In the last two posts we have begun to learn about Omniture Site Catalyst Traffic Variables and Conversion Variables (Success Events).
As previously discussed, Traffic Variables allow you to segment or breakdown Page Views, Visits and Unique Visitors, while Success Events capture metrics around conversion actions taken by site visitors.
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Perhaps we want to see Shopping Cart Additions broken down by Zip Code or Campaign Tracking Code. The purpose of Conversion Variables (also known as e Vars) is to allow you to breakdown Success Event metrics in a similar manner that Traffic Variables allow you to breakdown Traffic metrics.
There are lots of cases where you will want to segment/breakdown Success Events in a similar manner that Traffic Variables allow you to break down Traffic Metrics. While this sounds easy, Conversion Variables are actually one of the most confusing topics for Site Catalyst customers because there is a lot to learn about how they behave (which is why this is only Part I).
I will describe the key points here and then try to make sense of it all through some examples.
Unlike Traffic Variables, Conversion Variables are persistent meaning that once a site visitor gets assigned a value, that value sticks with them until you (Site Catalyst Administrator) tell Site Catalyst to clear it out (unless the user deletes their cookies or uses a different computer).
For example, if you have a Conversion Variable that stores the visitor’s City, you can capture the City on page three of their visit and have it remain there for several pages, days, weeks, months, etc…
Conversion Variables have a direct relationship to Success Events.I like to think of the two as “married” since they complement each other.When a Site Catalyst Success Event takes place (i.e.visitor takes an action that results in a Success Event being set), Site Catalyst assigns credit for the Success Event to one value in each Conversion Variable report (please re-read that once or twice! For example, if an Online Course Demo Success Event takes place, whatever value is currently stored for that visitor for Conversion Variable 1 gets credit for that Success Event.Whatever value is currently stored for that visitor for Conversion Variable 2 gets the credit for that Success Event and so on until all Conversion Variable values are incremented.So let’s imagine you have a website with only one visitor, where Conversion Variable 1 is used to capture City and we have used custom tagging to capture the fact that this visitor is from the city of Chicago.