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No Conversion Information in Google Analytics for Third-party Hosted Shopping Cart

January 30, 2013
             
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Image Credit: Яick HarrisHi Jill,

I switched from an in-house shopping cart on our WordPress site to a 3rd-party shopping cart at a different domain. It seems that after the switch I no longer have individual keyword conversion rates and costs in my Google Analytics. I tried speaking with the rep at Google and speaking with my programmer, but no luck.

Any suggestions would be great.

Troy

++Jill's Response++

Hi Troy,

You're likely missing the special code that needs to be on the 3rd-party-hosted pages in order for your Google Analytics to know that they should be considered part of your site.

From Google's help information on this topic, Tracking Multiple Domains:

"[S]uppose you have an online store and a 3rd-party shopping cart hosted on another domain, such as:

www.example-petstore.com
www.example-commerce-host.com/example-petstore/

"Without cross-domain customizations, a visitor who first visits your online store and then proceeds to your 3rd-party shopping cart is counted as two separate visitors with two separate visits of different durations, which is not appropriate for this model.

"You can, however, use cross-domain tracking to make sure that Analytics records traffic to these two sites to the same report. In web analytics, this is often called site linking. With it, a visitor to your online store who proceeds to your shopping cart is counted as one visitor -- not two -- and the session they started on the store is continued through to the time spent on the shopping cart."

Therefore, your next step is to find out if it's even possible for you to add code to your shopping cart pages. Most shopping cart providers will do this for you or explain how to do it. Conversion rates and costs are two of the most important things that you should be measuring on your site. Therefore, if it's not possible to add the code to yours, you may want to consider switching to a different one that is Google Analytics-friendly.

Best,

Jill

 
Jill Whalen has been an SEO Consultant and the CEO of Jill Whalen High Rankings, a Boston area SEO Company since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen

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 Mary Kay Lofurno said:
Hi-Jill is spot on here, as almost all of our sites use cross domain tracking.

Things to determine up front. When you say different domain, how is the shopping cart executed? Is it done with a different domain or is it done with an iFrame?

True, GA has 65% market share and many 3rd party shopping carts are set up to integrate with GA. But we have run into a few where the shopping cart is done with an iFrame and and the shopping cart app itself was not built with 'hooks' [using this term to refer to the coding necessary] for it to integrate fully with GA. Some of these apps would have the _tracktrans data so you could get transaction data but not be able to see the drop off from the purchase funnel. Example: Amiando

You can track via iFrames in GA, but this assumes, you have control over that iFrame.

Here's an articles for you:

http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/google-analytics-cross-domain-tracking-made-easy-14596

I believe the link Jill gave you does include how to do tracking via an iFrame if that is the case in the body of the document.

Best Regards, Mary Kay Lofurno