If you're using a blended Firefish Jobs site, you'll need to set up a subdomain. This page will give you all the info from setting up your subdomain to analytics tracking.
What is a Subdomain?
How do I create a subdomain and what should it be called?
Does a subdomain affect SEO?
Google Analytics Cross Domain Tracking
What Is A Subdomain?
On a blended site, a subdomain allows the vacancies, register and login pages to seamlessly integrate into your current website.
A subdomain is a folder or extension of your existing URL - www.companyname.com would have a subdomain like jobs.companyname.com . It allows all the Firefish hosted pages to be linked through your existing URL domain and provides all the great page optimisation that your jobs will create to be attributed to this domain.
Is a subdomain a second website?
No, a subdomain is a part of your existing domain and as it’s linked to your main website. The key here is it will not have www before it, it is an extension of your existing www.
How do I create a subdomain?
You’ll create a subdomain on the portal that you manage your domain address ie your www.companyname.com. This could be 1&1, 123 Reg or Rackspace for example. Each www. domain that you own has the ability to simply add a subdomain to it. The exact method of doing this may vary depending on which domain manager you are using; we’ve included some links to help guides on common registrars below:
Using a different domain registrar to the ones we've mentioned? Run a quick Google search for 'how to create a subdomain on domain registrar name' or contact their support team.
What should I call the subdomain?
The subdomain can have any name but we would recommend calling it Jobs, Vacancies or Careers - this means the subdomains URL would be jobs.companyname.com for example.
Does A Subdomain Affect SEO?
Subdomains and subdirectories, a page on your main site, are seen as the same by a search engine and the only difference in rankings are based on content and keywords.
Subdomains and subdirectories are treated equally by search engines crawlers, meaning that Google and other search engines will recognise subdomains as part of your main website and will rank these sites together as a whole rather than individual sites.
In fact, depending what it is used for, the subdomains could rank higher than subdirectory pages, for example, jobs.companyname.com would rank higher than www.companyname.com/first-level/jobs. This is because the closer the keywords in the URL are to the root domain, the more it would mean for search engines.
This means that having your jobs page hosted on a subdomain will have no adverse effects on your SEO rankings – we even host our own blog page on a subdomain - https://blog.firefishsoftware.com/
Google Analytics Cross Domain Tracking
If you're on a blended site, you'll have set up a subdomain for your jobs page, you should use cross-domain tracking to ensure you get the most accurate stats for your website.
How does tracking work with different subdomains?
Google Analytics treats different subdomains as their own website, meaning that when a user moves between subdomains without cross-domain tracking, they are being registered as a new user to your site rather than tracking them as the same person. This doesn’t mean that subdomains are bad to use, it just means that you need to let Google know that you are using them, this is where cross-domain tracking comes in.
An example of this would be a client going from www.firefishsoftware.com/jobs to jobs.firefishsoftware.com. If cross-domain tracking is not set up, this will make google register the same person as a new user on jobs.firefishsoftware.com as well as registering a user drop off on www.firefishsoftware.com/jobs. This will make it look like you have an inflated number of users entering your site which isn't accurate.
Why do you need cross-domain tracking?
Cross-domain tracking lets Google Analytics know that the two domains are connected and are in fact the same website. This will allow Google to present you a more accurate overview of the hits your site is getting and provide you with more useful information surrounding your current user base. They will properly track user paths through your domains and allow you to identify the points of your site that are getting the most traffic. It will also create funnels that utilise these routes and use them to your advantage, allowing you to guide users to where you want them.
How will this help with my tracking?
Cross-domain tracking can help you to see how users are interacting with your site and what paths they are taking to get to each endpoint of your site (for example, applying for a job or getting in contact with you). This will also allow you to gain a better overview of the correct amount of daily traffic which can help you to identify goals (for example, how to increase traffic). It will also give a clearer picture of the points/pages where users are leaving your site from. This can help you understand why they are leaving at that point and try to improve it to stop this from happening.
What will be the difference and what will I see in Google Analytics?
After you’ve set up cross-domain traffic, you might notice a drop in the traffic within your Google Analytics account. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it indicates that you are tracking the traffic flowing through your site and across your domains more accurately. You will also notice a lot fewer drop-offs as, without cross-domain tracking, any user accessing your website will be showing as a drop off from your main domain and a new hit on your subdomain. You can also see in the mapping of a user’s flow through your site the pages they are visiting across the two domains instead of these being separate.
How can I set this up?
Google provides the best documentation as to how to implement cross-domain tracking to your websites. You can find the main article for this here.
If you are using google tag manager this will need to be set up slightly differently. Please see Google’s documentation on how to set this up here.