Video: How to Create Metrics that Count once per Visit or Visitor in Adobe Analytics
One of the first things a Digital Analyst learns is how to ask “what are we counting exactly?” Visits? Hits? Visitors? Visits with Search? Visits from First-Time Visitors? The answer is often not obvious at all, and some tools only offer very limited counting methods. In Adobe Analytics at least, it is very easy to make things count the way they should. This video shows how.
Hits can be inflated due to all kinds of reasons. Some people may need to view a product 15 times before they finally add it to the basket, whereas others do that right away. Should the first user count 15 times and the second user only once? This at least is how Google Analytics counts its E-Commerce metrics.
Another example: People often click the same download link multiple times because they forgot that they already downloaded that file. And in some tracking scenarios, it can be easier to just track things a bit redundantly (more often than they actually need to be tracked), and then, in the reporting, simply count once per Visit or Visitor. See also an example with “German/French/Italian/English” Visits Metrics to a Site Section here.
So especially, but not only in E-Commerce, it is important to not simply count Hits, but to normalize your Metrics on a per-Visit or per-Visitor level. Per Visit (Session) is most sensible if your users return regularly to e.g. buy new products. Just like a “Visit” to a brick-and-mortar store that you visit to purchase from several times a month. Counting things per Visitor here would give you a picture that is not representative of the “shopping sessions” the users had.
Counting per Visitor however can be useful if you have a process where a user can only convert once or very rarely (e.g. a car or an insurance purchase), or when you are e.g. evaluating an AB Test and want to count Conversions strictly once per Visitor because you are splitting the audience on a Visitor level.
Counting in other ways than just per Hit is one of the strengths of Adobe Analytics (which therefore has other weaknesses of course). After my last article on the differences in E-Commerce Analytics between Google and Adobe Analytics, some people asked me about the examples in there with once-per-Visit Metrics, and how we created those metrics. So simply watch the video to see how easy this is!
Don’t use the “Record Once per Visit” Setting for a Success Event
The video also shows why the “Record Once per Visit” Setting in the Success Events Admin interface should be avoided: It causes the Event to be counted only the first time it is set in a Visit which is, in 99% of the cases, not what you want.