One of the biggest things I always hear from people considering moving to Adobe SiteCatalyst is the fear of a difficult implementation. It feels to me that most people think they need to implement everything at once, and that is not so. You can just take baby steps and implement small sections at a time. Let’s get started with just a standard implementation to get things going. I’m going to show you how to do a basic implementation of SiteCatalyst in 5 minutes.
First we need to set up a new report suite from the SiteCatalyst Admin Console Report Suite Manager. That can be found by selecting Admin > Report Suites.
Once we are in the Report Suite Manager, select Create New > Report Suite.
This will open up the New Report Suite setup page. On this page we have two sections to deal with, the first being where we can choose what type of site we are creating the report suite for. I recommend just leaving this set at the default suite type. Since we plan of adding some neat customizations in the future as our analytics needs increase, the default will work fine for us right now.
Next on this page we have five items that need to be filled in. They are all marked with red stars, with the most important being the first one, Report Suite ID. Why is this the most important? Because it the only one we cannot change later. I recommend it should be something you can easily understand what it means. If your site is apple.com then I would just simply choose apple and not something cryptic like 89e7rghv9e7gh (yes I have seen that done before). It actually doesn’t matter what you choose (in case you had your heart set on using 89e7rghv9e7gh), anything will work, but choosing something simple may save some headaches in the future. The Site Title is what you want it to be referred to by in the SiteCatalyst interface, Time Zone is your time zone, Go Live Date is when the site is expected to launch (it must be a date in the future), and Estimated Page Views per Day is just what it says. This number is used by the Adobe engineers to determine what resources to dedicate to your site to ensure everything is recorded correctly. Remember any of these items (except Report Suite ID) can be changed later if you need to. There are other things listed here and you can fill them out or change them if you would like, they are not required in setting up the report suite. Fill out the five required fields, click submit and the report suite is created.
There are some additional things we need to set up before we start with the actual data collection code. Head back to the Report Suite Manager and find you new suite in the list. Click it to highlight it and then mouse over the Edit Settings link. This will bring up a list of additional settings we can adjust. Remember this section. Later when you get more advanced with your SiteCatalyst data collection, this is where you will go to turn on and off variables for more advanced tracking. There are only two items we need to touch right now, and are going to be located under General.
Under Internal URL Filters you need to set what the domain of your site is. On every single page view there is a referrer. When your visitors go from your home page to your about us page, the referrer to that page is the home page. You do not want that showing up in your referrer reports, so this is where you list out the domain names that you do not want included in those reports. Quick tip: If your site is www.homes.com, and you enter homes.com in the URL filter, it will also filter out sites that have that name included in it, for example newhomes.com or cheaphomes.com. Add a period to the front of the domain name to make sure that only your site is filtered, .homes.com. You can also enter the subdomain with the URL in the filter if your site only lives at a single subdomain, or you can list all of them in the filter.
Next you want to hit the Paid Search Detection. In here you need to set up a query sting parameter that will be used for your paid search. Even if you do not plan on doing paid search fill this out any way. It is important in making sure your Search Engine and Search Keywords reports work properly.
We created our report suite, filled out a handful of variables and we are now ready to start playing with the actual collection code. From the Admin Console Home you can find a direct link to the Code Manager, or you can find it from the navigation menu on the left.
Now take the contents under the Page Code tab and paste that to every page of your site, right before the closing body tag. In that code you will see the place marked INSERT-DOMAIN-AND-PATH-TO-CODE-HERE. In this position enter the path to the s_code.js file that you previously uploaded.
That’s all there is to it. This should be easily to be accomplished in 5 minutes or less. We setup the report suite, generated the page code and the s_code and added them to the site. This will give us the basic recording of the site traffic, referrals and visitor information. After this is up and running we can go back and add in some additional elements to the s_code file and the page code to customize your SiteCatalyst implementation to your specific site.