Category: Sitecore

Patterns help to move a web visitor down a certain path

Patterns help to move a web visitor down a certain path

Patterns are used to help connect certain messaging to different website visitors.  By using different messaging for different visitors you have the ability to influence them in different ways.  This ability to influence web visitors gives sites with this functionality complete advantage over sites that don’t.

Pattern matching websites appear to the visitor as completely random.  In actuality the site is looking at a pattern for each web visitor who visits.  Based on your match it then looks to find content that was categorized for the pattern.  All of this is being done in a split second; so the web visitor never realizes that what they see may be different than what someone else sees.

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Why use patterns?

Why use patterns?

You know that you have certain groups of people coming to your website.  You need to have a way to talk to these different groups of people. How do you talk to people that you don’t know their names or any specific thing about them? You can use patterns.

Patterns are an easy route for matching web users who perform the same tasks. Let’s say on  your website you sell and write stories about slot cars. You want to figure out a way to identify the user’s who like Corvette slot cars. You would build a pattern for the Corvette slot car visitor. You would also build web pages that are specifically about Corvettes and you would tie the pattern to these pages. This is what helps your website know the person is a match for the Corvette pattern because they would view these pages the most. The other pages in your site that aren’t about Corvettes would have a different pattern or no pattern attached to them.

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Take Your Time Making Sitecore Patterns

Take Your Time Making Sitecore Patterns

Sitecore patterns can be a little tricky when you first start to try and make your own.  Before actually working in Sitecore I recommend diagramming out your possibilities.  It’s easier to delete or modify on a piece of paper instead of actually working on them in your Sitecore system.

Make sure that you have your patterns pretty solid before attaching them to Sitecore web pages.  You don’t want to delete any patterns once you have them attached to your web pages.  If you delete a pattern that is attached to a page it will cause you some problems.  I learned this the hard way, it will throw errors in your system and you’ll need the help of your admin to correct it.

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Why I like the Sitecore cms

Why I like the Sitecore cms

I’ve been using Sitecore close to 3 years now. It has gone by fast and I’ve learned a lot. Before Sitecore I didn’t have a clue of what something being componetized meant.

If you are wanting to do any type of personalization with Sitecore you need to understand components. Think of components as blocks that hold text/images. So when Sitecore personalized something it’s switching the block with a new predefined block.

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Finding the visitors who provide value

Finding the visitors who provide value

It’s been an entire month now of working with Sitecore 8.2. What thing that I feel Sitecore did a good job on is the experience analytics. In a world where most companies are only concerned with the volume of traffic Sitecore has taken it a step further. The experience analytics with sitecore tries to tell you which users are providing value.

So an example you have 10 visitors and you assign pattern cards to them. Let’s say 6 visitors belong to Group A pattern card and the 4 others belong to Group B pattern. None of the users in Group A download a brochure or fill out any of the websites forms. The users in Group B have all downloaded a brochure and one has filled out the web form. Sitecore experience analytics will use the data to show that the Group B pattern users are giving the most value.

You can use this type of information to your advantage to display specific marketing promotions to people who match the Group B pattern on your website.

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Begin to code with c#

Begin to code with c#

So I started my second book for learning to program in c#. This is a Microsoft Press book and I feel like it’s very well written.I probably started reading it towards the end of march. I’m using it in conjunction with the first book to try and get a different perspective and I feel like its paying off. I truly understand the concepts. There may be some times that I may not understand everything completely but for the most part I have an idea of what they are tying to do.

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Always find a way to adapt to web site changes to build better strategies

Always find a way to adapt to web site changes to build better strategies

So if you have any knowledge of Sitecore you know that you must know or learn the C# programming language. I’ve never been the one to become a programmer but I need to improve my skills. I want to be more advanced in my sitecore skills. I’m pretty good in using the Sitecore Marketing Experience but I want to understand how the system works on the backend. 

I found a book that I believe is pretty good for someone who either needs a refresher or is new to C# programming. I’m about halfway through the book and it makes the programming concepts pretty easy to understand with pictures.

It’s C# Programming,  c# fundamentals at your fingertips and it’s written by Mike McGrath.

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Why to use Sitecore campaign tags in email links

Why to use Sitecore campaign tags in email links

You can use tags in email links to assist in tracking of your visitors.  If you are using links inside your emails that point to your website properties the tags will capture the clicks.

For example, if you send out a link to your email list and inside you have a link to www.yoursite.com. Behind the link you will use www.yoursite.com/index.html?sc_camp=12345678. The sc_camp tag tells Sitecore what the link was the visitor used to get to the site.

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When to use the federated experience manager fxm

When to use the federated experience manager fxm

The federated experience manager allows you to gain some analytics information when a user visits a website that’s not in your “Sitecore” tree.  How this works is the Federated Experience Manager (FXM) creates what is called a beacon.  You place this beacon on the page of a non-sitecore site.  When the user visits the non-sitecore site the beacon fires off.

When you go into the users “Experience Profile” you will see the URL of the non-Sitecore site in there.

One of the ways that I see using this is on an e-commerce site the company owns that is managed by another department.  I’m in charge of three corporate sites that are in Sitecore.  I will place the beacon on the e-commerce platform so I can receive analytics data that will be pushed back into the “Experience Profile” for each user. This will help me to understand how users interact with the different sites.

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Adding The Motorcycle Profile Card To A Sitecore Page

Adding The Motorcycle Profile Card To A Sitecore Page

For Sitecore to match a pattern to a visitor’s behavior you must attach a profile card to each page you want to match the visitor to.  I have given picture examples based on the motorcycle profile I created on the previous post.

To add a profile card to a Sitecore web page click on the person silhouette in the right top corner of your Sitecore web page. When the popup box opens click the “edit” to pick your profile card.

Profile Card Web Page Example
Profile Card Web Page Example

Below are the profiles cards that I created in the marketing center.  These profile cards tell Sitecore the differences in the visitors who visit the pages where they are used.  So every web page that I build in reference to a Sport Bike I would attach the “Sport Bike Profile Card” to.  When a visitor visits one of those pages Sitecore will add a point to the “Sport Bike” profile for that user.

Motocross Racer Profile Card
Motocross Racer Profile Card

 

Sport Bike Profile Card
Sport Bike Profile Card

 

Motorcycle cruiser profile card
Motorcycle cruiser profile card
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