How To Set Up Cross-Domain Tracking

Interested in tracking your goal conversions over two related sites?

With cross-domain tracking, you can see sessions on two websites tracked as a single session within Google Analytics.

We’ll show you how to easily implement this feature using ExactMetrics.

Why You Need Cross-Domain Tracking

Sometimes your Google Analytics session will span across two or more domains. When this happens, it is useful to track the activity on different domains as one session.

Here’s an in-depth example:

During a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, a user clicks and lands on your landing page. They take an action and are redirected to your third-party shopping cart, such as Shopify, to checkout.

Without proper cross-domain tracking implemented on your site, Google Analytics will track e-commerce transactions in the following ways:

  • The same user within the campaign will be detected as two different users and two different sessions.
  • Google will detect that someone from your site made a purchase, instead of properly assigning the source of the goal conversion as a user from a PPC campaign.

With cross-domain tracking properly implemented, you will be able to collect data from separate domains and organize them in a single report.

Here are the steps for getting set up with cross-domain tracking in ExactMetrics.

Prerequisites

  1. You have the ExactMetrics plugin installed and are authenticated with Google Analytics.
  2. Google Analytics is already installed on the other domain and the other Analytics profile has the same UA code.

Adding Your Other Sites for Cross-Domain Tracking

Step 1: Click into ExactMetrics » Settings » Engagement, and scroll down to find Cross-Domain Tracking

 

Step 2: Click “Add Domain” and fill in the fields that appear.

 

Step 3: Once you’ve added your domain(s), click Save Changes.

Important! It’s not necessary to include the domain ExactMetrics is installed on as a cross-domain site.

For example…

ExactMetrics is installed on yourdomain.com, and you’re going to track example-1.com.

When you add a domain as a cross-domain site, you would only add example-1.com.

Verify Your Source Code for Cross-Domain Tracking

One easy way to test if cross-domain tracking is implemented correctly is to simply look at the source code of your site.

You should be able to locate the custom tracking code within the Google Analytics source code to confirm cross-domain tracking is implemented on your site.

Add Both Domains to the Domain Referral Exclusion List in Google Analytics

Step 1: On analytics.google.com head over to Admin » Property Settings » Tracking Info » Referral Exclusion List.

Step 2: Click the + Add Referral Exclusion button.

Step 3: Type in your domain (Excluding subdomains).

Common Mistakes with Cross-Domain Tracking

If you experience any issues with cross-domain tracking, verify that your site URL is not added as a cross-domain site.

A common mistake that can happen is:

Your site is example.com and you set example.com as a site under cross-domain tracking.

Simply removing your main site will correct most cross-domain tracking issues in Google Analytics.

You’re done! You’ve implemented cross-domain tracking on your website.

Want to track your form conversions? Check out our guide: How to View Your Form Conversion Stats in ExactMetrics.