Our company uses a service called Evergage for personalization and A/B Testing, and I'm trying to track our campaigns through SiteCatalyst. When I do, our visit count spikes.
Evergage works by running scripts from their domain on our page. I'm running s.tl code in those scripts to fire eVars to track which campaigns the visitor is participating in. The script looks like this:
s.linkTrackEvents = "None";
Any time this script is running, our visit and unique visitor counts go through the roof. The extra visits come in under Typed/Bookmarked. Page Views aren't affected.
My best guess is that this is happening because the s.tl code is firing from a third-party domain, but I don't know that for sure.
I need help to understand why this is happening and what I can do to fix it.
Can you see the requests going to your tracking server if you use the developer tools built into the browser? If so you should look for the s_vi or Marketing Cloud Visitor ID value getting sent from the custom link server call vs. the page load call.
That's my guess as well. My server report doesn't show anything unusual, but that's not surprising. I'm not firing the server variable in my s.tl call.
One detail I didn't mention: The visit counts on the variables I'm firing don't match the increase in visits. The visit count on the eVars being fired is higher. These variables aren't being fired from anywhere else. My conclusion: I'm not getting an extra visit every time the script fires -- only some of the time.
I like your cookie solution. I'd been planning on doing something similar if I couldn't find a way to fix the s.tl method. Unfortunately, the way my CMS is set up makes it impractical, so I want to explore other possibilities first before I go down that road.
I've looked for other common dimensions, but I haven't found any -- including the two you mentioned. I don't have Data Warehouse, so that's not an option; however, our unique visitor count shoots up when the script is running, so it doesn't appear that it's the same IP/visitor generating all the new visits.
I suspect what's happening is that you're getting more 'visits' because you're firing a beacon call from another domain. You could look in the server report and see if that domain's traffic amounts to the increase in your visits/uniques. I would suggest that in Everage instead of calling s.tl you use that script to set a cookie for your campaign/experience and then scrape that cookie value into your normal page level tracking.
It's certainly possible they're running those scripts on their end too. Have you checked to see if there are any common dimensions that might contribute to this spike, like pageName, geographical location, or anything else? You can also getting additional visitor information via Data Warehouse (like IP address and visitor ID).