Create or Edit an Audit


Creating an audit is simply configuring instructions for ObservePoint to follow. It is a process of automating what is traditionally a very tedious manual process of looking at each page and evaluating if all the tags are firing with all the correct variables implemented and setting all the correct values. Do this for hundreds of pages and it quickly becomes apparent that an automated audit is going to be more reliable and faster than any traditional, manual approach.

Setting up an audit does not require code to be implemented on a page because when an audit runs, the ObservePoint servers access pages on your site in a browser window. The ObservePoint tool sits inside the browser, visiting links and monitoring all the tag requests passing data to their collection servers as the pages load.

Basic Configuration

The basic configuration is required. Fill out the following fields:

  • Audit Name (required)
    • Best practice is to use short names and use labels to organize your audits. A reminder will pop up encouraging a short name and the use of labels if your name exceeds 40 characters.
  • Folder (required)
    • You can choose a folder or create a new one here. To create a new one, click "create folder" and type in a name. The new folder will show up in My Cards screen and will be available on the folder list inside the audit create screen.
  • Domain (required)
    • Domains help with the organization; all audits belong to a domain and all domains have a parent folder. See Add or Edit a Domain. The folder controls which domains you see in the list.
  • Data Layer (optional)
    • If you choose to define a domain in the audit screen, you may also define a data layer for it. See Add or Edit a Domain. If you leave it blank, you may add it later, but you won't be able to audit the data layer until it is defined.
  • Starting URL (required)
    • The Starting URL field can hold one or more URLs to visit during the audit. These pages will be visited first in the audit. If the audit has not reached the page limit, it will use the include and exclude filters (see below) to guide it to additional pages. Use this field to load pages that may not be accessible from links on your site, such as landing pages.
  • Scan Limit (required)
    • The page limit controls how many pages are scanned during the audit. The default is 500 pages. It is recommended that you start with a small audit (10-25 pages) the first few times you create an audit so you can get the results back quickly to help you evaluate if you need to make any changes. You can always come back into the audit, change the number of pages, and re-run it. Best practice is to audit up to 10,000 pages; usually fewer. Most audits accessing more pages than this don't give additional insight, but show more of the same problems or reveal edge cases not worth spending the time fixing. If you find you have a very clean site after auditing 10,000 pages, it would likely be more useful to check out the integrity of your rules than expand to more pages.
      Leaving this field blank causes the audit to default to 50 pages when it is saved.
  • Send notifications (optional)
    • Type in as many email addresses as needed to receive alerts when the audit completes.

This is all you need to set up an audit; click Save Audit to begin running it automatically.

Advanced Options (optional)

Use the Advanced Options to configure other settings that help control the audit. Click the Advanced Options link at the bottom of the Create an Audit window to access additional settings. This link is only available when initially creating the audit; the next time you edit it, the edit screen automatically displays in full screen with tabs for Basic Setup and the other advanced sections.

  • Location
    • The location determines what IP address the servers use to access pages on your site. Changing this is useful if you have geo-based content or restrictions on your site--for example, a retail site for mobile phones in England may not show the same content to browsers from North America. By default, the location is set to a non-proxy in Oregon, United States (Pacific Time Zone). Most audits do not need to run on a proxy.
  • Browser
    • ObservePoint uses Chrome or Chromium to crawl pages. Chrome is selected by default and is recommended for almost all audits.  Chromium is an open-source browser and should be used in niche scenarios. 
      • Chromium is most commonly used to prevent videos from loading on the page. Chromium supports open-source codecs, whereas Chrome only supports licensed codecs. 
      • Chrome is selected by default    
  • VPN
    • If enabled, Virtual Private Networks will show up as a toggle button and allow outside access to secure content. The VPN settings must be configured by an administrator and are enabled by contract (see Accessing Content Through VPN).
  • Template Mode
    • This functionality excludes URLs with query parameters from your audit. It will still scan the page, but it will strip out the query parameters and remove duplicates found before crawling.
  • Reduce Server Load
    • By default, audits will crawl pages with 10 servers in parallel. Toggling on reduce server load will lower the count of unique crawling servers from 10 to 1.
  • Lock URLs
    • It will allow a user to audit the same pages that were found during a specific previous run. When this is enabled the starting pages, page limit and filter options are disabled and become irrelevant since we will not perform a crawl and instead audit only the URLs from the source run. This feature will be very useful when running comparisons and when a custom wants to have a static set of pages audited. If you want to update the URLs it is locked to you'll need to unlock the audit, run it again and then lock it once you are satisfied with the URL set.

Rules Tab

The rule tab lets you assign pre-built rules or create new ones on-the-fly. Rules can look for tags, accounts and variables on a page. In addition, you can filter which pages a rule runs on by URL, tags found, status codes and variables. See Applying Rules to Audits and Journeys for setup instructions.

User Session Tab

The user session allows you to set up a login to access secure content or define other parameters that need to be defined at the beginning of the audit and carried through the session, such as setting a language or country cookie. The user session is executed before the starting page(s). If you set up a login, you may also need to use the Exclude filter to prevent the audit from executing any logout links.

To create a login, see Create or Edit a Web Journey for instructions on setting up actions. Most likely you will either want to create an Action Set out of these steps or use an existing Action Set to add in your configured login process from another Journey or audit.

Actions Tab

Actions are steps that can be taken during an audit to interact with the page in the same way you might expect a user to. Actions can be limited to execute on every page or only on pages that meet specific URL patterns.

See Create or Edit a Web Journey for instructions on setting up actions.

Turn on Prevent Navigation so that the browser doesn't go to the destination page on an action that would:

  • Load another page, if doing so would interfere with the flow of the audit (such as with an exit link)
  • Load another window or tab. Audits can only work in a single window or tab.
  • Load a binary file, such as a PDF document. Audits can only browse web documents, such as HTML files.

Here are some examples of when you may need to use an action in an audit:

  • Confirm that a button can be clicked and that it passes analytics data as expected.
  • Verify that tags are firing as expected on all download links. If there is a downloads section of the site, set up a filter to only execute the download click on pages where downloads are available.
  • Click an exit link to be sure that the link is firing the expected analytics. Selecting Prevent Navigation will click the link and capture the analytics but not load the destination page.
Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.