April 11, 2017

Finding the domain from which your traffic originates in Google Analytics


I am nosey. I mean really nosey. I have hotjar, leadfeeder and Google Analytics running on most of my sites. It is one thing to know that a random amount of visitors were close to a conversion (but did not convert), but I need more details! Here’s what I like to answer:

  • Did someone come to my site from an email signature even if they never responded to my email?
  • Did a repeat customer from a specific city and specific company come back and order? Did someone else from the company order (perhaps indicating word of mouth referral)?
  • Is a competitor spying on me?

Those are just a few areas I like to keep tabs on. It can be a real manual pain to monitor activity from specific domains or companies…even with specific Google Analytics dashboards or shortcuts.

There is a quick secondary dimension I like to apply in Google Analytics which allows me to see from which domain visitors are coming.

There is, of course, the Network Domain report in Google Analytics:

network domain

but I find that does not provide the domain detail I want. I add a secondary dimension of Network Domain to potentially provide the URL details I seek. In so doing, I now know the URL from which the traffic originates.

secondary dimension

The beauty of any Secondary Dimension is that it can be applied in the majority of reports. Another area that I monitor is page traffic from specific network domains.

Go to the All Pages report and add your Network Domain as Secondary Dimension. Now I can see what domains are hitting which pages and answer the questions posed above.

All Pages

When I combine this data with Lead Feeder (as one example), I can get a decent picture of traffic origination and, if I am really studious, compare recent emails opens or clicks with domains from this report to see if an email leads to ROI.

This is a quick and dirty approach to reporting but Network Domain is a dimension I, more often than not, do not see companies using.

If you use secondary dimensions in other ways, comment below and share with the class.

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