The Hidden Layer Tips for web analytics, tag management, and other items in the hidden layer of the web.

Scroll Tracking Plugin

Sometimes there is a need to track certain scroll positions on the page. I had a request recently with the situation needed as follows:

Let's say you have a single page site where you have X top navigation links that jump to different sections on the page (for example, my homepage at stuartrosk.com). The requirement for this scenario says:

1) If a user clicks on the link in the top nav, track that specific link as a page view. Then, scroll to the section on the page.
2) If a user scrolls without clicking, track each section as a page view as they scroll past it.
3) Only track each section page view once regardless of if it was clicked or scrolled.

How to Dissect a Vendor Script

This post is for the many of you that deal with the middle layer of the web (analytics, marketing, so forth) but have little to no experience with javascript. When you contact a vendor to implement their stuff on your pages, typically they'll send you some instructions along with a script to go on one or more pages across your site. These may be something to just add on every page regardless of what the page is, of may require to be placed on specific pages.

In many cases, the vendor's script may not have a whole lot of information broken out so you may need to dissect the script. This may be especially true if you are porting the snippet into a tag management system such as Adobe DTM or Tealium. In one of these cases, you may not need the whole script, only a couple minor pieces--so it is important to know how to dissect a basic script.

Cart Event Check Plugin

Sometimes, when it comes to analytics, you aren't always able to add code to the site, so you need to find other methods. You may also be trying to save costs, so conventional methods aren't always best. For this situation, we're looking at cart add and remove events.

For example, if we were using SiteCatalyst and wanted to normally check our cart add and remove events, we'd have to add a tracking call to every single button that does these functions. This has potential to do a high amount of click calls -- something that could mean paying much more to Adobe. One client reached out to me asking if there was a way to track these two events when the cart page loaded. They didn't have much ability to edit the code at that point, so tracking cart adds and removes had to be added differently. After some thinking, I came up with a solution that was pretty effective.

DTM Custom Tracking

Adobe Dynamic Tag Management. It's...um...an interesting concept. If you are a SiteCatalyst user, this system is great! It's free, you can add in other tags, and it has a pretty good function set overall that can compete with other tag managers. I might compare different tag managers in the future, but for now, I'd like to cover a piece of DTM that is missing, but can be very useful.

This piece is custom tracking calls. What I mean by this is being able to fire an event with data at any point you'd like. DTM provides your typical page load tracking, and built in event tracking. However, this event tracking isn't perfect--especially for something like single page apps. Luckily, since Adobe just bought the older "Satellite Tag Management", they inherited their tracking code. Maybe I can illustrate the problem and solution with a sample use case.

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