Omniture for Beginners

So, you’ve just discovered that your new client uses Adobe’s Omniture as their web analytics package. If your initial reaction is “why couldn’t it just be Google Analytics”, then this post is for you – I’ll walk through how to find basic analytics data in Omniture, and differences in terminology between the two platforms. GA divides itself up into Acquisition, Audience, Behaviour and Conversions, so I’ll cover some basics first, then go over each of those areas in turn in Omniture.

Before we get stuck in, keep in mind that one of the main important differences between GA and Omniture is that Omniture setups are always custom. As such, installations can vary in what they show by default. Also, if you’ve not used Omniture before at all, you might find this easier to follow if you open it up in another window.

Navigation Basics

Firstly, make sure you’re looking at the correct report suite (you might know these as views or profiles). It might be worth checking with your client if it’s not obvious which one is the right one. If the numbers you see don’t make sense, check again.

Secondly, it’s possible that your client already has what you’re looking for set up as a dashboard. The favourites menu in Omniture is fairly easy to miss, and if nothing else might give you an insight into what your client is already monitoring. You can switch between the favourites and reports menus using the star and graph symbols in the top left.









Metrics

Before we get into reports, it’s worth understanding the metrics menus in Omniture – especially as Omniture often doesn’t show you the most useful metrics by default.

This particular report suite, for example, is only showing one metric for the referring domains report by default – revenue. So we can bring up the metric selector using the “Add Metrics” button on the right hand side, and drag and drop metrics. Notice at the top of the list of metrics there’s a dropdown box to select between “standard” and “calculated” metrics. Unfortunately, chances are you’re going to have to use the calculated metrics box sooner or later. I’ve seen Omniture setups that didn’t have conversion rate as a standard metric, so let’s run through that as an example.

If we select “Calculated” in the drop down box, we can click the colourful symbol next to it to manage our calculated metrics. To add components to the formula, they have to be selected in the menus, and then you can click “Add to Formula”. For my order conversion rate I have selected

  • Name: Order Conversion Rate
  • Type: Percentage
  • Decimal Places: 2
  • Formula: [Orders / Thank You Page]/[Visits]

Once we’re done we can click save, and this metric will be available to drag and drop into reports like a standard metric.

Segments

Segments in Omniture work much like they do in Google Analytics. As with Google Analytics, there’s much to be gained from using custom segments.

You can select segments using the dropdown menu next to the one used to select a report suite. To add a custom segment, select “Add Segment” from this menu. In the following menu, first choose whether you want a hit, visit or user based segment, and drag across the appropriate “container” - hits, visits and users map onto page views, visits and visitors respectively. You can then click on the pencil symbol to add rules – in the screenshot above I’ve made a segment for visits using Mozilla browsers on Windows Vista.

Acquisition

If you’re used to Google Analytics, then you’re used to an acquisition overview looking something like this:

Unfortunately, this is fairly hard to replicate in a default Omniture setup. The closest thing you can get is this:

The main problem here is the lack of separation between PPC and organic traffic. You’ll have to use the “Search Engines – Paid” and “Search Engines – Natural” reports in the traffic sources menu to figure that out.

One interesting report in Omniture that’s not as easy to replicate in Google Analytics is “Original Referring Domains” – as you might expect, this shows the source that visitors had on their very first visit to the site. Unlike Google Analytics, Omniture does not exclude search engines from the list of referring domains. This makes this report pretty useful if you’re interested in what visitors are discovering your site through, as opposed to what they use to find it once they know what they’re looking for.

Audience

In Google Analytics, an audience overview looks something like this:



Again, this isn’t replicated as a one page report in a default Omniture setup, but Omniture does have some pretty interesting stuff:

The menu shown above gives you all the options you need to check for browser-specific bugs, geographic data, traffic anomalies and more. Some of the stuff you’re used to seeing under “Audience” in Google Analytics is listed under “Visitor Retention” in Omniture, and the closest equivalent to Google Analytics’ awesome “Visitors Flow” visualisation is the “Paths” menu – more on that shortly…

Behaviour and Flow

For me, the most useful applications of Google Analytics’ behaviour reports have been (1) the ability to explore the performance of landing pages and the behaviour of visitors that land on them, (2) site speed analysis and (3) in-page analytics. As far as I’m aware, the latter two are not replicated in a default Omniture setup. However, Omniture does have some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve for behaviour analysis.

The paths menu is loaded with awesome tools. Firstly you get the regular entry (landing) page and exit page reports you’re used to seeing in Google Analytics, but then there’s also the page flow reports, which allow you to select a page and view either how people get there or where they go from there.

The paths reports are well worth exploring in full, but another especially useful tool is the PathFinder Report. The “Sandwich Pattern”, for example, could be used to analyse the most common routes taken from a landing page to a checkout page.

The paths reports are also Omniture’s best answer to Google Analytics’ flow visualisations. They’re certainly not as pretty, and they’re also not as useful for analysing longer user journeys through a site, but they can still provide the same kinds of insights.

Conversions

Presuming they’ve been set up, you can get the basics on conversion data in Omniture with two reports. 

One is the products conversion funnel, which does what it says on the tin – it’s a conversion funnel very much like the ones you’re used to seeing in Google Analytics. It also gives you percentages for order rate and average revenue for visitors who’ve reached various stages in the process.

The other is the products report, which is interesting in that it gives you a full list of products and allows you to add various metrics. Some of which are difficult to interpret and should be treated with caution – for example, what does a product visit count mean for a product without a product page? At the very least, though, this report allows you to see which products generate the most revenue and which generate the most orders.

And so concludes our whistle-stop tour of Omniture. If you’ve read this far, hopefully this post has been useful to you. Either way, please feel free to contribute your feedback in the comments section below. Are there any other Google Analytics reports you’d like to replicate in Omniture?

Equivalent Reports Summary Table

GA Report

Omniture Equivalent

Omniture Navigation Path

Dashboards

Dashboards

1) Favourites

2) Dashboards

3) Manage Dashboards

Acquisition Overview Referrer Types

1) Reports

2) Traffic Sources

3) Referrer Types

Audience Overview Visitor Profile reports

1) Reports

2) Visitor Profile

Landing Pages report Entry Pages report

1) Paths

2) Entries and Exits

3) Entry Pages

Visitors Flow report Paths reports

1) Paths

2) Next Page Flow / Previous Page Flow / PathFinder

Tom Capper

Tom Capper

Tom joined Distilled in 2013 as an analytics specialist, with the aim of applying his background in statistics and economics to his interest in all things internet. When he's not wrestling with Excel or Google Analytics, Tom enjoys hearty food, real...   read more

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4 Comments

  1. Nice post, Tom. Would love to see a similar comparison with GA and other packages, like WebTrends.

    reply >
  2. Great article!! Exactly what I've been looking for! Possible to have a series of this Omniture for beginners?

    Would really love to see why people all said Omniture is such a powerful tool you have to pay for that amount of money, given GA can already do most of the things Omniture can do. Is that just only because Ominture data is not sampled?

    reply >
    • Tom Capper

      I don't think the sampling in GA is a big issue. What you're paying for with Omniture, in my opinion, is a bespoke installation and a consultant at your beck and call.

  3. Christina

    Hi Tom, your article was very helpful. Would really love to learn more about appending Omniture click-through URLs. Trying to figure out best practices when serving through DFA verses sites serving the ads.

    reply >

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