During last several years if we have found one big problem that lot of users face is Google Analytics Cross domain tracking OR Google Analytics Multiple Domain Tracking & how to handle pushing cookies to different domains or sub-domains. The reason for this is large corporates would have many websites for same purpose and have several subdomains catering specific needs. Often the solution is to get the cookies value passed via URL. At times such problems can be solved by structuring multiple trackers , but not always. This blogpost aims to provide solution to automate the cookie value passing via form or link using Jquery.
Why we need cross domain tracking?
Take a look at above image, which represents a case when visitor lands on page of xyz.com and he navigates to subdomain.xyz.com or abc.com and/or submits information on form which is passed to abc.com. Here if Google Analytics cross domain tracking is not enabled and all the websites are tracked under same UA id of Google Analytics. One would not be able to visualize the data and would have duplication of data for a same visitor across all the domains.
What is required to enable cross domain tracking?
- We require all domain, subdomains and 3rd party domains tracked under 1 UA ID
- Use _setDomainName “none” – to enable cookie information to be passed across all domains, subdomains and 3rd party domains.
- Use _setAllowLinker “true” before call of _trackPageView
- We require all links and forms which are interconnected to main domain/sub-domain or 3rd party domain appended with _link() or _linkByPost() function
Above steps would enable you to setup your Google Analytics for Multiple domain’s & Across different subdomain’s tracking under one UA id (UA-XXXXX-XX)
Now, one would need to update all links with _link() function and all forms with _linkByPost() which are passing information to other domains. It will be a supremely time consuming job to implement and verify through all domains. A quick easy solution is automated appending cookie values to all external domain links and forms.
Automated cross domain/Multiple domain tracking for Google Analytics
Now, we have come up with automated process to enable passing cookie information to all such links and forms which are external domains i.e. sub-domains or 3rd party domains.
Here’s the 3 simple steps that you’ll need to do.
- Include default Google Analytics asynchronous tracking code with _setDomainName “none” and _setAllowLinker “true”
- Include the crossdomaintracking.js - Download the crossdomaintracking.js
Your code will look like this.
What will crossdomaintracking.js will do?
It will automatically identify all external multiple domains from a given page i.e. if you are on page of xyz.com and links of subdomain.xyz.com and abc.com would be appended with _getLinkerURL function of ga.js and it will append cookie information such as
A Jquery Framework (If you are already using a jquery library you don’t need copy jquery library reference)
Script needs to be pasted through all pages of your website, where you want to track external links and mail to links.