Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The challenges of JavaScript Tagging

The post "Web Analytics Technical Implementation Best Practices. (JavaScript Tags)" from Avinash is again right on the spot.
  1. Tag all your pages.
  2. Tags go last (customers come first :).
  3. Tags should be inline.
  4. What’s your unique page definition?
  5. Use cookies intelligently (they are delicious).
  6. Javascript wrapped links might be a issue.
  7. Redirects, be aware of them.
  8. Validate data is being captured correctly.
  9. Don’t forget Flash, Flex, RIA, RSS, Videos etc.
For item #8, there are various techniques to check if the tags are correct. IEWatch and Fiddler are great on MSIE, Firefox has a number of extensions that covers cookies, live HTTP headers and such.

In my experience implementing Omniture, WSS, Coremetrics, GA and others, I found that tweaking and checking if the tracking code matches our requirements might sometimes become a significant part of the technical implementation effort.

That's why I've been working on WASP, the Web Analytics Solution Profiler, a Firefox extension aimed at web analytics implementation specialists, web analysts and savvy web surfers who wants to understand how their behavior is being analyzed.

The early beta brought good feedback and I'm close to releasing beta 0.2, where I nailed down a couple of glitches and improved the detection algorithm, as well as added other WA solutions. I'm also working on other nifty elements such as P3P information and probably Alexa info.