Channel Attribution: are your conversions happening on the tracks or out in the desert?

by G on June 18, 2014

Train Wreck in Saskatchewan

If your booking engine is captured off-site by a third-party then you’re going to want to read this post.

What’s more frustrating than Google Analytics? Google Analytics when its not even splitting out the traffic source revenues accurately because of a cross-domain tracking bug!

A clue that things are not going well is when you see a website domain being attributed as the unique referrer of revenue when you know it can’t be true.

I’m going to assume that you have read the following guidelines about the changes that need to be made to your Google Analytics code and instead focus on how you can test to see whether things are working as they should.

Testing that Google Conversions are being properly attributed!

In order to make this test work you will need to have a cookie-viewer installed in your browser. I personally use this one.

1. Go to a search engine, such as Google, and find your website by typing in a keyword search.

2. Click the link to the website.

3. If you’re using the plugin I listed above, right-click mouse and then select “page info” and then visit the “cookies” tab, and then examine the _utmz tab. I have highlighted below three areas that you need to be looking at. You can see that the “utmcmd” is organic and the keyword is “not provided”.

notoprovided

4. The next step is to (still in the same session) visit the booking engine and to then re-examine the cookie again. If you look in this example below you can see that the utmcsr value has changed to direct. That’s because the cookie was not successfully passed to the third party booking engine. If this had gone well the session cookie would still say utmscr=google|utmccn=(organic). The result of this is that the revenue in Google analytics will be attributed to the DIRECT channel, and the referral for revenue will be the website and not the search engine.

tracking_change

 

 

That’s how to test it!

 

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