I’ve emphasized the critical importance of including hostname in Google Analytics (GA) content reports, if your site has subdomains. But what if you haven’t included it? Is all lost? Originally, I thought yes. But then last week I had an idea to experiment with custom reports and the API to see if I could get that data back. And turns out you can. I’ll show you how.
Find Out What Subdomains You Have
First, you’ll need to know what subdomains you have to know which ones to filter. To find your subdomains, go to Audience > Technology > Network > Primary Dimension: Hostname. Don’t worry about “translate” subdomains. These are the result of visitors translating pages on your site.
Filter By Subdomain With A Custom Report
If you aren’t familiar with custom reports, they’re super easy to learn how to use, and they give you a LOT of customization power. Standard reports just won’t umm satisfy you (??) after you get comfortable with custom reports. I created this short video that goes through the steps of how to create a custom report.
Unfortunately, I can’t share this custom report with you because the subdomain(s) you’ll be filtering will be specific to your site. But here’s what the custom report should look like. (Of course, feel free to modify the metrics to meet your needs.)
I demonstrate how to create one in the video below. But keep in mind you will need to create one of these for each of your subdomains. One nice shortcut is to go to Custom Reporting > Custom Reports (in left nav) > Overview > Actions > Copy. Do that for each subdomain you need and just adjust the filter.
A GA Report You Actually *Can* Use
Alternatively, you could create a custom report that allows you to click on the hostname and then drill down to see the landing pages. If you’re already logged in to the Google account you use to access GA, you can get the report here. If you’re not logged in to GA, you’ll want to right-click on the report link, choose Copy Link Location, and paste it into the browser (or instance of Chrome) that you’re logged in to Google Analytics with. If you’re not logged in to your GA account, you’ll get a 404, Page Not Found, error. Here’s what that report would look like under the hood:
Get Them All At Once Using the API
The drawback to using the UI is you’ll have to export the report for each filtered subdomain independently. However, you could pull the hostname and landing page right into Excel using the API. I teach you how with a free Excel plugin in this Search Engine Land post.
Here’s a screenshot of how you’d set up the dimensions:
When the data populates in Excel, you just need to concatenate the cells that contain the hostname with the cells that contains the URI.