nonlinear digitalnonlinear digital
nonlinear enterprisenonlinear enterprise
sitecore: the nonlinear way
Copyright 2014 non-linear creations inc.All rights reserved
nonlinear creationsToronto | New York | So Paulo | Ottawa | Calgary | Florianpoliswww.nonlinearcreations.com
table of contents
i | introduction
1 | chapter 1: marketing
3 | Driving return on investment (ROI) from your Sitecore deployment
7 | Three warning signs to be aware of during a Sitecore implementation
9 | Accessing Sitecore analytics with Microsoft BI tools
13 | Eliminating cart abandonment with Big Data and Sitecore DMS
16 | Using public data to enhance DMS personalization in Sitecore
18 | The Sitecore DMS rules engine: Three cool ways to use it
22 | Sitecore DMS and Google Analytics: Three very good reasons to integrate
24 | Sitecore DMS reporting options: Finding the right approach
27 | Sitecore personalization: Use Google Analytics to measure results
32 | Statistical relevance of A/B tests in the Sitecore DMS
35 | Four steps to extract engagement value from Google Analytics
41 | When A/B tests lie: The imperative of persona analysis
44 | Getting to know your visitors: A/B testing and persona analysis
49 | How to recover from search traffic decline after launch part 1
54 | How to recover from search traffic decline after launch - part 2
58 | Sitecore 8: The leap to a strategic marketing platform
63 | chapter 2: technology
65 | An introduction to Sitecore for developers
71 | Our 12 laws of Sitecore development
75 | Sitecore operations: Four must-have resources
77 | Six tips for scaling Sitecore infrastructure
80 | A new way of thinking: Continuous deployment for Sitecore
84 | Why Application Lifecycle Management matters for Sitecore
87 | Seven tips for automated testing in Sitecore with Selenium
90 | Five observations: Sitecore vs. SharePoint
93 | Related item publishing in Sitecore 7.2
96 | The three things to know about a Sitecore Commerce Server integration
99 | 27 Tips for Configuring Sitecore
102 | Two common Sitecore page editor challenges
104 | Personalization and your Sitecore intranet
106 | Sitecore, Coveo and your Intranet
108 | Nine steps to a successful Sitecore website launch
112 | Three considerations when building multilingual sites with Sitecore
116 | Sitecore 7.5 has been released- should you upgrade?
120 | Scaling Sitecore 7.5: xDB on-premises or in the cloud?
124 | A Sitecore 8 sneak peak
128 | Sitecore 8: A look at database changes
130 | Sitecore 8: Introducing the Federated Experience Manager (FXM)
135 | authors
143 | about nonlinear digital
Why did we write this book?The answer is simple: too often we see the greatness of Sitecore technology undermined by misguided implementations and inexperience. Our goal with this book is to impart some of the knowledge weve gleaned since beginning our Sitecore journey back in 1995. The nonlinear digital team has run more than a 100 Sitecore projects since then and with those years come lessons learned. We want to share those lessons and help shorten the learning curve for others looking to get the most out of the customer experience platform.
The nonlinear team includes 5 Sitecore MVPs more than any other Sitecore partner and holds all 6 of Sitecores coveted specialization designations. In other words, were a company who knows their Sitecore. Wondering what drives Sitecores suc-cess? This is a good place to start.
How it worksThis book is meant to be a living document. Its a selection of entries from our ongoing
online publication series, nonlinear thinking. Its printed digitally and updated with
new content on a regular basis. The easiest way to stay up to date is to follow us at
one or more of the following:
ii | www.nonlinearcreations.com
Weve divided the book into two sections: marketing and technology Articles in the marketing section address issues ranging from the statistical
validity of Sitecore A/B tests to recovering organic search traffic after a botched relaunch.
Technology articles provide specific advice, often in detailed how-tos based on our real world experience, for Sitecore developers
Let us know what you thinkWe hope this book is a helpful resource for all things Sitecore. If there is something
you think weve missed, let us know. If youd like to know more about either non-
linear digital or Sitecore best practices, dont hesitate to drop us a line. We can be
DM to: @nonlinear_tweet
+ 1 866 915 2997
chapter 1: marketing
Driving return on investment (ROI) from your Sitecore deployment | 3
One of most difficult parts of selling your decision makers on a website renewal project is proving a return on their investment. Here are five keys to ROI for a Sitecore deployment:
The biggest challenge for todays digital marketer is the ability to demonstrate how their digital tools can provide real value to a company, beyond eye catching graphics, follower counts and impressions per click. Turning those buzzwords into measurable benefits that drive business strategy decisions is key; your websites con-tent management system is no exception. Proving to the C-Suite that an investment into a product like Sitecore has the ability to transform your web presence and spur a marked increase in sales and conversion rates is a constant battle. Here are five points to get you started:
1. Realizing the core benefits of the content management system
There are several quantifiable financial gains that can be achieved through the imple-
mentation of a content management system (CMS). These arent necessarily unique
to Sitecore alone, but are still important factors in calculating returns and in estab-
lishing a business case for the investment. A few examples:
Molly Anglin Vice President, nonlinear digital
Driving return on investment (ROI) from your Sitecore deployment
4 | www.nonlinearcreations.com
Labour savings when introducing new features and functionality within a mod-ern CMS can obviously be significant when compared to the same features implemented by hand or within an aging web content management (WCM) platform.
Productivity gains are also achieved through the use of an improved WCM user interface. With a simpler interface, non-technical users may gain the free-dom to complete tasks that were once the domain of a development team. As a result, the time to launch new content and the frequency with which new con-tent can be published can be much faster.
The enforcement of best practices, like well-formed HTML and a structure that lends itself to SEO best practices can ensure better visibility and traffic even if the contributing content author doesnt innately understand the recipe for a well-ranked piece of content.
Forester Consulting, in conjunction with Sitecore, published a useful guide to calculating the total economic impact of implementing the product in which several of these concepts are explored. Through a series of interviews with real cus-tomers, they extracted anecdotal insights into what they found to provide the great-est value post-launch. The report also illustrates a detailed model for calculating ROI of the CMS investment.
2. Keeping design and build costs in-checkLooking at the cost side of the ROI equation, we see a lot of benefit in not start-ing projects from scratch, especially if youve never done a Sitecore deployment before. nonlinear is now offering our own pattern library, the nonlinear Sitecore Accelerator. Since establishing our Sitecore partnership in 2006 weve invested in building, refining and testing this set of tools intended to maximize efficiency. With every build, the Accelerator saves literally weeks of design, development and testing time by incorporating extensions to the Sitecore API, utilities to other common APIs such as Google Maps, preconfigured performance settings and a slew of useful com-ponents and templates. If youre managing an in-house team gearing up to make your first Sitecore build, this will likely put your project much farther ahead and save you from potential configuration/development missteps.
Driving return on investment (ROI) from your Sitecore deployment | 5
3. Embarking on a vertical adoption strategy
Seth Gottleib recently published his thoughts on CMS adoption, focusing on the idea that while widespread adoption is often held up as a measure of success in software development projects, decentralized publishing by large groups of auth-ors doesnt necessarily equate to a good website. Instead of the methodology he refers to as horizontal adoption, he points out that vertical adoption essen-tially, the increased capacity by a smaller web team to understand and make use of the higher-level marketing functions available in todays more advanced content experience management platforms is key to driving value from the investment. If all youre doing is tweaking and publishing content, Sitecore is likely not the prod-uct for you.
However, if you do intend to make use of the whole Sitecore solutionthe con-tent management system and digital ma