Custom tracking domain: what is it, and why use it?
A custom tracking domain is something different from your regular domain (website):
- 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 a custom tracking domain is to replace the default (dedicated) RedTrack domain with something that belongs to you only. To identify the default RedTrack domain follow the path Tools -> Domains -> New and here it is at the top right corner of the pop-up window:
Expand to see the pros and cons of the dedicated and custom tracking domains
What are the pros and cons of using dedicated and custom domains?
|Dedicated domain||provided for free||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|
|you don’t need to set anything, it will work right from the start||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|
|does not work with Google and Facebook|
|Custom domain||looks attractive and secure for users, advertising networks, antiviruses, and ad block plugins||you need to buy the domain first before customizing it|
|Google, Facebook, and Bing-friendly||adding a custom domain can be a bit hard in terms of settings|
What do I need to add a custom tracking domain?
To add the custom tracking domain you need to:
1. Have a Domain Management (Name) System (aka DNS/ domain registrar), where you purchased your domain and where you’ll adjust its settings. Some examples of domain registrars (the most commonly used ones) are Godaddy, Namecheap, Cloudflare, etc.
Usually, in your domain management system when you purchase a domain, you can get any number of subdomains for 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.
2. Add a CNAME record
What’s a CNAME record?
CNAME (aka Canonical Name record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that maps one domain name (an alias) to another (the canonical name). It’s great for running multiple services from a single IP address. CNAME records must always point to another domain name, never directly to an IP address. In our case CNAME should point to your defalt (dedicated/free) domain in RedTrack.
a. name of my domain is redtrackfan.club
b. in my domain registrar I added a cname record with the name ilona:
c. now I have a custom tracking domain with the address ilona.redtrackfan.club
3. Have a valid RedTrack account where you will add the newly created custom tracking domain.
This guide describes only the meaning of the custom tracking domain and the reasons for adding one. If you decided to add custom tracking domain, click here for the detailed guide.