Display the hostname in content report in Google Analytics

If you are using google analytics to track the users behavior on your site, you would notice that the pages that users navigated to does not show the entire URL of the page, rather it displays the page URL without the hostname.

I know, you might be wondering how this will affect your reporting. What if you have multiple subdomains  like (makemarketer.com and agency.makemarketer.com) and users are navigating to multiple subdomains within the same root domain and analytics will not record this activity and you might get confused on which subdomain this content report about pages relates to.

Example:

User visits www.makemarketer.com and analytics reports as ‘/’

Now the user navigates to agency.makemarketer.com and even then it is reported as ‘/’

The question is how do I classify that ‘/’ reported by Google is for which URL i.e. makemarketer.com or agency.makemarketer.com, since users visiting both of them are reported as ‘/’.

This is a very big problem if you are working on websites that has multiple domains on the same root domain. All the more, bigger issues arise here, when user moves from root domain to subdomain then GA will record a new session and new user. Ideally it has to be credited to the same session and all the hits to the same user. For this to be answered, you have to understand to tracking between two subdomains. You can learn about all these advanced techniques in our Digital Marketing Training Bootcamp in Hyderabad. This is India’s First 100% Real-Time Digital Marketing Immersive Bootcamp.

To fix this issue, you have to setup a filter at the view level. But be extra careful when you are applying a filter since this will modify the data. It is always recommended to apply this filter when setting up the analytics account.

  1. To Apply this filter:
  2. Go to Admin section
  3. Select the view for which you want to apply the filter.
  4. Navigate to the filters tab.
  5. Create a new filter
  6. Select the filter type as custom
  7. Select the advanced option
  8. Give values in Field A, Field B and Output like in the image below
Filter to Display Hostname in GA

Save your filter and you are done.

Now Google Analytics will record the entire URL in the content report including the hostname.  It will now become very easy to understand the users navigation path to check how are the moving across subdomains and which pages are contributing more to the existing subdomains.

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