Quick start

Adding a custom tracking domain

General information about custom tracking domain

Defining what a custom tracking domain is

A custom tracking domain is something different from your regular domain (website). Scan the following core points about custom tracking domains:

  • it’s used for technical (tracking) purposes only;
  • it’s more attractive both for visitors and search engines;
  • using a custom tracking domain instead of a standard tracking domain provided by the tracking tool is more secure, as such giants as Google, Facebook or Bing do not accept free tracking domains so your campaigns may be blocked;
  • the main reason for using custom tracking domain is to replace the default (dedicated) RedTrack domain with something that belongs to you only. To identify the default (dedicated) RedTrack domain follow the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

What are the pros and cons of using dedicated and custom domains?

Dedicated domain:

+

  • it is provided for free
  • you don’t need to set anything. It will work right from the start

  • it is generated randomly for each user. If needed, you can customize it, nevertheless, there are a lot of restrictions and the root domain remains the same
  • the root domain is the same for all and is used by the majority of RedTrack users. Consequently, due to the variety of advertising campaigns that they RT users are running, it may be blocked by antivirus software and ad-blocking plugins
  • it does not work with Google and Facebook

Custom domain:

+

  • custom domains look attractive and secure for users, advertising networks, antiviruses and ad block plugins
  • Google, Facebook and Bing-friendly

  • you need to buy the domain first before customizing it
  • adding a custom domain can be a bit hard in terms of settings

How / where do I get a custom tracking domain? 

Usually, in your domain management system (like Godaddy or Namecheap) when you purchase a domain, you can get any number of subdomains free.

For the purpose of tracking you can use any word (e.g.: “trk.something.com” or “go.something.com”). Although it doesn’t have to be a subdomain of something.com, any other domain will do as well. The tracking domain will be used in the code that we will add to your website (in the “universal tracking script”). So, instead of domain.rdtk.io you’ll have something like trk.something.com.

You don’t need to have a separate custom tracking domain for all your websites/online stores/clients. You can use one custom tracking domain for all of the websites that you integrate with RedTrack, moreover, you can add more if you wish. Once custom domain integration is done on the domain registrar’s side, you will need to obtain it additionally and can use one domain for all your Campaigns or create several sub-domains (CNAME records) under the same root domain.

Importance of a CNAME record

What’s a CNAME record?

Third level domain looks like something.domain.com. Those domains work fine for simple tracking and are easy to integrate. The integration is performed via creating a CNAME  record. A CNAME record is created on your domain registrar side. Here we will have GoDaddy example but the principle is pretty much the same for any domain registrar used by you.

How do I add a CNAME record?

To add a CNAME record in GoDaddy act as follows:

1. Go to your domain settings by pressing Manage DNS:

 

2. Press To add:

3. Fill in the fields -> press Add record:

 

Some hints on what to insert in the fields:
Type: choose the option “CNAME”;
Name: can be anything you like. This is the word that will be placed at the beginning of your domain (e.g: track.mydomain.com);
Where the: put your RedTrack dedicated tracking domain here (can be found by following the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:

TTL: choose the lowest option possible

The domain will be ready to use once the data replication is completed (it can take up to 24 hours for some registrars, but in general, it takes about an hour).

Adding your custom tracking domain to RedTrack

Once the CNAME record is added, you can proceed with adding the domain to RedTrack. To do that act as follows:

1. Select Tools menu and choose Domains option from the drop-down, then press New:

2. Fill in the following fields in the pop-up window:

URL field: type in (paste) the you the CNAME you’ve just created. In the example track.mydomain.com on screenshot:

  • track is the name you put in your domain registrar in step 3 of the part “How do I add a CNAME record?” above;
  • mydomain.com is the domain you purchased via your webhosting service (in our instruction and our case it’s GoDaddy).

Root domain URL field: in Root domain field you can put the URL visitors will be redirected to in case of a direct entry to the domain URL, or you can leave it blank. In case you still decide to put the root domain there, remember to type in https:// in front of it.

3. Install the SSL

You no longer have to deal with CSRs generation and DNS approvals. RedTrack provides free SSL certificates for all paid clients, where everything now can be done in one click. To activate this feature, turn the “Free SSL certificate” toggle on and save the changes. We are extra cautious about our service, so RedTrack generates certificates using open source Let’s encrypt technology, which claims to be free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA) run for the public’s benefit (it is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG)).

That’s it! Your custom tracking domain has been successfully added. Enjoy!

Related Articles