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Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

We have a website (www.website.com) which has an application form on the sub-dominan (http://portal.website.com/apply).  

We want to know the sources of the traffic visiting the application form, however because it is on a sub-domain all of the sources show up as a Referral of www.website.com. The source for the visitors is however still recorded from when they actually hit the homepage so all I think I need to do is tie the two together. 

To get around this my plan was to create a segment that includes only visitors that have, at some point, visited the application form. I then wanted to look at 
'Behaviour' > 'All Pages', apply my segment which would exclude anyone who never visited the application form and then add a secondary dimension of 'Source/Medium'

Originally I thought I could just do a segment as follows:

- 'Page' contains '/apply'

The issue here however is that it excludes ALL pageviews that are not '/apply'  which doesn't help me. 

Has anyone got any suggestions? 

Thanks. 



1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Sebastian M
December 2015

Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
tracking multiple subdomains in a single property can be confusing, especially if the sessions are being split between domains.

The Referral Exclusion List prevents visits from being split into two sessions when flipping between domains. Each session would have an Entrance (landing) page and an Exit page.

Check your /apply page in the Landing Pages report, and set the Secondary Dimension to Exit Page -- if the sessions are split, all of the Exit pages will be in the 'portal' subdomain.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
The correct solution is to implement cross-domain tracking, which will merge the two subdomains into one from a tracking perspective and keep the original referrals.
https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/gaTrackingSite?hl=en

That way, the /apply landing page would be joined with the rest of the visit in a single session and your segment will work as expected.

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Mike, having spoken to our developers we have actually implemented this already by via the Universal Analytics implementation however we get the same result. The sub-domain pages appear in the All Pages list as expected, but the source is not what we want to see.

Obviously strictly speaking the root domain IS the source for those visitors. But I'm hoping it's possible to trace the original source i.e. the external site or medium that they came from.

Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
If you have implemented the Referral Exclusion List setting as well, it should prevent the cross-domain traffic from being split into two sessions. It sounds like it is...

If your traffic is being split into two sessions, there is nothing you can do to merge them together, especially with a segment which filters by the parameters of a session. The first session would have a Page of /apply and then exit -- there aren't any other pages in those sessions. Look at the Page reports -- are they all showing Entrances and Exits?

What you would be looking for is the second session, not the first, and that would have a Referral Path of /apply....if it was tracking the source properly. It sounds like the cross-domain tracking is not completely or properly implemented on BOTH servers. Here's the link for the Universal Analytics version:
https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cross-domain

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Mike, our developers are fairly certain that the implementation has been done correctly with the exception of the fact that we had not added our root domain to the Referrals Exclusion list which has now been done.

I'm not sure if that means that we will see the original source or if it will just leave the referrer blank.

With regards to the sessions, our developer again thinks that it is kept the same, the tracking code on the root domain and the sub-domain is identical. Looking at the data approx 50% of page visits appear to be entrances - if that helps?

EDIT: Having read this article it seems like the Referral Exclusion List  may have been the source of our issues, we have changed this and will monitor the data:

http://www.ericmobley.net/guide-to-tracking-multiple-subdomains-in-google-analytics/ 

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Sebastian M
December 2015

Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
tracking multiple subdomains in a single property can be confusing, especially if the sessions are being split between domains.

The Referral Exclusion List prevents visits from being split into two sessions when flipping between domains. Each session would have an Entrance (landing) page and an Exit page.

Check your /apply page in the Landing Pages report, and set the Secondary Dimension to Exit Page -- if the sessions are split, all of the Exit pages will be in the 'portal' subdomain.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: Need to create a segment of visitors visiting our sub-domain.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Mike, all very useful information - I will look into this and keep an eye on the data tomorrow now that the change has been implemented.