Question: Direct and Referral Traffic Doesn’t Add Up For Campaigns
I’ve been running Google analytics for several months and was particularly monitoring referral traffic after running several non-google ad campaigns via Facebook and LinkedIn.
The results appeared pretty disappointing until I discovered this week that I am now 99% certain that over 70% of the traffic attributed by analytics to Direct traffic was in fact from these adds- all had an almost 90-100% new user rate and to the slightly obscure but specific pages my ads were running to…(it’s a publisher so linked to individual articles).
Has anyone else had this issue with Google Analytics and is there a fix that anyone knows about?
Answer: Campaign Tracking with Google Analytics
This is very common issue and usually stems from failing to properly setup Google Analytics campaign tracking for your ads.
Here’s a list of resources I’ve curated where you can read more about Campaign Tracking:
- Google Analytics Developers Code site on Campaign Tracking
- GA Conversion University Videos that cover Campaign Tracking with Google Analytics
- Google Analytics Help Center article on tracking campaigns
- Justin Cutroni’s post series on Campaign Tracking
- Presentation from GAUGE Google Analytics User Conference on Campaign Tracking Fundamentals
- Post from Blast AM, a Google Analytics Certified Partner on Campaign Tracking basics
If you’ve tagged 100% of your ads and are still getting lots of direct traffic instead of campaigns, then you likely have a problem with tracking URL’s getting stripped out by a redirect. That’s an issue for another post…