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Report on pdf links

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Level 4

I am using the "Download Link" Dimension to report on pdf links like data sheets, app notes, guides and manuals that are getting downloaded by users on my site. Doing like shown in below screenshot. However, I don't know why I am seeing some pdfs in "Page" Dimension also. Can you tell how to report on pdfs

jsvasu_0-1664404636011.png

 

 

18 Replies

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Community Advisor

Without seeing your implementation of tracking PDFs, it would be hard to say for sure... 

 

Are you forcing a pageName value on your action via Processing Rules? Are you triggering something on your download rule that is being misinterpreted as a Page View?

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan I dint understand your question. Can you direct me on how can I check my configuration and where?

 

For me right now I could see pdf pages in Page as well as Download Link dimension both. Can you tell me where should they exactly be?

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Community Advisor

I assume you are using Adobe Launch?

 

The first thing I would do is check the rule that is tracking your PDFs... make sure it's properly configured for s.tl calls

 

Next, I would use the Cloud Debugger to watch the tracking signals when a PDF is downloaded (make sure there is only one tracking call, and make sure that it is a proper "link" call (has LinkType and LinkName, etc)

 

If all looks good there, then I would check your Processing Rules... This is in the Report Suite Admin area (Edit Settings > General > Processing Rules)

 

If you have a lot of rules, this can be tricky... but basically, you may need to check every rule and see if there is some criteria that would both "catch" your PDF download rule, and is setting pageName and/or Page URL.... if these are set in processing rules, it will count the hit as a page view (which you don't want)

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan I have things set up in the Launch extension like below:

jsvasu_0-1664474404188.png

 

And, I don't see any launch Rule for the same separately. Can you guide me on that?

 

About processing rules, I checked I don't see any processing rule right now for the download links. Isn't the dimension Download links something default one?  

 

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Community Advisor

Ok, if you don't see any specific rules, it likely means you are relying on "default" tracking only.. but did you confirm that only one server call is being made?

(basically, if this is turned on AND you have specific rules, it will cause double tracking).

 

Without knowing your Launch setup, it could be hard for me to help you find specific rules (I don't know your naming conventions, triggers, etc)... you may not have specific rules... that's likely... but that is where debugging what server calls are being sent comes in handy... you can confirm exactly what is being sent and when...

 

 

Your processing rules could be something silly like a global rule affecting all calls.... I've seen things like that before.... as in, someone trying to make sure there is data, creates a blanket rule to set pageName value or URL... but they don't add constraints... then every single server call gets those values added.

 

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan when I click on the download pdf hyperlink the in the debugger the server call happens once 

jsvasu_0-1664488663721.png

 

I am sure we don't have any Launch rule configurations. What are your suggestions? 

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Community Advisor

You don't actually need a custom rule... that is if you start adding additional fields to the tracking call... the problem occurs is if you have BOTH the default and custom events being triggered on the same click.

 

So from that respect.. you should be okay...

 

I've never managed to get this to work, but if you can turn on post-processed values in the debugger, can you see if any manipulations are being done to the server calls?

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan I dont see any manipulations as such. For reporting can you pls help and suggest how should we see pdf downloads? 

 

Should we just measure downloads using the Download Link dimension? And should I use the instance metric or unique visitor metric for correct data points?

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Community Advisor

Well, as far as the "PDF" downloads are concerned, the Download Link dimensions should be fine.

 

Instance or Unique Visitor have relevance... depending on what you are trying to see...

 

For instance, if you want to know just how many users are downloading PDFs... using UVs would rollup all the unique visitors as a de-duplicated total (when looking at a breakdown of all the PDFs)... however, it will not give you the raw today of downloads (or tell you if the same person ends up downloading the same PDF multiple times). If you are trying to get a sense of how many users are accessing this content, this would be a good way to pull it.

 

Using Instances will tell you in absolute terms how many PDFs were downloaded, including ones that were downloaded multiple times by the same user....

 

They are both correct and legitimate metrics to use... it really depends on what you are trying to report on.

 

However, I am still concerned that you mentioned you have PDFs showing up in your Pages Report... that sounds like something is still wrong, and that you could have inflated PVs... but it's so hard to diagnose without seeing it.....

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan But I dont see anything If I pull Page Views Metric against Download Link Dimension.

 

And Yes, that problem still persists. I am unable to locate why we have pdf pages coming up in Page Dimension. Can you suggest anything digging into? I showed you above what my server call looks like when I click pdf link and after that no action happens. 

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Community Advisor

Well that at least makes me feel better...

 

Our site doesn't have any PDFs, so I have nothing to compare it with....

 

I'm not sure what else to check at this time.... It might be "intentional" that the PDF name show in the pageName metric, but not count a page view... similar to how mobile apps track the "app name" on action clicks for some reason?

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan This is how my segment for Pdf (Application notes) looks like now:

jsvasu_0-1664822807672.png

 

 

and this is how reporting looks. Can you brief me on why Page Views are Zero? And where I can check it in Analytics where pdf's are set to not show page views? Is it something because the pdfs are not html links?

jsvasu_1-1664822850902.png

 

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Community Advisor

Your PDFs shouldn't be counting as page views... you are tracking PDF downloads, which are actions, not page views. You are not tracking the PDFs when they open; and you can't really embed tracking calls in the PDF (well maybe with a non-JS tracking pixel, but I don't think the effort is worth the squeeze... as this would not have any scripting associated to it, so it will not be able to track UVs, or time spend or anything in detail, and will make your UVs inflated. Also, anyone who opens a PDF when not connected to the internet would be lost... this kind of tracking really gets into weeds, and I wouldn't recommend even attempting such a thing until you are comfortable in pulling reports using standard implementation)

 

Also, in this context, Average Time Spent doesn't mean anything... this is either the time spent on the download page before the PDF was downloaded; or the time spent on the download page after the PDF was downloaded... but in both cases, the download action is breaking the total time spent on the page... my recommendation would be to remove that, as it's not adding much relevant data.

 

Out of curiosity, how are you calculating your "Avg. Weekly Visitors"... comparing the monthly total UVs, those numbers seem a bit "off".... Your average weekly visitors in Sept 2022 is higher than Jan 2022 (which seems strange, when Jan had 5K more total visitors...)

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Community Advisor

OK, I'm not sure the approximate distinct count of Weeks is returning data the way you are expecting:

 

(I replicated just the round and distinct count logic using Weeks to see what came back)

Jennifer_Dungan_0-1664834572293.png

 

 

Notice Jan... Jan 1 was a Sat (so the first week is 1 day according to this, and the last week is 2 days (Jan 30 and 31)

 

Also, the same week will be counted twice when the month switches in the middle of the week:

Jennifer_Dungan_1-1664835004881.png

 

That is probably why the numbers aren't adding up in my head..... 

 

However, all months are going to round to approximately 4 weeks... why not just divide your visits by "4" using a static number?

 

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan sure I will check on the calculated metrics by dividing visits by "4" 

 

However, our discussion remained at the same point why my pdfs are coming up in page dimension. If you would know in the future where to check for configurations then pls keep me posted. Thanks for the great discussion and for resolving my doubts. 

 

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Community Advisor

No problem, also, can you share a screenshot showing data in the page dimension?

 

Even though I don't have Downloads in my suites, I do have access to a sandbox account... 

 

I don't see any page value in that data:

 

Jennifer_Dungan_0-1664853099968.png

 

This is what I would expect to see.. Download Links with Occurrences (or Downloads, the two metrics are interchangeable), no Page View metrics, and no Page value....

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Level 4

@Jennifer_Dungan 

jsvasu_1-1664890646733.png

off course the numbers when pulled against Page Dimension are not the same as that of Download Link Dimension