Cool custom measure column: PPC, email, banner visit counts

Add a column to your WebTrends reports that gives the number of visits coming from pay-per-click or campaigns.

You can add a column to your entry page, referrer, or keyword reports that shows how much traffic comes from PPC. 

By varying the setup a little, you can do the same thing for email visits.  Or banner visits.  Or a specific campaign.  You get the idea.

We did it with a variation of the KPI measure that we described a couple months ago.

Prerequisite

You must already be using a way to identify the visit type (a.k.a. origin) as PPC, email, etc, in the URL of the visit’s first page view.  In other words, the first page’s URL must be something like
“page.aspx?source=email.”  

That’s standard practice for analytics so you’re probably already doing it.

WebTrends’ documentation suggests using WT.ev or WT.srch although it’s not a rule, it just makes the data more compatible with some preconfigured reports.  We’ll just call it the “visit type identifier.”  For example:  

WT.ev=e   for email traffic
WT.ev=b   for banner traffic
WT.srch=1 for paid search
WT.ev=ppc for paid search
WT.mc_id=whatever for any campaign
source=YahooPPC
origin=affiliateXYZ
Whatever you like.  It just has to be in the landing page.

Here’s how to build one of these measures, using a PPC example.

  • The rough idea of the measure is: 
  • Count the number of visits in which your visit type identifier is seen in the first hit.

Note to existing fans of the KPI measure trick:  There’s a new wrinkle presented here that we didn’t talk about in the other post — the SDC-auto-created parameter WT.vt_f_tlv.  (It’s intended to hold “time of last visit” and is set to zero if WebTrends can’t identify a previous visit.)  SDC puts this parameter only in the first hit of a visit.  Cool eh?  It opens a lot of possibilities.  You can use a parameter to identify Visit Page View #1.  This is so exciting.

Creating the custom measure

Go to Web Analysis >> Report Configuration >> Custom Reports >> Measures and do “Create a New Measure.”

In the opening screen, give it a name and so forth.

In the “What To Measure” tab, enter WT.vt_f_tlv.  Skip the Advanced button.

In the “When To Measure” tab, there are two steps.  In the first step you specify the URL stem.  You’ll allow any URL stem, so you enter an asterisk.

Click on “New URL Parameter” in the lower right to get to the second part of “When to Measure.”  This time, you do care about exactly what’s specified.  In order to be measured, the hit must have identifier for the type of visit you want to measure.  In this case, with our example, the identifier is the parameter “WT.ev” with the value “ppc.”  As said above, in your case it can be anything, as long as it identifies a PPC visit. 

In doing variations of this measure, for email or banners instead of PPC for example, you’ll substitute an identifier for banner visits.  Or whatever.

Close out the New URL Parameter screen and you’ll go back to the main When to Measure screen, and now your parameter will appear in the bottom part of the screen.  It should look like this:

Go to the next setup screen, Format.  In the Format screen, you want to make sure the numbers appear as integers in your reports.

The next screen shows a summary.  Your summary screen should look like this.  Save it.

Create the Custom Report

Now you simply need to add this measure to any custom report.   By “any custom report” we of course mean “any custom report that’s based on a visit-type dimension like Referrer, Search Term, Entry Page.”

In this screen shot taken from the Measures step of defining a custom report, the PPC Visit measure happens to be the third measure of the report.

Results 

And, as we showed at the top of this post, after analyzing you should get a column like this:

 

Postscript

You can’t do this with server logs, just SDC.  SDC adds the magic ingredient, the parameter WT.vt_f_tlv that identifies the first hit of a visit.  Without this limitation to entry pages, resulting numbers will be too high because WebTrends will give you a count of all the hits that contain the visit type identifier, including hits occur in the middle of a visit.  Since many people back out to a search results page (for example) and re-enter, or they back-button to the page with the identifier, a single visit could get counted more than once in your stats.