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Best Practice for structuring Analytics for many websites + domains under a single organization?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

All sites and subdomains contain links that go to any other given domain or subdomain. They are all connected, not isolated.

What's the best way to generally structure something like this in GA?

OurMainSite.com
--subdomain1
--subdomain2

AnotherSitewehave.com
--subdomain1

AnotherURL.com
--subdomain1
--subdomain2

 

What's the best way to generally structure something like this in GA?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Best Practice for structuring Analytics for many websites + domains under a single organization

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Depending on your website(s) goals, if a conversion path would involve multiple servers, then you should implement cross domain tracking with one tracking code. If you do that, I suggest you investigate rewriting the Request URL's to include the hostname, so / on OurMainSite.com appears as OurMainSite.com/ and appears different to AnotherSitewehave.com/ in the page reports.
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1012243?hl=en

If your conversions are single-server, then you can implement separate tracking codes. Blending subdomains is common, blending other domains is usually only for special cases.

It is ultimately a balancing act. if you merge everything into one account/tracking code, then the number of sessions goes up and you may find yourself with data sampling problems. Also consider what happens in the future if you want to 'carve off' a particular server (i.e. sell the domain/company). Portions of an account cannot be transferred to someone else.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Best Practice for structuring Analytics for many websites + domains under a single organization

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Thanks, Mike. This is incredibly useful and helpful. Could you please just expand a bit on why single or multiple servers provides the threshold? And to be clear, we're talking about distinct physical machines, correct? For example, a server environment could exist in one locale and have several servers that are involved in serving content for a single web address. The example that comes to mind is that perhaps there's an e-commerce server separated for operational and redundancy reasons, that sort of thing. Just trying to get a handle on why or how the server question specifically plays into the idea. Thanks very much, again, for your time and expertise.

Re: Best Practice for structuring Analytics for many websites + domains under a single organization

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
To remove one of your stumbling blocks: the internet doesn't care where your server is located -- they all look the same. Different name (subdomain/domain) = different web address. Even if they are on the same physical box or in different countries.

If a real website visitor traverses several servers to make a sale, then you should consider a cross-domain implementation. That is the only way you can associate a source (campaign, referral, organic search) with a conversion (sale, download, pageview, event). That is why you need to clearly understand what the real purpose of your site is for: source-to-conversion tracking is what web analytics do.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.