The hierarchy variable is used to determine to location of a page in your site’s hierarchy or page structure. Hierarchy reflect the natural organization of the site. The hierarchy variable is mostly useful for sites that have many levels in the site structure. For example: a media site may have four levels to the Sports section: Sports, Local Sports, Baseball, Red Sox. If someone visits the Baseball page, then Sports, Local Sports and Baseball will all reflect that visits.

The following example show how the hierarchy variable can be used:
- s.hier1 = “Sports, Local Sports, Baseball, Red Sox”;
- s.hier1 = “Electronics | Home Electronics | DVD Players”;
- s.hier1 = + “|” + s.prop1;

In the first example above, hierarchy 1 has four levels: Sports, Local Sports, Baseball and Red Sox.

A store section of a site might be broken in to pages for Men’s clothing and Women’s clothing, and then broken up further into page for shoes and pants, etc.

The following items are limitations or “gotchas” that you need to keep in mind when working with hierarchies.

  • The maximum length of each hierarchy level is 255 characters. Each portion is limited to 255 characters, and the total for the entire variable is also 255 characters. The length of any individual level should be clipped to 255 divided by the number of elements plus one (to account for the delimiter character between levels).
  • Strip delimiters from hierarchy level names.
  • No blank beginning, middle, or ending levels, which create a “blank” level of the hierarchy, reported as “Unspecified” in the reports, as shown in the following example:
“,Level 2, Level 3”;
“Level 1, , Level 3”;
“Level 1,Level 2”;

Be consistent in spacing (different spacing will cause different entries in the report)
(“Level 1 |Level 2”);

Correctly coding the Hierarchy variable allows for a very useful was in the reports to drill down and see how much traffic, including de-duplicated uniques, came to a section of your site. This tree-type view of your page structure is available nowhere else in Site Catalyst

If you have different ways to cut your site into hierarchical views, you can use more than one hierarchy variable. There are five different hierarchies available in Site Catalyst, each having its own settings and character length. You simply use the number 1-5 with the s.hier variable.

- s.hier1 = “Sports | Seattle Mariners | Standings “;
- s.hier2 = “Sports | Standings | Seattle Mariners”;

In this case, there might have been two logical ways to cut the site into a hierarchy included:

section | team | page type
section | page | team

Using separate hierarchy variables, you can drill down into your site a couple of different ways to see the site usage in different fashions.

Thy pageType variable is used only to designate a 404 Page Not Found Error Page. It only has one possible value, which is “errorPage”. Omniture highly recommends implementing the pageType variable. With the pageType variable, you can discover broken site links and broken referral links. To populate the pageType variable, follow the example bellow on your 404 error page. Do not deviate; the variable is case-sensitive.

- s.pageType = “errorPage”;

By leaving the pageName variable blank, it will default to the URL. This is the one case where you do want that to happen. because having the pageType variable set will cause the URL to be placed into the “Pages Not Found” report in the paths are of Site Catalyst. This will show you all of the pages that people were looking for, so you can see trends to pages that are no longer available.

In addition to the missing page, an icon next to the missing page name will show you the referring pages, so that you can see where any broken links might be hiding.