WebTrends Release New Tag Builder

WebTrends announced today the release of a second generation tag builder. The tag builder is used for generating customized SDC (Smart Data Collector) java scripts to be added to web pages for java script based web analytics for both WebTrends OnDemand and installed version of WebTrends.

Details of the changes can be found at http://blog.webtrends.com/2009/02/24/new-verison-of-tag-builder-available/

Of note, you no longer have to tag Google Adword ads as paid search as WebTrends can now use the Google generated campaign ID assume you've enable "Autotagging" enabled for your Google Adwords campaign.

I'll be testing the new tag builder within the next few days and will post any problems if I find them.


Shorten URL's - TinyURL

With the growing acceptance of Twitter into main stream use, the use of services to shorten lengthy URLs is growing. There are many of these free services out there on the web. Popular ones include:
The question becomes how do these services affect your web analytic reports? So let's start with the basics.

First off, if someone is using a twitter application (for example Tweetdeck) any one clicking on a full and proper link it would appear as direct traffic. The only way to properly identify this users is to use your web analytics campaign tracking feature.

If someone were to click on a shorten URL on a web page, how the referrer is handled would vary by the both the shortening service (most service do however work the same way) and your web analytics software.

For example using tinyurl and generating a link to my company web site www.knechtology.com the shorten URL would appear as: http://tinyurl.com/dfjood and would generate the following sequence of hits.

GET 301 Redirect to http://www.knechtology.com/ http://tinyurl.com/dfjood
GET 200 text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1 http://www.knechtology.com/

The first hit might appear in tinyurl's web log files or possibly not depending on how they handle the 301 redirect. Regardless, there is nothing recorded in my web site's log files until the second hit.

Now the big question is: will this hit appear with the referrer of tinyurl.com or not. For that you need to check your log files. In my experience at best this will appear as a referrer from the shortening service. That's why if I'm posting a link in Twitter back to my web site, I alway like to add a campaign id to the URL.

I personally don't care which Tweet generated the traffic so here at K'nechtology have set up a standard one. If you want to distinguish your Tweets, you'll need to generate unique campaign IDs for each post.


WebTrends Update

WebTrends has released an update for those of us who have the software version. This update includes an update of the latest search engine list including Twitter and an update of the browser list.

It is simple to download and fast to upgrade.

To download or for more information go to:



SMX Analytics

As I mentioned before starting on March 31, 2009 SMX will be holding its first SMX Analytics conference in Toronto Canada. At this time, I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be speaking at this event on March 31 during the "Analyzing & Converting Organic Search Traffic" session.

This promises to be a great event and remember that eMetrics will be on at the same time in Toronto as well. Great chance to take in two different web analytic conferences.