SiteCatalyst Implementation Series: Impression Tracking


In this installment of our Adobe/Omniture SiteCatalyst implementation series, we’ll cover how you can use Satellite Tag Management System to accurately track impressions of any content on your site. Whether it’s an advertisement, a content module, or a really snazzy footer you spent weeks creating, you need to know the real number of impressions your content receives to make informed decisions. With the ever increasing variety of screen sizes and resolutions on desktops, laptops, tablets, & mobile, there is a better than average chance that a good portion of your site will not be visible to the user, and if they fail to scroll down they might never see it at all.   This is why you cannot rely on page views in your analytics system to give you a true count of how many times your content was visible and displayed to the user. This post might be categorized as part of the SiteCatalyst implementation series, but the process I’ll outline will work for any analytics solution.

The Problem

I have spent weeks and weeks laboring in PhotoShop to create this amazing footer image:

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.12.03 AMFancy, right?  But I have no idea if anyone ever sees this remarkable work of art, and my CEO is wanting to know if all of the time and money I spent on this effort was worth it.

The Solution

I want to be able to provide accurate and meaningful impression data to my stakeholders. To do this, I create a new Event Based rule within Satellite Tag Management System to capture this data.

Step 1: Identify the Content

I could go to the page and view the source code to find the css selector or id of the content or I could use Rover, our overlay and testing solution, to speed up the process.  (For detailed information on Rover and how to use it to find and select elements on your page be sure to read our post - Meet Rover first)

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.06.43 AM

With the content selected and the request to track this element selected, it is time to log in to Satellite to create the rule.

Step 2: Create the Tracking Rule

Once you have logged into Satellite you will see that there is a new request for tracking in your Inbox.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.08.22 AM

Open the inbox to review the request.

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 11.08.38 AM

Select the “Create Rule” option on the top right corner of the request and Satellite will take you to the rule creation screen.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.30.26 AM

For this rule I am going to select the event type of “enters viewport”.  Satellite dynamically detects not only the resolution of the users browser on any device, but what portion of the your site is visible in the viewport at any given time. I have entered a delay of 2 seconds before the rule will fire so that I do not count an impression for someone who is just quickly scrolling by the content; the control over the timing is up to you.

After creating the identifier for this rule I select the Omniture / Adobe section and set eVar20 to record a “Viewport Test” when this rule is fired and an impression of my footer has been in the viewport for the requested time delay.  Just for fun and demonstration purposes I also added an alert box to pop up when the conditions have been met as well.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.31.05 AM

If you would like to see this rule in action, you can see it working here.

Step 3: Save, Approve, Publish

After you have saved the rule and tested it in your development environments, it is ready to be pushed to production through Satellite’s workflow process.  When a user who has approval & publish permissions is logged into the site they will be able to view all rules that are pending approval.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.42.06 AM

Once the rule is reviewed and approved, you are but one click from publishing this new tracking rule to production.  From the overview tab select the “Publish Property” button and all of the approved rules will be published to your production servers.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 9.44.52 AM

Pro Tip:  By being selective in which rules you approve you have very granular control on the deployment of new rules to production.  If there are rules that are in progress or have not been put on your deployment schedule then you do not have to approve them yet.   Satellite will only publish the approved rules.

Step 4: Relax!

All that is left for this exercise is to wait on the impression data to flow into your analytics system.

Note: The estimated time to complete these steps should take you less than ten minutes, not counting time for validation, approval, & publication.

If you have any questions or would like to see a demo of how Satellite can help you with your digital measurement & tag management initiatives or to schedule a demo to see all of the features, email me rudi(at)searchdiscovery.com.


About Search Discovery

Search Discovery is a digital intelligence company that empowers organizations to make better, dynamic and transformative business decisions. We're focused on delivering results for our clients through digital analytics, SEO, digital media, and technology.


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