Well I decided to blow the dust of the blog, it’s been a whole 2 weeks since I last posted, this is a lifetime in the online community. Well the reason I havent been blogging is that I’ve been busy attending events and trying to apply the knowledge I’ve learnt to the affiliate marketing/make money online world. The next couple of posts will be about what I picked up.
IxDA Industry Session at Irish HCI Conference – 17th-18th September 2009, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
So this was the first event I attended which was held over two days, I have to admit I really was only interested in attending a couple of sessions mainly the ones related to web analytics and search, and I have to say I defintiely was happy with the knowledge shared at the event.
First up was Niamh Phelan from IQ content discussing how to use Google Analytics, decide on the correct kpi’s/metrics for your business, establish your goals and tweak your website accordingly. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find Niamh’s presentation online but I was able to find a presentation she did previously that shares a lot of the slides:
Niamh was great and very helpful, she even was able to give me some advice after the event. One of the areas I was interested in was cross domain tracking on multiple domains and how to implement it.
Why as an Affiliate should I care about Cross Domain tracking?
Most successful affiliates will agree that in order to become successful you must think about longevity. The best way to do this is as Fraser Edwards recommended is to build a brand. A good example of this in the industry would be Doug Scott’s carrentals.co.uk targeting multiple countries using multiple domains. Ok, so what has this got to do with Cross Domains? Well once you’ve established your brand in one country or index, just as we scale our ppc campaigns when we’ve found a successful model, we do the same with our websites based on the markets where there is a demand for the products for which we’re an affiliate i.e. .com (targeting U.S. market), .co.uk (targeting U.K. market). When we’ve established a couple of country specific sites it is useful to track them as one brand, especially if the sites are heavily interlinked.
How to Implement Cross Domain Tracking on Multiple Domains
Niamh was able to point me to the post on IQ’s blog which deals with cross domain tracking.
A user searches Google for “cheap widgets”. Your site, www.CheapWidgets.com, appears top of the search results, so the user decides to click on the link to your site. While browsing around, they click a link that leads to your insightful widget blog which is located at blog.CheapWidgets.com.
With the default Google Analytics setup, www.CheapWidgets.com will be seen as a referrer to your blog subdomain and a new set of cookies will be generated for that user, losing sight of information such as the referring site (Google) and the keywords that they used to find you (”cheap widgets”).
Ideally, this information would be preserved across all subdomains and any relevant third party domains that you own.
Google Analytics does provide a solution for this, but it’s a bit cumbersome:
Step 1: Modify your tracking code to include a couple of extra functions (which is simple enough).
Step 3: Remember to tag each link that points to any of your domains (which is a burden). This is something that could very easily be overlooked.
The real solution
Niamh and the guys at IQ have produced a script that will automate this process. It automatically tags links to a set of domains that you configure inside the script.
The first thing you need to do is update the tracking code across each of your domains and subdomains.
Updated tracking code
The value of _setDomainName should be the root of the domain you’re installing the code on. So, the value for both blog.CheapWidgets.com and www.CheapWidgets.com would be
The next and final step is to download the script, update the domains that you would like to track and include it on your page.
var domains_to_track =
Include the script with the following code (it must appear in the body, just before your tracking code):
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