February 22, 2024

Google Analytics - When the Same Default Tracking Code is Installed on Pages With Different Domains What Will Happen?

Creating and using multiple Google Analytics profiles for distinct top-level domains is common practice in cases where separate sites are hosted on different servers. This can be particularly useful for eCommerce sites that use a third-party platform to handle the final checkout process (for example, WooCommerce).

Until recently, tracking visits across separate top-level domains required a few extra tweaks in the tracking code placed on each site. With Universal Analytics, this is now handled by default, but there are some important things to know before getting started.

When cross-domain tracking is not set up correctly, sessions will often appear inflated in the referrer report. The problem is that traffic will be counted twice (once as a direct session and once as a referral from itself) because the cross-domain tracking code is not properly identifying the correct source of the visit. To fix this, you can use a view filter at the property level to ignore self-referrals and track the data that matters.

To test whether this is working, change the date range in your referral report to include only the time since the cross-domain tracking code was implemented and look for any self-referrals. If you don't see any, your setup is working. If you do see some, then check the All Pages report in your property to be sure the tracking is capturing the data you want it to capture. If not, the issue will need to be investigated further.

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