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  • nonlinear digital

    nonlinear digitalnonlinear digital

    nonlinear enterprise

    nonlinear enterprisenonlinear enterprise

    nonlinear enterprise


    nonlinear nonlinearnonlinear

    nonlinear digital

    sitecore: the nonlinear way

  • November 2014

    Copyright 2014 non-linear creations inc.All rights reserved

    nonlinear creationsToronto | New York | So Paulo | Ottawa | Calgary |

  • 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

  • introduction

    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 |

    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

    reached at:

    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 |

    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