Because Custom Insight variables (also know as “s.prop”) are in fact custom, there are endless business questions that can be answered though the Custom Insight variables, depending on what you are capturing from you Web site. The following list contains a few common goals and objectives

  • Count values on a given page or function on the site.
  • Understand user navigation through the Web site.
  • Understand internal user search behavior.
  • Segment visitor traffic by navigation or category.
  • Segment visitor traffic by demographics.
There are several terms that might be used when you are talking about these variables. These include:
  • Custom Insight variables.
  • Custom Traffic variables.
  • Property variables.
  • “s.props”.
These terms all mean exactly the same thing. They are custom variables in the traffic section that allowing access to see traffic to custom segments (makes sense right?). All these terms will be used at different times, just to keep you on your toes. Just remember that these terms all represent the same thing. Following are examples of coding the Custom Insight Variables:
  • s.prop1 = “search term”;
  • s.prop2 = “Flash Version 9”;
  • s.prop3 = “Register User”;
  • s.prop4 = “Home page”;
Looking at these examples, you can now see why they are called “s.props”. That is how they look in the code. They are also sometimes call “props” for short, or “property variables” for long.

In the Omniture interface, the menus call the reports “Custom Insight” reports, and they actually are traffic variables, just like pageName, channel, and server variables. There are 50 custom traffic variable for your use and enjoyment.

There are two main purposes for populating custom traffic variables:
    1. Counting instances of a specific value.
    2. Measuring traffic for a specific segment.

Example of this use of an s.prop.
  • Internal search terms.
  • Internal search type or scope.
  • Flash Version.
  • Media player version.
  • Item.
In all of these cases, you are not really asking how much traffic (how many page views) happened with a specific value. You are simply asking how many times some value came up.

Internal Search Example
For example, how many times did someone search on the term “blue hat” on an internal search? You are not asking how many pages were seen by people after they searched for this term. The search term may be pulled from a variable on the search result page and populated into s.prop as follows:

      s.prop2 = “blue hat”;

By the way, it is ALWAYS a good idea to push values to a specific case when the user has a chance to type something in. As has already been stated, traffic variables are case sensitive, so in the case of an internal search filed “hat”, “HAT,” and “Hat” would all be separate entries in Site Catalyst reports if not forced to lowercases or uppercases. The most common and recommended solution is to push all user data to lower case, which is easy to read in the reports.