Google Analytics is the best free web analytics software available to webmasters. It gives you the information you need to see where traffic to your website is coming from and lots of other important pieces of data. The only problem I have with it though is that it does not show you the full referring site webpage by default.

When someone visits your site from another website, Google Analytics correctly records the URL of that referring website but it not show you its value in your report. This is especially true for webpages which use parameters (querystring) in the script. For example, this webpage will be shown in your referral report as product.php and this is pretty useless because you want to see exactly which specific page sent you the traffic. Chances are that if you go to it will show you a 404 Page Not Found error and that’s going to confuse you even more. So it’s important that you set up a custom report in your Google Analytics account to view the full URL of the referring sites.

full referral paths google analytics

If you’re using the New Version of Google Analytics, you just need to :

  1. Click on the “Custom Reporting” tab in the menu (orange bar, it will be after “Standard Reporting”)
  2. Enter a name for “Report Name” eg Full Referral Paths
  3. Under Metrics Group, click “+add metric” and select Visitors -> Pageviews (you can select something else if you want to but Pageviews will show you how many page views that referring url¬†accumulated.
  4. Under Dimension Drilldowns, click “+add dimension” and select Traffic -> Source, then click “+add dimension” again and this time select Traffic -> Referral Path
  5. You can leave all other options as they are (the default will work fine)
  6. Now save the report and you’re done

When you click on any referring domain now, you will see the full URL so that you can know exactly what webpage sent you the traffic.


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