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Tracking Subdomains and Affiliates in Analytics

7:13 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a main e-commerce domain (www.AAA.com) and a number of affiliate domains (www.BBB.com, www.CCC.com, etc.), all with their own GA profiles (some on the same account, some on separate, if that matters) that have been running for years. I'm hoping for a solution that will allow us to maintain the previous data/profiles while correcting the problems we an running into.

The issue is, for the shopping cart of these sites, ALL domains are directed to a SINGLE domain (cart.AAA.com) until the purchase is completed, at which time they are directed back to the appropriate domain where that visit originated. To complicate things further, the old analytics code for www.AAA.com is contained on cart.AAA.com as well.

These are our problems, we're looking for the simplest solution that provides us with an accurate way of viewing our data.

1) AAA.com is showing up as a referring site for itself (and all affiliates), because analytics is not distinguishing between cart.AAA.com and www.AAA.com -- I would imagine that this should also be resolved no matter what solution we go with, but more importantly ...

2) We cannot accurately log data on cart.AAA.com. It is probably off due to the old GA code for www.AAA.com being used, but also because all domains point to it.

Ideally, data for cart.AAA.com would be attributed to the profile of whatever domain/affiliate the visit originated -- this doesn't seem like it would be possible, but I'll happily be proven wrong.

How should the analytics/code be set up on the main and affiliate domains, as well as the cart subdomain?

Obviously the code gets updated to the newer version of GA code, but does it:

A) Remain under the www.AAA.com profile with updated code to add an exception for the cart.AAA.com subdomain

B) Get included in all profiles with updated code to add the subdomain exception

C) Get its own profile and code and somehow figure out how to attribute sales properly

D) Other solution

We've been wrapping out heads around this for some time, but haven't done any testing as of yet. I understand that you can make copies of your profiles for testing purposes, but I'm not entirely sure how I would even go about it.

If I can provide any additional information to help, please let me know.

3:40 am on Jan 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is it feasible to store purchase info in a cookie for that user until they come back from the cart to a thank-you page, and pass it too Analytics upon that?
5:55 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Crap ... thought I had email notifications set up ...

In your suggestion, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like analytics would not be found on the cart pages (if we are waiting to pass the data until the thank you page).
It is important for us to be able to properly track progression through the steps of our cart, which would require there to be analytics in place on those pages.

The question is just which profile's analytics?

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