Hillary Wickline

by Hillary Wickline | Google Analytics

As a part of Metric Theory’s onboarding process, we always audit a new client’s Google Analytics (GA) account to ensure we’re accurately tracking KPIs across all channels. A part of this includes checking if cross-domain tracking is properly set up so we can get a holistic view of the customer journey.

What is Cross-Domain Tracking

Before we dive in, you may be asking yourself “what is cross-domain tracking exactly?” Cross-domain tracking allows GA to track a single user’s or visitor’s entire session between related websites or subdomains.

Who Needs Cross-Domain Tracking

If your business only has one website associated with the product or service, there is no need to set up cross-domain tracking.

On the other hand, if a customer or potential lead has the opportunity to navigate across multiple domains, you’ll want to ensure this is properly set up. This will allow you to gain a centralized view of the customer journey, a key component to being able to evaluate data and drive strategy.

Multiple domains could look like an ecommerce site that directs users to a new domain to complete their checkout, a software company with a separate resource website, or a self-service trial page for B2B businesses.

Why Should You Set Up Cross-Domain Tracking

Without setting up cross-domain tracking, you will be unable to accurately evaluate a user’s journey or path as they navigate your web presence. For example, if a user added an item to their shopping cart on website A , completed the checkout process on website B, and then returned to website A to continue shopping, GA would recognize this as two users and two different sessions, inflating overall unique users and sessions. With cross-domain tracking properly set up, GA would recognize the user as one user and one session.

Additionally, without cross-domain tracking in place, you will be unable to accurately report on traffic sources. If a user reached your ecommerce site through a Google Ad without cross-domain tracking in place and followed the same scenario outlined above, GA would recognize website A as the traffic source. If cross-domain tracking was in place, GA would accurately report Google Ads as the traffic source for that user’s purchase.

Ready to set up cross-domain tracking for your business? Reach out to us to learn more!