Setting up traffic source bounce rate in Yahoo Web Analytics 

This post is inspired by an article my friend Adam Greco recently posted explaining how to set this up in Omniture, a report that allows you to track traffic sources with the bounce rate metric.

As Adam describes this is a right royal pain in the a** to setup using Omniture’s Site Catalyst product because traffic sources, particularly campaigns use the eVar database table which don’t include ‘simple’ traffic metrics such as visits, time spent, entries, single access etc. Adam’s solution - which works very well - is to replicate campaign data (including unpaid traffic) into an sProp that replicates the eVar meta data to enable the Bounce Rate calculated metric to be created.

Now for those of you that use Google Analytics you’ll all be saying - ‘ha ha’ - as you know you get this report ‘out of the box’ in the ‘medium’ report. Interesting for me to see how certain tools address simple analysis questions, and others make it possible through a fairly substantial ‘hack’, as Adam has well demonstrated.

Since I’m digging Yahoo Web Analytics at the moment (because it’s got more grunt than the standard Omniture Site Catalyst ‘out of the box’, but that’s a different story..) I thought I’d share with you how simple this is to create in Yahoo with (a) no additional tagging and (b) no tool customisation required. Rather than me describe it, which is probably very boring, here’s a screencast of how to create the custom report from which you can then analyse your campaign performance - note that this entire process too less than 4 minutes (would have been less if I wasn’t moving my mouse around to show you things!).

[embedded YouTube video showing custom report creation process]

An interesting analysis that comes out of such a report is to present post click performance to the media agency managing your campaigns. While your agency will typically present adserver or sem data they’ll probably only highlight the positive data: clicks and conversions. However with this report (with further customisation) you can highlight things like: 

  • Campaign Name / Category / Media Owner bounce rate
  • Campaign response by market (were you targeting Asia but reaching the US?)
  • Opportunities to create / change landing pages and develop tests based on campaign performance (for example do you have ad group specific landing pages for your search campaigns? Are they too broad, by high bounce?)

Once the basic report is created in YWA (and bookmarked!) it can be further refined to address your analysis questions. Here’s what it looks like:

Good luck with your campaign / traffic source analyses…

Thanks again to Adam for inspiring me to prepare this article.

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