Taking the time to individually provide naming and hierarchy can drastically improve content reporting efficiency. Adobe Analytics, or previously Omniture SiteCatalyst has some built in features to help accomplish this task, but the principles can be used in different tools like Google Analytics.
I was previously a software developer running implementations for Adobe Analytics, or previously Omniture SiteCatalyst, and competitive solutions. Adobe Analytics is a solution within the Experience Cloud stack. I now work full time at Adobe and write articles on this site nights and weekends. I primarily focus on financial technology in early stage investing but maintain a few older articles I had written when I was more technically capable, programming ever day.
One approach to page naming is to utilize URLs for content reports. This is the default method that Google Analytics currently utilizes and if no page name is defined Omniture SiteCatalyst defaults to this method as well. This takes almost no implementation effort and can fit certain needs.
As organizations grow the amount of content grows and so does the search for extending administration of page identification and structure. Another approach to page naming is the utilization of breadcrumbs (navigation) and page titles for automatically populating variables. With this approach measurement improvements can be achieved by populating site hierarchy and sectioning reports. The issue with this is when there are landing pages that do not follow the constructs of site navigation. These pages present a need to extend this approach further.
A method of extending involves a mix of taxonomy for each level of navigation. Taxonomy in a tiered format can be used to populate page naming, hierarchy, and site sectioning. Front end changes to the navigation and page naming can occur while the taxonomy ideally remains the same. Adobe Analytics (Omniture) Example:
- Level (s.prop) 1 - Mostly the tabs in the header - ex: about us
- Level (s.prop) 2 - Second level of navigation ex: about us | leadership
- Level (s.prop) [n] - [n]th level in breadcrumb (navigation) ex: about us | leadership | [___]
s.pageName = s.prop4;
s.hier1 = s.pageName;
Even with this approach there are several issues to consider. Each Page must then have a unique set of variables. This means that there is some additional work necessary for ensuring content is properly named. If page names are duplicated they are reported as a single instance of a page and therefore reporting will be inaccurate. With all of these methods naming variables must be changed with great care in order to ensure proper historical reporting. Adobe/Omniture had a white paper on page naming located in help section of their administrative guide I remember reading, this is the closest I could find.
Automation Through Content Management Integration
Automation for naming at every level should be employed wherever possible. This can be done in a way that will allow those with proper administrative CMS access to help maintain the taxonomy while front end content editors can change page names and sections all they want. This can happen often for SEO or business purposes. These front end changes can happen often while the taxonomy ideally remains the same. Historical measurement data can stay intact without having to access the analytics tool back end.
A specific example of this set up can be accomplished with the web analytics platform, Adobe-Omniture SiteCatalyst, integration with the open source content management system, Drupal. There is a Drupal module for Omniture integration open for public use. This module provides some automation for ease of measurement for certain sets of data. This includes site sectioning page naming and hierarchy reports. The described advanced naming strategy accomplished with the integration, along with some automation via page title. Extending this for improved functionality involves more than just installing the module. Administration and strategy are important parts to perfecting performance measurement for optimization all discussed above. Coordination among content and development teams is key for reporting accuracy.
Hopefully you find this informative - either way I appreciate your feedback in the comments below.