I recently had a blog reader write to me and ask me if I would describe how I track the use of this blog using Site­Cat­a­lyst.  There­fore, I will devote this post to shar­ing some of the things I look at related to blog usage.  Hope­fully, this will pro­vide more con­text around many of the fea­tures I have described over the past year.

Track­ing Blog Post Views
When I started this blog, nat­u­rally, the first thing I wanted to know was how many views each blog post received.  While I could do this by look­ing at the page views that each page name received, I decided to take it a step fur­ther by defin­ing a Blog Post View as a Suc­cess Event.  This would allow me to see a pretty chart of Blog Post Views over time and set Alerts if I had the need.  Set­ting this one Suc­cess Event allowed me to see the fol­low­ing graph:

How­ever, this met­ric only indi­cates total Blog Post Views.  It does not tell me which blog posts or even which blog itself con­tributes to these num­bers so, by itself, it only pro­vides part of the pic­ture.  There­fore, the next step was to add some Con­ver­sion Vari­ables (eVars) to allow me to break down these Blog Post Views by Blog Name, Blog Author, etc…  To do this, I had devel­op­ers cap­ture the fol­low­ing items in eVars each time a Blog Post was read (see Site­Cat­a­lyst Debug­ger below):

  • Blog Name (eVar11)
  • Blog Author (eVar13)
  • Blog Post Title (eVar9)
  • Blog Topic Area (eVar10)
  • Time of Day (eVar5), Day of Week (eVar6), Weekday/Weekend (eVar7)

Once this was done, I could slice and dice the Blog Post Views met­ric to see the fol­low­ing reports:

Using Search Fil­ters
Another thing I did to make my life eas­ier was to make sure that all of my blog posts had the phrase “[Inside Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst]” in the title.  This allowed me to cre­ate a search fil­ter (see below) that only shows my blog posts in the Blog Post Title report.  After I ran the search fil­ter, I added the result­ing fil­tered report to a blog dash­board and could be assured that all of my [prop­erly named] posts would appear there after being launched.

Watch­ing Trends
Another thing I wanted to see was what kind of an impact my blog was hav­ing over time.  To see this, I cre­ated a 7-day mov­ing aver­age graph that plot­ted the trend of my blog.  In the first graph below, you can see the raw num­ber of Blog Post Views my blog received and in the sec­ond graph you can see the per­cent­age of all Omni­ture blog post views for which my blog accounted.  The mov­ing aver­age fea­ture (found under trended link) allowed me to fil­ter out some of the day-to-day “noise” and week­ends to get a clearer pic­ture on how my blog read­er­ship was pro­gress­ing.  I also added cal­en­dar events to pro­vide the reader with some con­text related to traf­fic spikes.

Counter eVar
One more thing you may have noticed in the Debug­ger report above is the use of the Counter eVar (see eVar12).  As described in the past, a Counter eVar is a way to increase a counter for a par­tic­u­lar user and to tie their cur­rent counter value (i.e. score) to a Suc­cess Event.  In this case, I set a Counter eVar every time a user views a Blog Post.  There­fore, if you had read three Omni­ture Blog Posts before read­ing this post, then the value in your cookie would now be four.  This means that in my reports it would show one Blog Post View where the user had read four Blog Posts.  This helps me deter­mine if the peo­ple read­ing my posts are first-timers or reg­u­lar read­ers.  Keep in mind, how­ever, that these num­bers will always be skewed towards 1st time vis­i­tors due to dif­fer­ent com­puter usage and cookie dele­tion, but they are still use­ful to see trends.  Below you can see how orange, green, red and pur­ple bars are slow­ing grow­ing over time, indi­cat­ing that I am begin­ning to get some repeat read­ers (yea!).

How­ever, in order to see a higher-level view of these trends, I use SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions to aggre­gate the Counter eVar val­ues into more mean­ing­ful buck­ets (i.e. Two-Three Blog Posts Views, Six-Ten Blog Post Views, etc…) and cre­ate a report like this:

Blog Pathing
Finally, since we have the name of each blog being passed to an eVar already, why not pass the blog name to a Traf­fic Vari­able (sProp) as well?  This will allow us to enable Pathing, which makes it easy to see how often vis­i­tors are going from one Omni­ture blog to another.  For exam­ple, in the report below, you can see how often read­ers of my blog are vis­it­ing the blogs of my co-workers.

As you can see, only 13% of my blog read­ers are tak­ing the time to visit other Omni­ture blogs.  It looks like we have some work to do on cross-promotion or per­haps we need a re-design of our blog inter­face to encour­age vis­i­tors to read more than one blog.  This report can be used as a “before/after” for any design changes we make down the road to see if the new design improves blog “cross-sell.”

Wish List Items
Believe it or not, you aren’t the only ones who have to wait for devel­op­ers!  Below is a list of items I have on my wish list:

  1. Track the “tags” asso­ci­ated with each post using the Prod­ucts Vari­able (which allows for mul­ti­ple values)
  2. Track Com­ments Sub­mit­ted as a Suc­cess Event
  3. Deter­mine how often peo­ple are read­ing my blog posts off the Omni­ture web­site (i.e. RSS Reader, LinkedIn, etc…)

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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You have a fantastic blog and very useful content!


Very useful blog.I like it.Thanks!

Rudi Shumpert
Rudi Shumpert

Not sure how I missed this post, but I now have a list of items to add to the Wordpress plugin! Great post Adam.

Sushant Ajmani
Sushant Ajmani

Hi Adam, By the way, this is my first visit to your blog, and I am really impressed with the type of content you have posted here. Good job done!!


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