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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Blog (subdomain) not appearing correctly as referral

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We currently have a blog set up to refer traffic to our primary website. The blog URL is set up as a subdomain - ex. blog.xyz.com while our primary site is simply www.xyz.com. However, the blog isn't appearing at all as a referral in Google Analytics. Or if it is, it's appearing as though xyz.com is referring traffic to xyz.com, which doesn't make any sense.

 

How can I set this up so that I can properly view the sessions, sales etc that our blog is referring to our e-commerce site?

Blog (subdomain) not appearing correctly as referral

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Andrea,

 

You shouldn't see your blog as a referral in Google Analytics. If you see your own domain as a referral, it means that you've lost the actual referral. xyz.com domain should be added to your referral exclusions list.

 

I recommend using advanced segments to analyze traffic from your blog to your e-commerce site.

 

I created a custom segment for you. It helps you figure out visitors who have visited your blog during their session.

 

Here you can find even more articles and guides about segments in Google Analytics:

1) https://moz.com/blog/seven-google-analytics-advance-segments

2) https://www.koozai.com/blog/analytics/top-15-most-useful-advanced-segments-in-google-analytics/

 

Hope this helps.

Taavi

 

Blog (subdomain) not appearing correctly as referral

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Taavi,

 

Our blog is currently not set up as a referral exclusion, but that is because I specifically need to measure how many sessions/sales are referred to our e-commerce website as a result of our blog. Do you know how to troubleshoot why the blog wouldn't be properly appearing as a referral source? It is even set up with its own Google Analytics ID. Our blog reports hundreds of clicks to our e-commerce website while Google Analytics shows 3 referred sessions from our domain (not even blog.domain).

Re: Blog (subdomain) not appearing correctly as referral

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Do you know how to troubleshoot why the blog wouldn't be properly appearing as a referral source?


Usually, businesses install exactly the same Google Analytics ID (not 2 different IDs) on both sites (e-commerce and blog) to see the impact of their blog. As I mentioned earlier, they use segments to analyze the performance and impact of their blog.

 

Actually, I guess you're interested in your actual referrals, not blog referrals. You'd like to see which channels bring people to your blog and how many of them actually buy from you. If you're a blogger, you'd like to know which channels perform the best. If you only see that you've got new customers thanks to your blog, you don't know where to invest your time as a blogger. As I mentioned before, you're interested in your actual referral (source).

 

Let me give you an example:

 

1) You have 2 separate Google Analytics ID's and you're tracking blog as a referral:


Customer journey: google / organic -> blog.xyz.com -> xyz.com -> Purchase

 

You'll see that this customer came from your blog (blog.xyz.com) but you don't know (you cannot see) the actual source google / organic.

 

2) You have one Google Analytics ID and you're tracking your e-commerce website and your blog in the same property:


Customer journey: google / organic -> blog.xyz.com -> xyz.com -> Purchase

 

You'll see that this customer came from Google Organic search. You as a blogger know that you should invest more in SEO. If you use segments in Google Analytics like I mentioned in my previous post, you're also able to see how many people purchased a product from your e-commerce store thanks to your blog. You don't have to analyze referrals, you'll need to analyze customer journey and see how many people visited your blog before they purchased something.

 

If you're not interested in this actual source, you should use UTM tags then you'll see blog as a referral. But keep in mind, they you'll lose your actual referral.

 

Hope this helps.

Taavi