Site Catalyst is a completely hosted Web analytics solution. When a visitor request a Web page from a Site Catalyst-enabled site, the browser executes the Site Catalyst code while rendering the page. The code collects data about the page view (including any custom variables defined, for example s.props or s_eVars) and initiates an image request to the Site Catalyst data collection servers. The data is passed in to servers as part of the request and a 1 x 1 pixel (transparent) image is returned. Site Catalyst processes and displays the data through online reports in real time.

It might be helpful, right up front, to know a few definitions of metrics that your business analysts will see and use in the reports. These are only a few of the metrics, but many other metrics are built upon them, so it is imperative that they know how these metrics work. As you place the code on the page, it may also be helpful for you to understand some basics.

The page view metrics is simply one Web page load in an end user’s browser. Because of how Site Catalyst works, this includes reloads (refreshes), Back button page loads and etc. It is actually just one execution of the Site Catalyst code. If you place Omniture code higher on the page, you are more likely to get more page views. If is is lower on the page, you will only record page views that loaded the entire page.

A visit can be seen as any number of page views in one “setting” or in one “session” on the site. (The word “session” is rarely used because a visit does NOT equal a browser session) A visit ends after 30 minutes of inactivity, or when Site Catalyst has not heard from the same user for 30 minutes (the amount if time is configurable per site).

The third way to measure traffic is that of a unique visitor. If you need to know how many different people came to your site during a specific time period, then this is your metrics. The key to understand the Visitor metrics is that it is always associated with a time period, because you have to know whether to count a person again or not when they come back to your site. This metrics answers the question:

How many different people visited my site during ....

  • this hour?
  • this day?
  • this week?
  • this months?
  • this quarter?
  • this year?
When a person visits a site for the first time within the specified time period, he or she is counted as a unique visitor.

The are six basic steps to configure Site Catalyst code on a Web site. I will cover each of the steps in details. Step 6, the validation step, will be emphasized throughout the other steps.
  • Step 1: Install the Site Catalyst code.
  • Step 2: Populate traffic variables.
  • Step 3: Populate conversion variable.
  • Step 4: Configure recommended plug-ins.
  • Step 5: Configure variables.
  • Step 6: Verify correct variables are being set.
Site Catalyst implementation involves adding two components to the site: the Site Catalyst HTML code and a JavaScript Include file. The HTML file (commonly called “page level code”) contains a few short lines of customizable JavaScript code to be inserted into every page to be tracked. The JavaScript (or JS) file contains most of the tracking code that the Site Catalyst HTML file will reference.

NOTE: Visitor to your site cache the .(JavaScript) JS Include file after the first request, resulting in virtually no incremental server load for you site.

Page Level Code - click here to view.

JS File - The JavaScript file contains most of the code that the Site Catalyst HTML file will reference. Click here to view.