Campaign Tracking (Overture, Banner Ads, Email, etc.)

Overview

Urchin can be configured to effectively track many kinds of online marketing campaigns, including pay-per-click (also called cost-per-click, or CPC), banner ads, email, and more. The primary methods involve:

  • Special URLs that contain name/value pairs, or
  • Special landing pages that redirect visitors elsewhere

With the first method, Urchin is configured with a special type of filter called a DynamicURL Filter, which enables it to provide customized Page reports based on the keyword terms. With the second, no special configuration is needed, as the page names themselves will reflect the campaign used.

Using DynamicURL Filters to Analyze Campaigns

Example: Overture PPC Campaign

With an Overture PPC campaign, we want to track how much traffic we get from each search term. Using Overture's system, we configure the search term "urchin", for example, to look like this in link form:

http://www.urchin.com/overture?term=urchin

Next, on your website, you'll want to set up a /overture.html page that just redirects to the main site.

Finally, we use the Urchin administrative interface to create the Overture profile report, schedule it to run, and apply the necessary filters:

  • For the site being analyzed, duplicate the existing Profile -- Configuration -> Profiles -> Copy and enter a descriptive name for the Profile/Report Name field (e.g. Mysite.com Overture Keywords), and then the correct information for the Website URL and the Site Domains.
  • Click Finish
  • Click the Schedule Now button to schedule your new Profile to run automatically and click Update. NOTE: because two Profiles will be processing the same log file(s), it is essential to configure whichever one runs first to NOT delete the log. It should be set to "don't touch", and then the second Profile should delete or archive the log, if that is desired.
  • Create a new Filter for this new report by clicking on the Profile Filters tab and then clicking Add
  • Specify an "Include Pattern ONLY" type filter
  • For W3C (IIS) webservers, choose "URI Stem (W3C)" for the Filter Field; for Apache/iPlanet/Netscape/etc. webservers choose "Request (NCSA)"
  • Specify this filter pattern: GET /overture

    This includes only hits that landed on the /overture redirect page.

  • Click Finish and then Done. This will bring you back to the Profile Filters tab on your newly-created profile.
  • Create another Filter by clicking the Add button again-- this time choose the DynamicURL Filter Type
  • Specify this filter pattern: \?term=(.*)/

    This grabs the text to the right of "term="; this will be put by the DynamicURL function into the Pages reports

  • Click Finish

Using Landing (Redirect) Pages to Analyze Campaigns

This is a simple approach, but is more laborious. With this method, you merely link each search term with a landing page that reflects the term. For example, with the search term "urchin", you would link to a page like "index-urchin.html", which would then redirect instantly to the standard index.html page. Urchin would then report on that page as a normal pageview, thus giving you traffic information for that search term.

Considerations

  • Any time two Profiles will read the same log file, it is important to consider which, if any, of them will delete or archive the log. It's imperative that only the second one, in order of scheduling, should do anything with the log.