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Dive into multiple domain (Cross/Sub) tracking, implementing Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce, setting up Event tracking, and Universal Analytics code.
 
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Cross Domain Tracking

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# 1
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Hi there,

 

We are going to launch a .cn domain and we want to track all visitors who eventually click to our .com site. The main purpose of the .cn page is... 

  • to increase traffic by using targeted keywords
  • to increase site registrations (done in the .com domain)

 

According to this resource page in Google Help, a property needs to be created in the Analytics account.

 

1. Set up a property in your Analytics account.
For cross domain tracking, set up one property in your Analytics account. Use the same tracking code snippet and tracking ID from that property for all of your domains.

 

Is it talking about creating a 2nd property, besides the default one?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

 

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Accepted by topic author Ricardo P
July 2016

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi,

It says one property for all of your domains, so if you have a property already you can use that.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please accept it as solution.
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Ricardo P
July 2016

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi,

It says one property for all of your domains, so if you have a property already you can use that.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please accept it as solution.
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
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No, you just need to create one property. All your pages that you want to include in cross-domain tracking need to contain the same GA snippet with the same property number UA-XXXXXX on the page. Also UA snippet has to be modified a little. Additionally you would also need to add your domains to 'Referral Exclusion List' in Analytics.

Here is a really good and simple guide how to do it properly: http://www.blastam.com/blog/index.php/2014/11/2-steps-cross-domain-tracking-universal-analytics

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

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# 4
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Thanks Olgierd, the link you passed on is fantastic.

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

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# 5
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One more question... The domain .cn is one page only and it's an identical page as the .com homepage, will this make the .cn homepage appear with the slash symbol (/) in GA? Making no differentiation between both homepages. Should we then apply a redirect so anyone landing on the .cn domain will end up in a page with a URL string, say, .cn/china.

Thanks!

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
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It will work the way you suspected - both home pages will be shown as "/" and counted together. So in order to see it separately you may create addtional view and ad advanced filter to it that will add hostname to URI (part of URL after "/"). URI is what you see in Content report

In your case I would create 3 views:

1. View with "Include" filter - include only www.example.com
2. View with "Include" filter - include only www.example.cn
3. View with advanced filter that adds hostname to page URI - here you would see example.com/ and example.cn/ as separate sites

Point 1&2 are easy to do but if you'd need help then let me know. Point 3 - here is really good guide by Annie: http://www.annielytics.com/blog/analytics/how-to-add-a-hostname-filter-in-ga/

That's all assuming that you're using Universal Analytics by implementing GA snippet directly on page. With Google Tag Manager it's even simpler - just add in your UA pageview Tag in "fields to set" field "page" with value "page hostname/page path" (using built-in GTM variables)

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

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# 7
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Thanks a lot Olgierd,

Is creating 3 views per new domain the best solution in a potential scenario of having many more domains (.cn, .co.uk, nl, etc...)?

I am not an IT guy so there might be concepts/definitions I could end up mixing. So from an IT point of view, is the .cn a subdomain or a domain? I bring this up due to the definition of a subdomain (everything on the left of the domain). I just googled it =). Plus, the annielytics link gives subdomain samples and all have fall in the definition of the all-at-the-left definition.

Is there an alternative to differentiate all this domain-based traffic inside the current view? I was thinking in a URL redirect: / > /china
This way I can segment by landing page and customize reporting to monitor behavior and outcomes.

Thanks a lot for your help and rapidness.

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 8
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Ricardo,

Firstly I'd like to answer your question - technically the top level domain that you have in URL like www.example.com is "com" but in most common understanding we may assume "example.com". So by this definition subdomains look like this:

1. www.example.com (yes, "www" is also subdomain)
2. jobs.example.com
3. articles.example.com

So in your case example.com and example.cn are different domains. Therefore in order to track them correctly you need to implement cross-domain tracking either way.

When it comes to best approach I really wouldn't like to tell you what's best solution and what's not - a lot has been written about it and there are different approaches with devoted followers of every approach. I can only tell you what those approaches (known to me) are but decision has to be yours.

Approach no 1: Instead of creating new site with new domain for additional languagues you can create just one site with structure like:
www.example.com/usa/
www.example.com/china/
www.example.com/mexico etc.

Then you just to make sure that you implement geotargeting and displaying proper "folder" for proper country. Great advantage of that approach is that you wouldn't need to use cross-domain tracking and appending hostnames to your URIs. You would only create 2 standard views:
1. Raw data view
2. No-internal traffic view

Adding additional country would be super easy and wouldn't require any additional configuration apart from deploying GA snippet in every added subfolder.

Approach no 2: every new country equals new domain. In this case you would need to employ cross-domain tracking and filter appending hostnames to URIs to see it all under one hood with possibility to differentiate between domains.

In this case (assuming that cross-domain tracking is utilized) I would recommend to do the following:

1. Have one unfiltered (raw) view for any new domain that you add to your property
2. Have one view with internal traffic filtered out for any new domain that you add to your property
3. Have one view that combines all of your domains with hostname adding filter (as described before). Anytime you add new domain you need to make sure it's configured for cross-domain tracking
4. Make sure that all domains' views are created under the same property.

This way you would always have specific views that can help you with data assurance and troubleshooting.

I hope that it addresses all of your concerns - if not please let me know. I'd be glad to help.

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

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# 9
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Thanks Olgierd,

 

I think it's all clear now, at least the whole process:

  1. Filter Hostname URI.
  2. Then Cross-Domain (Exclude Self-Referrals and Code additions to the page).

Regarding the provided link from Annielytics, she clearly explains how to implement the hostname filter, but at the end she says:

Caveat

When you add this filter it’s going to wreak havoc with your reports. So I always recommend making this switch on the first day of the month, so it doesn’t jack up your monthly reports. If you need to merge rows, you’ll need to use a macro or pivot table.

 

What does she mean by wreak havoc and switch on the 1st day of the month? Is she talking about that reports will have a traffic size increase due to the whole implementation? Why iis she recommending to switch at the start of the month?

 

Best 

Re: Cross Domain Tracking

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 10
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Hi Ricardo,

I think that Annie makes assumption that your're adding hostnames to existing view. If you apply it during the month then you'll have inconsistent data - some with filter some without it. In this particular scenario it would be difficult to make justified decisions based on that data. When you'd add filter at the beginning month then you wouldn't have problem with reporting - one month without filter, next one with it.

However if you're setting a fresh view then it doesn't matter when you add your filter. However if you have other view to which you'd like to compare data from hostname-appended view then go with Annie's aproach - it would be easier to compare full month's data.