Learn to enable, debug, and customize the way that Activity Map is deployed in the Adobe Analytics extension.
Let take a minute to walk you through some quick ways in which you can get more value out of the Adobe Analytics Activity Map deployment. Now, you may or may not know how easy it is to deploy Activity Map, and you may not even know what Activity Map is, and the way to learn that is through the Adobe Analytics knowledge base.
Or, just simply by watching this video. Activity Map is an application that is designed to rank link activity using visual overlays and provide a dashboard of real-time analytics to monitor audience engagement of your web pages. So, that means it just simply provides a heat map of your data on top of your website. Now, that can be quite valuable to you, and visually interesting, and the way to deploy it is very easy, you can head to the knowledge base for all of the little details, or just simply follow this video. And so, the nice, easy thing is that when you’re using Adobe Launch, the Extension that has Adobe Analytics within it, already includes Activity Map. Yes, that’s right, if you had any webpage, for example, this very boring, generic webpage, you can very easily see, that Activity Map is getting called. And we can do this by actually loading up our Experience Cloud Debugger, and that’ll pop open a new window for you and show you all the analytics tags that are getting called. And if you want to see if the Activity Map is getting called on a particular link, I can click a link, so I’ll go ahead and click Home, and that refreshes the page and it fires a new tag, and when I take a look at the new tag that fired here in the middle here, I can see that we have four specific context data elements that are reserved and used by the Activity Map plugin and the Activity Map feature within Adobe Analytics. You can see what those are listed here, we have page, link, region and page ID type. So, page is simply telling you the page that the user is coming from; link is telling you what text the user clicked; and then region is the region of the page that was being clicked using CSS. And the last item, page ID type, this tells you, is the link a page view? If so, it’s a one, or is it a custom link? If so, it’s a zero. And that’s really all there is to it, so that tells you just simply that Activity Map is firing. But the fun part is when you have a link like this, thisIsMyEmail@adobe.com, and that’s not actually my email, so don’t email me there, but, if you’re trying to, you know, if you have one of the millions of websites out there that has a profile or account page that you click your email address in order to edit that profile, or you click an email address for any reason, then that data, let me Clear my Requests here so you can more easily see it, when I click that link, now you can see that the email address is actually getting sent to Adobe Analytics, and that is a no-no because it’s PII, personally identifiable information, so you need a way to filter out specific links on your website so that Activity Map doesn’t automatically capture that information and send it off to Adobe Analytics with PII in it. And so the way that we do that is as follows. So within the knowledge base again, you’ve got this Link Tracking Methodology and there are these two sections all the way at the bottom, for s.ActivityMap.linkExclusions, as well as s.ActivityMap.regionExclusions. So region versus link. And so link is a little bit more complicated, you have to add some CSS and then you have to actually inject some code on the page, whereas region exclusions is actually friendlier in my mind, plus it can be completely deployed using Launch and doesn’t require any CSS or hidden spans or anything like that. So the way that we will do this, is just simply as follows. We need to set what our s.ActivityMap.regionExclusions is, and so we can do that in Adobe Launch in a rule. So I’ve already created the rule, so if we had it in our list of rules here, then you just simply need to define when, and you can see I’ve actually disabled it so that it wasn’t called on the previous page when we were testing, and all you need to do is make sure that you call the rule in the Page Bottom, and then call it where and whenever you need to. For me, I needed to make sure that it had launch/activityMapHome.html in the location.pathname, which is exactly how I have this URL, that way, I know that this rule will only get called on this particular page. And then comes the fun part, you simply set up an action for Adobe Analytics, so you find the Adobe Analytics Extension and Set Variable, scroll all the way to the bottom and open the editor and very simply take that s.ActivityMap.regionExclusions and set it to a div ID that you’re looking to filter out. So if we head on over to this page, and I look at this particular link, I can see that it’s contained within a div called, with an ID of email, and so if I take the div ID of email and I drop that in over here, so here’s my email, and I set that as a region exclusion, I can Save it, and I can Keep my Changes, and I can Save to Library, and I’m also going to enable it. So I’ll simply re-enable it, which you wouldn’t have to do because you wouldn’t have created this and then disabled it.
So now that our Library has been updated, which is currently getting sent to dev, I can head on over into my Launch Switch plugin, turn on debug mode, make sure that we’re in the Development environment, and just simply hit Refresh. Now when I refresh it, we can then Clear All of my Requests from the Experience Cloud Debugger, and I’ll once again click thisIsMyEmail@adobe.com, open up the Debugger, and now you can see, that Activity Map isn’t listed as one of my context data items. If I were click Home though, for example, you can see here that Home is now properly getting set with my Activity Map items. And so that is the very simple way to leverage the s.ActivityMap.regionExclusions using Adobe Launch. Now if you wanted to be more specific, or perhaps more broad within your tracking, you don’t have to actually set it within a rule, you can actually set it within doPlugins of your Adobe Analytics Extension. So I already have doPlugins in my tracker, and if you don’t know how to do that then follow the video on setting up doPlugins in Launch, you can see I’ve already added the ability to exclude the region of ‘home’ as well, within doPlugins. So, if I wanted to make sure that, that happens on every single page, so it’s not just this URL but every single page that happens to have a div ID of Home, then as soon as this is done loading…
We can head back into our page and open up the Debugger, and Clear All my Requests, and give it a Refresh, and here we can see that when we click thisIsMyEmail, once again, we’re seeing that the Activity Map link is being called, but when I click Home, we can now see that, that is filtered. And the reason that this is being called but my other tag doesn’t have, the homepage, for example, doesn’t have the Activity Map dot page, link and region, is because we’re actually overriding it in doPlugins. So that’s something to be aware of, is that in the rule, here, we can see that we’re setting the variable, as you’d expect, to email, but then after that rule is called, doPlugins is called through the Extension, and it’s actually overriding what happened before. So you need to be aware that if you’re going to do this, you have a mixed mode of rules plus the doPlugins solution here in the Extension, then you should probably consider doing something, just like that. So that it takes the region exclusions and the adds to it the home. You could also use the APL function, all sorts of fun things like that. And so, hopefully that is useful for you, and you enjoyed this video. Thank you, and keep enjoying Activity Map.