Omniture Adds Optimization Tools for Social Media, Emerging Technologies

With the latest release of its SiteCatalyst Web analytics platform, Omniture is packaging up technology and best practices guidelines to help clients optimize their sites to get the most out of external sites like blogs and social networks, and internal technologies like rich Internet applications, dynamic site search, and behavioral profiling.

“We’re moving beyond KPIs [key performance indicators] to show customers what to do with the information we’re giving them,” Chris Parkin, senior director of product management, told ClickZ. “It’s one thing to show a customer what to measure. We’re showing them what it means, and what they should do about it.”

These packaged “business optimizations” can be used across verticals to help customers respond to what’s happening on their sites, Parkin said. Most of the capabilities had been available to Omniture’s customers on a case-by-case basis, but this is the first time they are available in a fully self-service offering.

The social networking and blog optimizations can help a customer measure how its site content is being consumed and shared across the Web. SiteCatalyst tracks incoming links to see how a site’s content is spread, how fast it ages and stops generating inbound links, and what day and time is most likely to generate interest from blogs and social networks.

“They want to understand what triggers a passive visitor to become a contributor to a blog or social network, and then they want to be able to optimize that experience,” he said. “By examining the interplay between various pieces of content within a site, our customers are able to better understand the role and relative value of blogs in their marketing mix.”

The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts use the tools to foster a higher level of interaction and communication, both with the team and with each other, according to Pat Coyle, director of database marketing and e-commerce for the Colts. “Measuring consumer-generated content like blogs and other social networking technologies can provide insight into how we can better interact with our customers, and can allow us to understand and address the trends and perceptions that affect our organization,” he said.

The rich Internet application (RIA) tools, released in June, help improve analytics for Flash, Flex and AJAX by adding native support for ActionScript, the programming language behind those technologies.

SiteCatalyst 13 adds support for dynamic site search, an important and often overlooked element of a marketing plan, according to Parkin. Omniture has partnered with site search providers Endeca and Mercado to integrate its analytics application with site search products from those vendors.

“Where search marketing activities drive traffic to a Web site, on-site search drives conversions,” he said. “When users search on your site, they’re telling you exactly what they want. Your ability to deliver that effectively is going to dramatically enhance your chances for a conversion.”

SiteCatalyst looks at site search data from a customer’s site, applies a scoring algorithm to find which results lead to the most conversions, and sends that data to the site search provider. Future site searches then take that data into account when determining which results to return. Omniture offers several pre-built algorithms for determining what is the most desirable outcome of a site search, and allows users to build their own algorithm based on their own definition of a conversion.

One of the most popular new features Omniture is adding to SiteCatalyst is visitor interaction profiling, which uses Omniture’s data-collection capabilities to create a data set that the customer can use with other technology providers, including behavioral targeting and site optimization vendors. Omniture partners include DoubleClick, Kefta, Offermatica, Optimost, Touch Clarity, and x+1 (formerly Poindexter Systems).

“The insight we provide through Omniture’s Visitor Interaction Profiles has become a strategic link between marketing and sales. Now we can go beyond delivering a generic list of leads and provide insight into the online behavior of prospects,” said Ross Jenkins, senior strategic marketing analyst for Ciena, a networking technology and services provider.

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