The Best Way To Report On Websites

There are many different ways to report on websites in Vantage, but how do you know that you have got all the hits for the site you’re interested in, and all of it’s sub-domains?

Some websites have a lot of sub domains and other associated sites, so if you just report on the main site you may not be seeing all of the traffic to that site. For example, if I go to Summaries and run an ad-hoc analysis on my Storage, and then click on Site Name, and type ‘google’ into the Find bar on the left, this will return all websites that have google anywhere in the site name, and there are 60 different records:

That’s a lot of individual websites all related to google, and can produce confusing results in reports for managers. So how can this be improved?

The Site Domain summary removes the first level of the domain, so from the image above,, and all become grouped together as just ‘’. If I click on the Site Domain summary and type ‘google’ into the find bar, we can see that there are now just 9 entries returned, so it’s a lot cleaner straight away:

However, you still may want to group all of these 9 sites together as a single entry in your reports, eg “Google”. There are 2 ways this could be done:

  1. Using Aliases
  2. Using Profiles

Using Aliases

You can use Aliases in a number of different ways to group items from your summaries. WebSpy has created some default aliases which come with the software, and they apply to different summaries. The “Web Sites” alias applies to Site Domain, Site Name, and other summaries, so that would be the best alias to use to create a group of google-related sites.

Each site can only be a member of a single group within Aliases, so if you have already created some groups in your web sites alias, ensure that they do not conflict with any new items you add to other groups.

To add the google sites to a new group you can either:

(A) Add From Summaries

  1. In our Summaries result from above, use + to highlight the 9 site domains (don’t click on the site name itself, just click on the row to highlight it)
  2. Right-click the high-lighted selection and choose Add To Alias
  3. Choose In Alias: Web Sites; and type “Google” into the As: text box, then click OK

OR (B) Add From Aliases:

  1. Go to Aliases and click on Web Sites in the list of aliases
  2. Click Add Group on the left
  3. Enter “Google” in the Key text box
  4. Click Add and type in each site domain from the list in Summaries OR type in *google* to match any site name that contains the word ‘google’.

Using option (A) it’s easy to add the Site Domains that we know about, however there may be other site domains which are not in this Storage, which could be missed.

Using option (B) we can type in any Site Domain to replicate the results of option (A), or use the wildcard match to pick up any site name that contains the word google. The disadvantage of this option is that it’s a lot slower to match aliases using wildcards, so any reports using this alias will take longer to generate.

Alternatively to Aliases, we can use Profiles to group all of the sites together.

Using Profiles

To group all of the google-related sites together using Profiles:

  1. Go to Profiles in WebSpy and click New Profile on the left
  2. Enter “Google” in the Name text box, and enter a description if you wish, then click OK
  3. Click on your new profile in the list, then click the Add button in the Includes list, and type in “google”. There’s no need to add any wildcards, as all keywords entered in profiles are automatically wildcarded.

You will need to ensure that the keyword google is not included in any other profiles, otherwise there may be conflicts matching your sites to the correct profile. Click the Troubleshoot Profiles link on the left to check.

Using a Profile to group the sites together will match not only the website name but also the resource part of the URL. So if any website has ‘google’ anywhere in the URL, then this record will be counted into this profile. So you could end up with a lot more than just the 9 site domains we saw above.

The profile of the site will only be displayed in Reports where the Site Profile summary is used, so if you are looking at Site Name or Site Domain in a report, it will still show the individual websites.

So, if you want to clean up the Sites list in the report, and make it more meaningful and easier to read, the Alias would be the best option to use.

To use a filter to report only on all records for a site (eg all google-related records), either the Alias or the Profile option would work equally well. To do this, add a Field Value Filter for either Site Profile if you are using Profiles, or for Site Domain with the Alias Web Sites if you are using Aliases, then select the profile or group you want to include in your report or analysis.

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