2008-11-26

Tracking Clicks on Off-site Links - Made Easy with WebTrends SDC

One of the biggest questions many of us in web analytics have faced over the years was tracking visitors ow who click on which links that take users to 3rd party websites (external links). This is critical if you run banner ads, sell links, have partner sites etc.

Over the years a number of solutions have been developed. Some of these worked reasonably well and have included using third part tracking tools or creating redirection page or script. In any option it always required a middle layer that user would be directed to first and then redirect them to the external site. This solution, while it work, created a point of failure and potentially a bad user experience.

With the introduction java script tracking web analytics (WebTrends SDC, Google Analytics, Omiture etc.) it became possible tag the HTML code (specifically the "a href" tag) with an on-click or on-mouse down function that execute the tracking java script file and pass a series of variables to the data collection server. While this method works, it requires additional web site programming which generally required IT resources and testing.

WebTrends has come up with a way with their new SDC java script (relased earlier this year) to simplify this whole process. When building your SDC java script using the WebTrends Tag Builder simply select "Off-Site Links" as an option under the "Event Tracking" tab and generate your SDC script.

Once the script is uploaded, all works perfectly and clicks to off-site sites will appear in the top pages report with the title extension of "Offsite:URL".

At last something made simple. And please remember, if you need help with your WebTrends configuration please feel free to contact my company as that is one of our specialty.

2 comments:

Phani said...

Hi,
I am newbie to Webtrends,
I would like to know the common issues that you face while migrating/configuring IIS profile to SDC profiles.And how would it be re-solved.

Regards,
Jey

Alan K'necht said...

There are really no issues. IIS is a basic web server and depending on who you constructed your web pages, you simply need to add the SDC java script to the bottom of your web pages.

As for the SDC server, it is a ISAPI filter (plug-in for lack of a easy description) for IIS. It must run on port 80 and depending on the volume of traffic it is generally installed on its own server.

It is possible to have it installed on the same server as your web site, and under that scenario, your web server manager should be able to configure the virtual host correctly.