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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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UTM code being ignored, being treated as Referral instead

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello All!

 

I am using a custom URL w unique number and standard utm logic for a new campaign:

https://domain.com/redirect?umc=uniquenumberhere&utm_source=relay&utm_medium=sms&utm_campaign=RELAY1...

 

My report testing works out perfectly if I input the URL into an internet browser: 1) I see the complete URL on a report including the unique assigned number which I can quickly use for back-end reconciliation purposes, AND I see the utm_ related data in reports on Source / Medium / Campaign.

 

My reporting problems arise when the user clicks on the URL from our vendor's web site where the URLs will be displayed to users.

  1. I see no results if I look at a filtered 'page url contains' the /redirect portion of the URL, as it did in my tests. 
  2. The utm code (ie Source = Relay) is not appearing on standard reports. Instead, it is showing as a "Referral" from the vendor's web site. I am glad at least I can see the traffic was a referral from their site and the associated Goal completions, but I just don't understand why the utm code works perfectly if I plug it into the browser myself vs not working if clicked from the 3rd party vendor's web site.

Thank you for any input!

1 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Jessica S
February 2017

Re: UTM code being ignored, being treated as Referral instead

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Hi Jess,

I suspect the redirect is your problem - re-directs are notorious for breaking tracking. Just curious as to why you need to "...quickly capture the UTM code and unique number in the URL, and then redirect the user onto our standard login page to continue with the intended goal flow."

If you don't want the user to see the utm params (you can take them from the incoming URL and then pass them in the GATC (Google Analytics Tracking Code) although I don't normally recommend that; and you can also capture the unique code as a custom dimension -- or just let it persist in the URL for the login page. If you are capturing in this hidden page then you could also configure the redirect to pass parameters (sometimes in cpanel and sometimes with the help of your host) so they are available for GA as well.

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

View solution in original post

Re: UTM code being ignored, being treated as Referral instead

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Jessica,

It sounds like something is happening in between the user click and arriving on your site. Is there a re-direct that is perhaps clipping the utm params?

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: UTM code being ignored, being treated as Referral instead

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hello Theo,

Our developers created a landing page (that the user does not see) to quickly capture the UTM code and unique number in the URL, and then redirect the user onto our standard login page to continue with the intended goal flow. Several direct tests of me testing the URL into the web browser worked perfectly.

I am leaning towards your thought of a re-direct happening clipping the utm parms.

I am thinking my next step is to get into the vendors platform to try to recreate some more tests.

Jessica

Jess
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jessica S
February 2017

Re: UTM code being ignored, being treated as Referral instead

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Hi Jess,

I suspect the redirect is your problem - re-directs are notorious for breaking tracking. Just curious as to why you need to "...quickly capture the UTM code and unique number in the URL, and then redirect the user onto our standard login page to continue with the intended goal flow."

If you don't want the user to see the utm params (you can take them from the incoming URL and then pass them in the GATC (Google Analytics Tracking Code) although I don't normally recommend that; and you can also capture the unique code as a custom dimension -- or just let it persist in the URL for the login page. If you are capturing in this hidden page then you could also configure the redirect to pass parameters (sometimes in cpanel and sometimes with the help of your host) so they are available for GA as well.

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn