Analysis Workspace Hacks – Link Events on Page Reports

Adobe Analytics gives us two types of events to use for our tracking implementation. With Page Tracking (calling s.t() in Websites or trackState() in Apps) we are supposed to measure when a page has been viewed. If we want to measure interactions on a given page, we would use Custom Link Tracking (s.tl() in Web and trackAction() in Apps) for that.

The reasoning behind that is quite simple. If there was only one function, we would either end up with increased Page Views for every on-page event or have to take care of the distinction ourself by using valuable props or eVars. So from a simplicity standpoint this approach makes a lot of sense.

But there is one problem: When using Custom Link Tracking, you can not set a pageName for that call. Adobe Analytics just ignores whatever you set for the pageName, because pageNames only make sense in the context of Page Tracking. This leaves us in an awkward position if we want to know on which page a Link event happend: Either we have to use a prop and set the pageName with every Page or Custom Link event or an eVar with Visit Expiration on every Page Tracking. Yikes.

As an example, let’s say we have some videos on our website that are tracked by Custom Link Events. It would be interesting to know how many videos are started on a given page, right? But whops, if we use our Video event on the Pages Report, we don’t see any pages there (because they are thrown away on a Custom Link Call):

No Custom Link Events on our Pages Report

Attribution IQ to the rescue!

This would be a very depressing post if that was the end of the story. Quite a while ago, Adobe invented Attribution IQ. This awesome feature allows us to change how Analysis Workspace attributes Events on the fly. There are some differences between the models available depending on your license, but the basics we need here are universally available.

When you drop a Metric to a Freeform Table, try clicking the little gear icon on the metric. In the settings, we have the Attribution settings at the bottom:

This brings up the Attribution Model Overlay, letting us choose how we want to attribute the Events to our Dimensions. For our little use case, we want to know what the last Page in a Visit was before the Video was started. For this, we choose the Last Touch Model in a Visit Window:

This gives us a little comment below the Metric name, telling us about the different Attribution setting. Comparing our Metric with this setting to the original Metric, we can now see on which Page our Event happened:

This opens up endless possibilities and frees us from the need to write our Page Name into a lot of different props and eVars with every Page or Custom Link Event. Awesome!


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Frederik Werner

Data Scientist roaming the realms of Web Analytics and Online Marketing Tech