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Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce transactions are coming from AdWords?

[ Edited ]
Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

This is a question we hear time and time again. Advertisers think that their tracking isn’t working properly. It looks like there are no goal completions or revenue coming from the traffic from their AdWords Ads. This usually isn't the case. One of our Google Analytics experts Kathleen is here from the Dublin office to help explain why this happens and give us a simple solution to this problem. 

2 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Hannah
September 2015

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

[ Edited ]
Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager

Great question Hannah!

 

This is an issue that perplexes many advertisers who rely on third party platforms to collect payments from their customers. The first solution would be to implement cross domain tracking, but for most of these situations is it not possible to add code to these websites. Read on for an alternative solution!

 

The scenario:

A user clicks on an ad, they see something they want to buy, they add it to the basket, click checkout and are redirected to another website to complete the payment. Once that is complete the user is brought back to the original website for a final summary of their order.

 

What is actually happening:

  • A user clicks on the ad - a Google Analytics cookie is attached to the user's current session as a “paid” visitor.
  • The activity is tracked through the Google Analytics tracking code. They continue to browse the website - they continue to be a “paid” visitor.
  • They leave the site and make their payment - Google Analytics is not tracking this action as it is not on their website and/or they cannot set up cross-domain tracking.
  • They come back to the website and Google Analytics and any ECommerce tracking records the visit - but not as a “paid” visitor - as they didn't get to the site from an ad this time. Therefore the visit is not recorded as “paid”.

 

How do we fix this?

A possible solution is to not override the new source (the payment website) when users are redirected back to your website after the payment is made. In most third party payment tools, at some point you will be asked for a URL to direct people back to. Please add the below string to that URL. All you have to do is add the string 'utm_nooverride=1' to your existing destination URLs.

 

So if you current destination URL you have provided to this third party payment platform is:

 

http://www.website.co.uk/thank-you-page

 

Change it to:

 

http://www.website.co.uk/thank-you-page?utm_nooverride=1

 

Going forward, you should now start to see “Paid” Goals and ECommerce tracking recording in your Google Analytics Account! Don't forget to import those goals or transactions into AdWords once you have this sorted out!

 

Happy Analytics-ing!

Kathleen

 

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Top Contributor Alumni
# 3
Top Contributor Alumni

Hi Kathleen

I dont quite agree with this solution

According to doccumentation: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565?hl=en

Assume the third-party payment gateway (paymentdomain.com) doesn’t allow cross-domain tracking. To prevent Analytics from losing your original campaign information (organic keyword Red Widgets) and overriding it with referral information from the third-party payment gateway (paymentdomain.com), Analytics ignores referral sources when a visit is still open.

The caveat is that if visitors spend longer than 30 mins on the payment gateway pages, Analytics updates the campaign cookie __utmz with referral information from paymentdomain.com when the visitor returns to the thank-you page on yourwebsite.com

I honestly dont think a user can spend more than 30 mins on paymentgateway.

Please let me know if i am assuming something wrong.

Regards

Nik

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Community Manager
# 4
Community Manager

Thanks for your input Nik - as with Analytics there are usually many different avenues you can take to get your results!

 

The original answer that I posted doesn't require any additional code to be added to the website. I know that many advertisers would have pre-packaged websites, or wouldn't have the ability to update the code. The original solution would allow the website code to remain as is and would avoid the potential costly need to pay your web developers for this additional line of code added.

 

The original solution (using utm_nooverride=1) will simply not override whatever the previous visit source was, so it's a viable option for an advertiser in this situation.


On a final note, if you haven't yet upgraded to Universal Analytics and are experiencing this issue, you may want to upgrade now! Universal Analytics is amazing and the upgrade will solve many complicated workarounds such as this one!

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Top Contributor Alumni
# 5
Top Contributor Alumni

Hi

"The original answer that I posted doesn't require any additional code to be added to the website. "

I am not asking to add any additional code to the website I am just questioning logic behind this as this will be tracked seamlessly any way if visit is still open (30 mins). I highly doubt if any one would spend more than 30 mins on payment gateway page.

 

As the documentation says

The caveat is that if visitors spend longer than 30 mins on the payment gateway pages, Analytics updates the campaign cookie __utmz with referral information frompaymentdomain.com when the visitor returns to the thank-you page on yourwebsite.com

 

Please let me know what am i assuming wrong.

 

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Community Manager
# 6
Community Manager
Sorry Nik! Yes, you are correct.

There are so many ways to resolve this - and here is another one!

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Hi NiKs,
you are right.. Visit is open For 30 minutes.... its mean we need not to do anything extra.But Then Where is solution " Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce transactions are coming from AdWords?"..?

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi, Nik

Does this method work correctly with AdWords traffic? Because the documentation says about Referring Sources.

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Kathleen

Funnily enough, the problem with payment gateweay referrers coming through as new sessions and "taking away" revenue from Adwords-initiated transactions, only started on my client's site AFTER we upgraded to Universal Analytics! So instead of it solving problems, it has now created problems.

I found this solution on Google Analytics support which seemed to address the problem: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2795830?hl=en. I did what they said and added the payment gateway domains to the Referral Exclusion List, but the referrers still come through.

So do you think that using utm_nooverride=1 will solve the problem (even with the new code)?

Re: Why is Google Analytics saying that NONE of my goals/ECommerce tra

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 10
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
I also had this problem with a client. I also tried the referral list exclusion thing which also didn't work. I ended up reverting to traditional analytics (which Google make quite difficult it has to be said) which fixed the problem. So if anyone from Google has any helpful information on this it would be much appreciated!