Processing rules tips and tricks
This section contains guidelines for testing processing rules and a list of common mistakes to avoid.
Testing Processing Rules
This section contains some guidelines to help test processing rules before they are deployed to production.
Testing Rules That Read Search Terms
For any criteria based on a search, such as if prop1 contains “news,” go to the prop 1 report and search for “news” and see if there are any matches you were not expecting.
Testing Rules that Read Variables
Create a blank HTML page on your desktop, include the s_code from your site, and set the s.account variable to a dev report suite. If your rules are based on referrer, referring domain, and so on, take some sample URLs from the live referrers report, set the s.referrer variable with one of those values and load the page. Likewise, if the rule is based on the page URL value, you can set s.pageURL. This same process can be used for any variables.
Using a Dev Report Suite
We recommend configuring processing rules on a dev report suite to make sure they’re working correctly. If possible, we recommend copying the rules to a small production report suite before broad deployment.
Check for Empty Values
When you create a rule, consider the case when a value is empty. If you do not add a condition that checks for an empty value you can unintentionally overwrite variables with empty values.
It is also important to consider the processing order. In the following example, it appears that the Previous Pagename custom evar will be set to the URL if the Page Name is not present. However, the URL is placed into the page name after processing rules are applied, so in this case, the Page Name is empty if it is not set on the page.
Avoid Overwriting Values
In the following example, two context data variables are used on the site to capture search terms: search_keyword and search_term. However, based on the configuration, the search_keyword value is always overwritten, even if search_term is empty.
This rule should be reconfigured to test each context data variable for a value before populating the Internal Search Term, and optionally, concatenating the two values if there is a use case for keeping them both.
Encode Search Terms to UTF-8 or Unicode
Search terms pulled from a query string must be encoded correctly or they won't be matched by processing rules.
Starts With, Contains, and Ends With
Select the correct matching condition to find the most restrictive condition that matches correctly. You can search for values in a report before creating a rule to make sure there are no unintended matches. For example, you should search the Prop2 report to find all locations where this condition matches before enabling this rule.