Adobe Analytics quick tip: How to get full pathing for every (prop) action

When I’m planning tags for sites, I usually make own tags for different actions. However, I noticed I had a problem when I got asked “in which order are visitors doing actions on our page X”. Business owners want to see path reports for the visitor flows, did they first started a video or downloaded pdf etc. Yes, every information is surely tagged, but the data is in different prop/eVar variables and I can’t make nice pathing reports. (with segments you can do different analysis about the order, but too time consuming)

So yes, the answer is to enable one prop variable with pathing enabled and to this one prop always send information when something happens on the site: pageview, downloads, video play, form submissions… yes, every hit! This way you can easily create pathing reports about the visitor “paths” on your page or site.

You don’t need to hardcode the prop on your site if you don’t want to. You can easily do this with processing rules or DTM. (just make a rule that every time hit goes to Adobe -> send the “action name” to your “all information prop”)

About Antti

Antti

Digital Analytics Manager specialized in Adobe Analytics, Online personalization, SEO, CRO...

19 thoughts on “Adobe Analytics quick tip: How to get full pathing for every (prop) action

    1. Thanks Andrew for following my blog. The main reason why I blog and share my tips about Adobe Analytics is to get comments and learn new things related to Adobe Analytics as well. Thanks for sharing Adam’s blog post about the topic, I have already forgotton that one… btw, have you noticed that no matter how old blog posts you find written by Adam, those are pure gold still nowadays. 🙂

  1. That’s exactly how I prefer to do it as well. The variable has the terrible name “PropX for Event and Pageview Pathing” – how do you call it? 🙂
    I also fill the same info into an eVar, so in case the 100 chars of the prop are not enough, I can still check the pathing reports for eVars in Ad-hoc Analysis (Discover).

  2. Great to hear Lucas. My “all hits” prop name varies a lot, I can always change the name to anything I want to. Nowadays, it is called “all actions”… To me the name is not important, nobody else knows how to use it, but I can do cool pathing reports for business owners etc.

  3. How do I set this up in DTM? I am interested in capturing every hit that is tagged with a prop. I am having a hard time finding information online and Adobe Client Care has not been helpful.

    Thank you

    1. Hi,
      1) are you already getting all kinds of data, but just this one (pathing) prop is a problem or at the moment you are not getting any data through DTM?
      2) is the problem with all hits, or with pageviews prop22 is working but not with custom links?

      I tested this with my blog and I believe I got this to work with DTM. I’m not heavy user of DTM, but have done some stuff with just… for example this blog uses DTM and is perfect platform for testing 🙂

      I did two data elements, one for pagename and for custom hits. Then in the tool settings -> global variables, I added propX with my data elements. This wasn’t enough for custom hits, so I had to add custom code (can be found in the bottom of all the settings) s.linkTrackVars=”propX”; and voila it sent my custom hit to that prop when I tested with certain clickable element. This way you get to automate the process, but of course you could always manually add this prop to every custom hit you make in DTM, and that should also work.

      Sorry for “not so detailed” instructions, just too busy at the moment. But if you could tell me more about the problem, then hopefully I can give more advice. Or maybe better to ask in Adobe’s help forum, I’m sure there are many hardcore DTM users and they surely can give you better guidance?

  4. I am trying to capture all the pages and the hits that happen on the pages. It is exactly how you explained in the article. I am not sure how to create a data element that will capture all of my hits. I will try client care.

    1. and surely you are talking about hits to Adobe Analytics (and not every single click user makes on the site)? 🙂

      My example was just an idea how to also get that prop hit from certain custom hit. My example wasn’t perfect because it saved only one preconfigured (data element I added) custom hit to the the prop. But it should be doable to make script that sends prop (maybe containing link name or something) every time custom hit is made = s.tl(); hit is sent. I have done this kind of hacks and scripts directly to Adobe’s script (so called s_code), but I haven’t done this through DTM and that’s why I’m hoping you get better help from the official forum. But this is actually very good question how to do this in DTM, so if you don’t get help from the forum then I guess I have to test this and make a blog post how to do this… when I have more time. 🙂

      1. Btw, just realized that maybe we look this too complicated way and maybe there could be some stupid clicks that you don’t want to save to this “pathing” prop.
        So I would prefer just to manually add one prop to every custom hit you make for Adobe Analytics.

        See on the sidebar (right) and below “Follow me on” is twitter icon. Let’s pretend that I have enabled prop22 variable (and pathing enabled) that saves pageName on every hit and now I want to start generating data to also from custom hits to this same prop22 to get so called full paths. Nothing happens automatically, so I go to DTM and make e.g. event based rule.

        First I have to add conditions, I choose event type as click and then choose right tag element and class name based on mys site’s html/css for the twitter icon.

        Then in the “adobe analytics” section I choose tracking as s.tl(); and bit below that is section for props and choose/add/save prop22 and give that a value of:
        custom hit testing: twitter icon click

        Then just save it and update to production. And now if you debug my site using some kind of debugger and click the twitter icon you see that
        prop22 gets value of: “custom hit testing: twitter icon click”
        Works!

        and yes, you have to add this prop22 (or whatever you are using) to every rule in DTM that you are using to populate this custom hits. Maybe you can start you testing process with this kind of test and maybe later on you can study and ask help how you could do this in a bit more automatically…

        So the question, do you get any custom hits through with DTM? If yes, then you already know how to do this. If not, then there might be some wrong setting how the DTM is implemented etc, and then it is difficult to help without the access of your DTM.

        Did this make any sense? If not then hopefully you get more detailed help from Adobe’s forum. 🙂

        1. I did that for another site which had considerably less hits than our main site. I wanted something simpler, but I will probably do it the way you mentioned above. A little more work, but it will do the job just fine. If I hear back from the Adobe people soon with a different solution, I will pass the information on to you.

          1. Ok, great.
            (of course if you are already sending some kind of click information to eVarX for example on every hit then you could just make one duplicate that to pathing propX and you would only need to do this one time, and not to manually add prop to every single rule that fires custom hit… but if you add manually prop on every hit then you can whatever name you want to that prop and surely get better information for your pathing prop…)

          2. I think I managed to do the automated script for this one. We need to populate prop hit every time DTM sends a custom hit.
            with doPlugins you can modify the hit just before it is sent to Adobe’s servers.

            Go to Adobe Analytics settings and scroll down to see “customize page code” and open editor and paste this:
            Of course change prop number to whatever you need. Yes, it even adds linktype and linkname to that prop and now you get unique value for every hit.
            (although I just coded this code only for “o” linktypes). Happy testing 🙂


            s.usePlugins="true";
            function s_doPlugins(s)
            {
            if (s.linkType == "o") // with this code I look only "other" custom hits, you can add also to check "download" and "exit" hits.
            {
            s.prop24="Customhit" + " + " + s.linkType + " + " + s.linkName;
            s.linkTrackVars +=",prop24"; // careful with this one, my code assumes your custom hit includes already this linkTrackVars variable
            }

            else
            {
            s.prop24=s.pageName;
            }
            }
            s.doPlugins = s_doPlugins;

  5. The tracking works. I made some adjustments to the code to fit my tracking needs, but it is working great. Whenever I add a new event, It will be automatically picked up.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Absolutely awesome, great to hear that. Inside doPlugins you can modify pretty much anything you want. 🙂
      I’m going to make also a bit modified version of my code too and will post it here soon… and I think this was such an interesting case that I’ll do a blog post about this “feature” in the near future.

      1. And here is my script more reliable way. Now it just check if any custom hit is done, no matter what the linktype is.
        Also it checks if linkTrackVars is already populated and make the correct adjustments wether it is or is not.

        And yes, anyone can modify that how they like it, but the logic should be clear 🙂 Will do a blog post for this one later…
        (and maybe better to add still some kind of javascript to the end that if there is no linktype or s.pageName available at all)


        s.usePlugins="true";
        function s_doPlugins(s)
        {
        if (s.linkType && s.linkTrackVars)
        {
        s.prop24="CustomHit:" + " + " + s.linkType + " + " + s.linkName;
        s.linkTrackVars +=",prop24";
        }
        else if (s.linkType)
        {
        s.prop24="CustomHit:" + " + " + s.linkType + " + " + s.linkName;
        s.linkTrackVars="prop24";
        }

        else
        {
        s.prop24="Pageview:" + s.pageName;
        }
        }
        s.doPlugins = s_doPlugins;

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