Measuring conversions

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One of the basic features of SiteCatalyst is its ability to track conversions.  To do so, you need to use Success Events.

The Success Event is generally a counter of something happening on your site.

There’s a couple of things that should be considered though, when using success events, especially if you’re using it to count things like leads etc.

Set it once

The default way that success events “count” is to increment the count everytime something happens.  However, this can lead to over-inflating certain things if you’re not aware that it’s doing it.

For example, if you set a success event every time someone starts filling in a form, and they don’t complete the form (say they go to another piece of content), and then they return to the form and start it again, the success event fires again.  Now you have 2 form starts counted.  Depending on your measurement strategy, this can be either a good thing or a bad thing.

You might in fact only want that event to be set once per visit – so even if the user abandons and then comes back, the event will only be set once.

To do this, you can ask support to use Event Serialisation – Once Per Visit.  Simply give the name of the report suite and the event name to them and they’ll make the necessary changes.

There are a number of other ways to manage Event Serialisation as well; you can do it at the code level too, but we’ve had good results by implementing it on the backend (i.e. through Support).

Tie it to a form

When you set a success event, you almost always pass in an eVar at the same time.

For example, if the user is starting a form, then you would also pass in the name of the form as an eVar:

s.events=”event2″;
s.eVar8 =”Stay in touch”;

In the above example, we’ve used event2 as a Form Start success counter, and eVar8 is the name of our form; in SiteCatalyst we’ve called our eVar8 Lead Type.

Then, when the form is submitted, you pass in the Form Complete event, and the same form name to the eVar:

s.events=”event3″;
s.eVar8 =”Stay in touch”;

Now that you’ve set the events and the eVar at the same time, you’ll be able to see conversion reports with success events.

Using the above example, you’ll see a report that shows Form Start and Form Complete, against Form Names.

Tracking Leads

Not every form complete may optin as a lead.  They may have requested information, but not checked the optin box.

So, it’s generally best practice to use another success events for optin tracking.  To do so, simply add another event on your thank you page, and if they checked the optin box, then (through some custom code your development team will possibly have to write for you), you can track optins as well.

s.events=”event3,event10″;
s.eVar8 =”Stay in touch”;

In the above example, we set event3 as Form Complete, and event10 as Lead Submitted, but only when the optin box was actually checked.  Otherwise, we’d just set event3.

Given that you now have 3 success events that you are tracking, you’ll need to ask Support to turn on Event Serialisation across these three events.

Using the above examples, you’ll now be able to see reports that show the Lead Type (name of form), with the various measures against it.  Below, we show the number of times the form was viewed (instances), the number of times the Form Start was set, the number of times the form was submitted, and the number of times that someone opted in from it.

The percentages shown are a percentage of the column, so for example, only 4% of Form Starts occur on this form (there’s other data here, but I’ve excluded it from this image.  From this you can also calculate conversion rates, by using a calculated metric such as [Lead Completes]/[Form Start], or [Lead Completes]/[Visits], again, depending upon how you want to report on things.

Measuring campaign conversions

Of course, you’ll probably want to know how your campaigns are converting – are they driving leads too?  Simply by using your campaign codes and SAINT (typical way to do it), you’ll be able to tie success events back to the campaign code (as it’s an eVar), and therefore you can see Leads by Campaign.

You’ll probably also want to do the same for Organic Keywords, and Internal Keywords and so forth.

Form Abandonment

The next level of analysis comes from understanding where in the form people are abandoning.  SiteCatalyst offers this functionality.  The steps are straightforward:

  1. You need to use the plugin “Form Analysis”.  Simply copy and paste it into your s_code in the plugins section.
  2. At the bottom of do_plugins function, in the s_code, you call the plugin using s.setupFormAnalysis()
  3. In the config section of your s_code, you set the name of your form in the s.formList=”form1″.  Comma separate values if you are tracking multiple forms.
  4. You make sure that you name your forms with whatever you put in the s.formList values.

With the above set, you should now be tracking form abandonment.  Each time a user clicks on the form but doesn’t complete it, just before they leave the page, the s_code will fire off to Omniture the name of the field they were last on.  If they submitted, you’ll see that too.  If they didn’t enter any information, that’ll be in the report as well.

Warning, the Form Analysis report is a little difficult to read though – so I’ll save that for another post.


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