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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Traffic Sources Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi guys,

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on our current struggle with figuring out one of our traffic sources. 

 

We're running a CPC display campaign via a DSP platform and we're tracking down each the performance of each of our banners with a unique URL. However, in the report tab we still see a source which we don't recognize - when i scroll down to the Acquisition, click on the All Campaigns ribbon and open the Source/Medium tab, I see one of the sources marked as FT/referral. When I set up a Secondary dimension 'Ad Content', I got .txt.

 

Does any of you know what this source could be?

 

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Barbora B
June 2016

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi,

if the traffic is significant it can be your own campaign which utm parameters have wrong values. If it is just few visits then it can be someone playing around.

Anyone can go and load your page with any campaign parameters if they choose and GA records them. If you wish to explore in more detail what kind of visitors that source brings and what they do on your site I recommend creating a segment based on that source. (If the bounce rate is 100% it is most likely spam)

Let me know!

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Antti,

Thanks a lot for your help!

Actually the traffic from this source isn't significant, but since it decreases our overall results I would be interested in exploring it a bit further and eliminate it if possible.

Can you please elaborate on what exactly you mean by 'creating a segment based on this source'?

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi,

see screen shot here:
https://i.imgur.com/2K0fWHi.png

You press the Add segment (above the graph) and then select New segment (red button top left) and select settings like in screen shot. Remove All Users segment (there is a small arrow in the segment box top right)
Now your report should only be from those users that came to your site through that mysterious campaign.

I would start from Audience overview. If Bounce rate is 100% then it is spam and you can just go on and create a filter based on source/medium basis. (If you need a walk through, let me know)

Then check the Behavior->Site Content->Landing pages report and see if those pages actually match any of your campaign landing pages. This would mean that some of your campaign variables got mixed up. that Ad content 'txt' smells like something gone bad in campaign excel or in ad management...

Share what you find and I'm sure we get to the bottom of this.

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Antti,

Many thanks again for walking me through this!

I set it up and here you can see a screenshot of what I found in the Behavior/Landing pages: https://imgur.com/rmVIwvt. This 'traffic' seems to have arrived to our homepage, but our problem remains the Avg. Session Duration (this is the most important KPI of our campaign and this short traffic unfortunately decreases our overall results). Also I checked the report for Bounce rate and for the period Feb - June it was 1.83%.

Do you think it could be spam? And speaking of campaign variables, what do you think it could be here? The click-through URL? or anything else I can check here?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hi,

screen shot is not working?

Most likely not spam, my next best guess is misconfigured campaign URL.

Anyway, one clarification: Is your click-through URL the same than the landing page URL that contains the campaign variables? If you can download the ads that lead to your front page and check the landing page URLs you might find it lurking there. Maybe you can use the entrances as volume to find it faster.

Without knowing more of the service/platform you are using or the setup it is quite hard to guess where the problem lies.

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I understand. I was asking around and it really seems like someone from our team have implemented a different URL for clicktracking, never mind.

On another note, I see in Behavior > Events that this FT traffic results in lots of Error events. For instance, Event label I see next to it says "No suitable players found and fallback disabled page' or 'Error loading skin: File not found'. Now I see that this is happening also to some of the other display campaigns we're running, so I would like to figure out whether this is a problem of URL or an issue with the site.
The URL I used looks for example like this: http://wildhitz.nl/?utm_source=DBM&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=V-300X250&utm_campaign=Z002

Could you help me with this as well?




Re: Traffic Sources Issues

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Hi,

glad you found out the origins of that first one.

Since we have started to make segments I recommend that we continue on that path Smiley Happy
I can only guess what those error messages actually mean but if I'm correct and you make a segment per error message (or combination of those that are applicable) you should be able to see from here:
Audience -> Technology -> Browser & OS (notice a lot of sub-reports just under the graph)
the different reasons for those error messages.

For example no suitable player might translate to users with old or VERY old flash player versions, no Java enabled. Or file not found related to certain browser or browser version.

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible