Visitor Correlation

Overview

Visitor correlation is the process of identifying visitor behavior even if the sessions come from different log files or independnet web or E-commerce servers. Urchin uses data from the various log sources to analyze relationships between sessions and transactions and then correlates this information to provide a clear picture of how visitor activity relates to purchases, thereby providing valuable return on investment reporting. For example, referrals from search engines and specific keywords can be correlated with the amount purchased from your E-commerce site to tell you which referrals and search terms are yielding the most revenue. Typically you will have one log for your public facing website, and another log from your secure transaction website. In order to correlate disparate data sources together, Urchin must use the same visitor identification method for each site.

Types of Visitor Correlation

Urchin is capable of correlating visitors based on several methods. These methods are described in the Visitor Identification Methods article in the Visitor Tracking section. Your choice of visitor tracking method will directly affect the accuracy of the information Urchin has at its disposal to correlate the E-commerce transactions with other website activity. Please choose the method that is suitable for the level of detail you desire.

The following data is required in the E-commerce log file for each of the visitor methods:

  • UTM: cookies
  • SID: cookies or SID field
  • Username: username
  • IP+UserAgent: remote host or IP address and user-agent (i.e. browser type)
  • IP-Only: remote host or IP address

These items need to be considered when you examine your E-commerce logging format. Please review the ELF & ELF2 Log Formats and Custom E-commerce Log Formats documents in this section for more detail on how to ensure the proper data is in your logs.

Configuraton

This section presents a general overview of e-commerce visitor correlation configuration issues.

Non-UTM Sites

If you do not have the UTM sensor installed on your sites, then your visitor correlation configuration will depend on what e-commerce format you are using.

  • ELF: Use IP-Only as your visitor tracking method. In such a case Urchin will automatically correlate the various sessions as long as all logs contain the IP fields. Simply choose IP-Only for the Visitor Tracking Method in the Profile's Reporting screen.
  • ELF2: Use IP+User-Agent as your visitor tracking method. In such a case Urchin will automatically correlate the various sessions as long as all logs contain the IP and User-Agent fields. Simply choose IP+User-Agent for the Visitor Tracking Method in the Profile's Reporting screen.

UTM-Enabled Sites

For UTM-enabled sites, the same version of the UTM sensor must be installed on all the pages you want to track. In the Profile Reporting screen set Visitor Tracking Method to Urchin Traffic Monitor. In general you would set the UTM Domain to the domain that is common to the sites you're processing. For example, when processing web logs from ads.urchin.com along with logs from secure.urchin.com the UTM Domain would be set to urchin.com. For specific details on installing and configuring UTM, please see the Visitor Tracking section of the Documentation Library.