Cat­a­lyst Traf­fic and Con­ver­sion vari­ables so you can break data down by time seg­ments.  There are a few nuances with this plug-in (needs to be updated each year and ties data to one time zone), but over­all, I have found that it pro­vides use­ful infor­ma­tion to fac­tor into your analy­ses.  The fol­low­ing is an exam­ple of how I use Time Part­ing to see when vis­i­tors access this blog:

Visit Num­ber Plug-in
This plug-in passes the cur­rent visit num­ber for the active vis­i­tor to Site­Cat­a­lyst Traf­fic or Con­ver­sion vari­ables.  While these met­rics are pro­vided in a few out-of-the-box Site­Cat­a­lyst reports, I find hav­ing it in cus­tom met­rics pro­vides more flex­i­bil­ity for use in Cor­re­la­tions and Sub­re­la­tions.  The main caveat with this plug-in is that the data is sub­ject to cookie deletion.

Days Since Last Visit Plug-in
This plug-in is sim­i­lar to the Visit Num­ber plug-in except it passes one of a few set val­ues based upon when the active vis­i­tor had been to the site last.  Some of the val­ues are “Less Than 7 Days” or “More Than 30 Days.”

Time To Com­plete Plug-in
This plug-in allows you to track how much time elapses between two Suc­cess Events of your choos­ing.  This is handy when you want to see how long it takes for users to progress through a con­ver­sion flow on your site.  The fol­low­ing is a sam­ple report using this plug-in:

Dynamic Object ID Plug-in
This plug-in allows you to improve the accu­racy of ClickMap by assign­ing unique ID’s to the objects found on your webpage.

Impor­tant Things To Know About Plug-ins
The fol­low­ing are some impor­tant things to know about Plug-ins:

  1. Many of the plug-ins described here involve imple­men­ta­tion and, as such, should be used in con­junc­tion with an Omni­ture Con­sul­tant who can edu­cate you about usage and maintenance.
  2. Adding plug-ins to your Site­Cat­a­lyst JavaScript file will increase its “weight” so you should be sure to test thor­oughly, espe­cially if using ser­vices that rate page load performance.

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://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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6 comments
Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Moira: The plug-in relies on a cookie, so it would not be able to work cross-domain. It cannot set a cookie on one domain and then read it on another domain.

Moira
Moira

Does the get and persist plugin work fine also when there are 2 different domains? If I go from www.mysite.com to shop.othersite.com, can I store the value for an s.eVar with this plugin? Let me know, thank you.

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Tony - If you don't see information about the plug-in, speak to your account manager who can put you in touch with Omniture Consulting. Adam

Tony
Tony

I guess we go through our Account Rep to find out about these plug ins? Is there a list of all plug ins available???

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Mike- You can find information on many plug-ins in the Knowledge Base. For more complex ones, please contact Omniture Consulting. Adam

Mike
Mike

Can you tell me where I can find a complete list of plug-ins available? And the plug-ins listed on this page, where can I get more implementation instructions?