In this blog series, I’ll describe how you can use the new Usage analytics feature in SharePoint Server 2013 to display “smart content” on your website. By “smart content” I mean content such as recommendations and popular items. Recommendations are based on how other visitors have interacted with your site. For example, on a product page, you can display “People who viewed this product also viewed.” Popular items are the most viewed items on the entire site or within a specific category, for example the most viewed laptops on a site that sells technology products.
To help explain, I’ll use examples from a fictitious company called Contoso. Here’s what the website will look like once we’re done.
Note: The examples in this blog series are based on an on-premises installation.
Blog posts in this series:
- An introduction to recommendations and popular items
- Modify the Content Search Web Part display template and use Windows PowerShell to start Usage analytics
- Add and configure the Recommended Items and Popular Items Web Part
- Use recommendations and popular items on websites with anonymous users
- View and configure usage analytics reports
Why this series is like Season 2 in a TV series
The Contoso website that I’ll use as an example throughout this series is a cross-site publishing website. If the story of how the Contoso site was set up were a TV series, the blog series How to set up a product-centric website in SharePoint Server 2013 would be Season 1. This series would therefore be Season 2.
Throughout this series, I’ll refer to many concepts and features that I explained in the previous blog series (Season 1). You should read the first series before continuing with this one. As with a TV series, knowing the story from the beginning makes things not just easier to understand, but also more interesting.