Referral traffic's accuracy in Google Analytics can be misleading and somewhat inaccurate across eCommerce stores due to payment gateways such as Afterpay and zipMoney incidentally acquiring this traffic. In this article, we'll explain why this happens and show you how to solve this issue using referral exclusions.
So you've been digging through your Google Analytics and you've come across referrals that are from Afterpay or zipMoney or one of the many other payment gateways. At this point, you've probably realized that these payment gateways aren't actually driving that much traffic to your website.
What's really going on here?
Well, Google Analytics starts a new 'session' whenever a user comes to your website via a different referral source to the previous session (excluding direct traffic). This occurs even when the previous session hasn't expired.
This means that when a user is going through the checkout process on your website, after a customer selects Afterpay, zipMoney or even PayPal as their payment method, they are redirected to that payment providers website and then eventually back to your website, which causes Analytics to believe this is a new session and therefore attributing that revenue to a referral session from that payment provider.
How do I solve this?
It's actually really easy to stop the payment gateways from claiming these sessions. You simply just need to add these domains as 'referral exclusions'.
- Login to your Google Analytics account and go to Admin > Tracking info (under the property column) > Referral Exclusion List
- Click Add Referral Exclusion. In here you'll want to simply copy and paste the referring domain.
- Repeat this process for each of the domains that are cause false referrals. it's a good idea to add your own domain in here to avoid any self-referrals.
- Now you're all set and won't see any more inaccurate referral traffic.