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Tracking Conversions Across Subdomains

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# 1
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Scenario:

 

I have two domains, http://www.loopto.do and http://my.loopto.do.  The www subdomain is my website; the "my" subdomain is a Web application. Leads come in through Google Adwords ads and land on the www homepage. When they click "Create an account", they're redirected to Google OAuth2 authentication where the lead logs in with his/her Google account. Afterwards, we redirect the lead to the http://my.loopto.do subdomain.

 

Problem:

 

I'm trying, quite unsuccessfully, to track Adwords conversions where a user lands on the www site, creates an account, and lands on the "my" application. Without having a "thank you page", the conversion code is placed in an iframe and loaded on the my.loopto.do/index.html page from a file called "googleconversion.html".  

 

I can see the requests in the NET tab to Google, for both the Google Analytics as well as the Adwords conversion code; however, the google.com/adwords page still says "Unverified".

 

Here is the Google Analytics code I'm using on "www" and "my":

 

 

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-29953813-1']);
  _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'loopto.do']);
  _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); // adwords
  _gaq.push(function() {
    var pageTracker = _gat._getTrackerByName(); // Gets the default tracker.
    var linkerUrl = pageTracker._getLinkerUrl('http://my.loopto.do/');
  });
  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
 
  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src=('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
  })();

 

On the "www" website, I also overrided the click handler as per these instructions:  https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/methods/gaJSApiDomainDirectory#_ga...

 

        // prevent default click behavior and instead use the _link functionality of GA to pass cookies to the other site and 
          // redirect. 
        $('.green_btn, .long_green_btn, #loginButton').click(function() { //alert("is this really working?")
        	_gaq.push(['_link', 'http://my.loopto.do']); 
        	return false;
        });

The click handler is applied to all of the "Create account" buttons on the page.  However, I'm not sure this should even be necessary. I'm not passing the user to a completely different domain, only to another subdomain, which should theoretically have all of the cookies, since the _setDomainName argument is set to "loopto.do"!

 

Conversion Request:

 

In my Chrome NET tab, I can see the following request made to Google:

 

http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/1003128478/?random=1342025899333&cv=7&fst=13420258...

 

Thus, it's clear the application recognizes that this is a conversion, and loads the iframe with the conversion code. 

 

Theories:

 

  • Is it possible the cookies aren't being passed to the "my" domain? How can this be verified? What specifically am I looking for?
  • Is the Google Analytics code even needed to track conversions?  Can we rule this out and just focus on the conversion tracking only or is this required?
  • I've had only 2 conversions since placing the code, but I have no way to tell if those people actually clicked on an ad or was referred from another site. Thus, there is no feedback from Google as to whether this is setup properly. 
  • I noticed that the "Create Account" link, when clicked, does pass all of the parameters to the my.loopto.do domain, but only if I'm authenticated already through Google!  If I get redirected to Google to login, the parameters are lost once the Oauth process completes and the user is redirected to my.loopto.do!  Thus, if the _link GA command is really required for subdomain tracking, then this may explain the problem. My goal was to completely eliminate a signup process by just logging the user in via Google; however, this makes tracking conversions a nightmare.

 

Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide to help troubleshoot this issue. Thank you!

 

 

Suggestion to Google Adwords Engineers:


  • Add a "VERIFY NOW" button so admins can simulate an ad click through to actually 100% instantly without a doubt verify that the tracking is working. Seriously! Please! Smiley Happy  Aside from asking a question here, all I can do is wait for what I think might be a real ad click through and then repeat this entire process, using guesswork. Meanwhile, we're paying for ads for which we can't make intelligent, informed adjustments to without conversion feedback, and we can't turn them off because allegedly the only way to verify conversions is to wait for one to happen Smiley Sad
1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Tracking Conversions Across Subdomains

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi James,

 

Wow...lots of info there. 

 

Perhaps I'm under thinking this here but what is stopping you from placing your AdWords Conversion code on the http://my.loopto.do page?  I may be missing something here but I think all that needs to happen is for the click cookie to meet the conversion code. 

 

Your Analytics set-up is separate situation and is not needed to track AdWords Conversions.  Cross domain Analytics tracking is feasible but not needed for the AdWords portion of conversion tracking.

 

You should also keep in mind that only users who click on ads can be counted as AdWords Conversions it's a very black and white set up when comparing to Analytics. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Tracking Conversions Across Subdomains

Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
# 3
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
Hi james-mortensen,

I approached the technical support with your query. Unfortunately, we can't provide more details for your customized code implementation.

Best,
Zee
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