Friday, March 5, 2010

Omniture SiteCatalyst : Path Analysis

If you are a website owner or a web analyst repsonsible for site optimization, path analysis is very important for you. WHY?....1) it will help you understand what navigational paths users are taking most often on your website

2) it will help you analyze if there are any pages on your site that is driving traffic away,
3) it will help you identify the pages that tend to confuse your users
4) most important, it will help you identify the optimum navigational path on your website

If you have Omniture SiteCatalyst as your Web Analytics Tool, then you are in luck, because it has one of the most simple to use path analysis reports. Lets look into some of the implementation basics of Omniture SiteCatalyst Pathing before diving deeper into the Report itself.

SiteCatalyst Pathing Implementation Requirements:

Pathing reports are available out of the box for SiteCatalyst. Pathing can also be enables for prop variables for specific purposes like campaign path analysis. Enabling pathing on a prop has to be done by an Omniture Representative and may come with an additional fee. Now let's look at the implementation part.

First and foremost you need to set aside an sprop ( to know more about sprops refer to the post Omniture SiteCatalyst : Props, eVars and events) to be used for this report. The data that is populated in the prop must be structured in such a way that it will make sense when pathing is enables on the prop.

Let's look at an example to make things more clear.Suppose you choose prop1 as the campaign pathing prop (to understand how users who come to your site through a particular campaign are navigating you site).You would then need to populate this prop with the same value as the page name variable.

s.prop1 =  s.pageName;

This would be the case on all pages,except the landing page of the campaign.  On the landing page you would like to concatenate the campaign name to the page name to get the value for sprop1.

sprop1 = s.campaign + ":" + s.pagename

If the users clicked through on a campaign named "campA", and page that it landed was "Vehicle C", then the value in sprop1 will be:
"campA : Vehicle C". Then on all subsequent pages you can choose to put only the page name or a combination of the campaign name and pagename which ever suits you better.

So if the users views four pages say A, B , C and D on your site before leaving it, then sprop1 will have the following values in order:

"campA : A">"B">"C">"D"

In order to view the path reports, you can login to yout Omniture SiteCatalyst account, go to the campaign pathing reports and view a report such as the full paths, which will give you a summary of almost all possible paths that users on your site used.

You can also drill down on a campaign in the pathing reports to find the pages viewed after some one visits your site through that campaing.This can be some using the correlation feature in Site Catalyst. 


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