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How Attributer categorises visits

Attributer categorises visitors to your website into a series of ‘Channels’ that are very similar to the channels you will see in other analytics tools (like Google Analytics).

These include:

  • Organic search – Non-paid visits from recognized search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Referral – Visits from links clicked on other websites.
  • Organic social – Visits from links clicked on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Email marketing – Visits initiated by clicks in your email campaigns
  • Paid search – Visits from paid search ads (I.e. Google Adwords)
  • Paid social – Visits from paid social ads (I.e. Facebook Ads)
  • Display – Visits from Display advertising campaigns you undertake around the web.
  • Affiliates – Visits that were referred from your network of affiliates
  • Direct traffic – Visits to your website with no referring source or tracking URL; usually visitors who type your website URL directly into their browser (though can be for other reasons)
  • Other campaigns – Visits from campaigns that contain URL parameters, but are not the one’s used for social media, email, paid search, affiliates or display.

In terms of how to determine where a user comes from, Attributer looks at two things:

  • UTM parameter – We first look to see whether a UTM parameter is present (I.e. http://www.attributer.io?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_campaign=attribution&utm_term=reporting).
  • Referrer – If no UTM is present, we then look at the ‘HTTP referer’ information passed along when someone clicks on a link from another website to our website.

When determining the source of a session, we honor the UTM parameters first. If there are no UTM parameters, we then honor the referrer. If there are no UTM parameters or referrer, we categorize the session under direct traffic.

In terms of the rules for categorising sessions, the following table highlights them:

ORDERRULESOURCE
1utm_medium=“social” and utm_source=the name of a recognized social network
OR
utm_medium=”social” and referring domain is a social media site
Organic social
2If utm_medium=”email”Email marketing
3The “utm_medium” parameter contains “paid,” “ppc,” or “cpc”, and the “utm_source” parameter contains the name of a recognised social network (See appendix)
OR
The “utm_medium” parameter contains “paid,” “ppc,” or “cpc”, and the referring domain is a recognised social network
OR
The “utm_source” or “utm_medium” contains “paidsocial”
Paid social
4The “utm_source” or “utm_medium” contains “paidsearch”
OR
The “utm_source”, “utm_medium”, “utm_campaign, or “utm_source” parameter contains the word “adwords”, “ppc”, or “cpc”
OR
The “gclid” parameter is present, as it is the Google click ID.
OR
The “utm_source”, “utm_medium”, or “utm_campaign” parameter is present and the referring domain is a recognised search engine.
Paid search
5If utm_medium=”display”Display
6If utm_medium contains ‘affiliate’ or ‘affiliates’Affiliates
7The “utm_source”, “utm_medium”, “utm_campaign”, or “source” is present and does not contain the words “email”, “adwords”, “ppc”, “paidsearch”, “paidsocial” or “cpc”Other campaigns
8Referring domain is a recognised social media siteOrganic social
9Referring domain is a recognised search engineOrganic search
10Referring domain is not a recognised social media site or search engineReferral
11Referring domain is a mail domain (Gmail, etc)Direct
12No referring domain or tracking URLDirect

Now that you understand how Attributer categories visitors into channels, learn about what information it writes in the various Channel and Channel Drilldown fields.

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