by Rudi Shumpert, Direc­tor, Strate­gic Services – Satel­lite

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 AMIf 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)