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Frequently asked questions and examples

Read about best practices and examples of how to populate various rules you can set up for your marketing channels.
See Create Marketing Channel Processing Rules for definitions of fields displayed on the Marketing Channel Processing Rules page.

Frequently asked questions

Every implementation of marketing channel processing rules can differ, depending on your tracking codes. Configuring rules that provide results you are looking for can require some creative thinking to solve problems.
Question : My tracking codes do not follow a pattern, and I have thousands that must be specified for my Affiliates channel.
  • Use the process of elimination. If your Email and Affiliates channels use the same query string parameter, but you have only a few email tracking codes, you can specify the email tracking codes in a rule set defining email. Then, you classify all other tracking codes with affiliates.
  • In your email system, add a query string parameter to all landing page URLs, such as &ch=eml . Create a rule set detecting whether the ch query parameter equals eml . If it does not contain eml , then it is an affiliate.
Question : Referring domains contain more data than I expect.
  • Referring domains might be too high in the processing rule list. It should be one of the last (or the last) rule sets, because processing order is important.
Question : I've created a rule that matches a query string parameter and it's not working.
  • Make sure that the parameter name is specified in the query string parameter fields (typically an alphanumeric value). Also, make sure that the parameter value is specified after the operator, as shown in the following example of an email rule.
Question : Why is all of my last-touch traffic is attributed to an internal domain?
  • You have a rule that matches internal traffic. Keep in mind that these rules process for every hit that a visitor makes on your site, not only the first visit. If you have a rule like Page URL exists without other criteria, that channel is matched on each successive hit on your site, because a page URL always exists.
Question : How do I debug traffic displaying in No Channel Identified on the report?
  • Rules process in order. If no specific criteria has matched, hits fall into one of three categories:
  1. No referrer (a direct visit).
  2. Internal referrer, on the first page of a visit.
  3. A processing glitch on the page.
Make sure that you have a channel for these three possibilities. For example, create rules that say:
  1. Referrer and Does Not Exist and Is First Page of Visit . (See Direct .)
  2. Referrer Matches Internal URL Filters and Is First page of Visit . (See Internal .)
  3. Referrer and Exists and Referrer Does Not Match Internal URL Filters .
Lastly, create an Other channel that captures the remaining hits, as described in No Channel Identified .

No Channel Identified

When your rules do not capture data, or if rules are not configured correctly, the report displays the data in the No Channel Identified row on the report. You can create a rule set called Other , for example, at the end of your processing order, that also identifies internal traffic.
This kind of rule serves as a catch-all to ensure that channel traffic always matches external traffic, and typically does not end up in No Channel Identified . Be careful not to create a rule that also identifies internal traffic. Setting the channel's value to Referring Domain or to Page URL are the most common, useful ways to create an effective Other rule.
There might be still some channel traffic that can fall into the No Channel Identified category. For example: A visitor comes to the site and bookmarks a page and in the same visit comes back the page via the bookmark. Since this is not the first page of the visit, it will go neither in the Direct channel nor in the Other channel because there is no referring domain.

Paid Search

A paid search is a word or phrase that you pay a search engine for placement in search results. To match paid search detection rules, the marketing channel uses settings configured on the Paid Search Detection page. ( Admin > Report Suites > Edit Settings > General > Paid Search Detection ). The destination URL matches the existing paid search detection rule for that search engine.
For the marketing channel rule, the Paid Search settings are as follows:
See Paid Search Detection in Admin for more information.

Natural Search

A natural search occurs when visitors find your website through a Web search, where the search engine ranked your site without you paying for the listing. You can control the destination URL the search engine uses to link to your site. This URL allows Analytics to identify whether a search is natural.
There is no natural search detection in Analytics. After you set up Paid Search Detection, the system knows that if a search referrer was not a paid search referrer, it must be a natural search referrer. For a natural search, the destination URL does not match the existing paid search detection rule for that search engine.
For the marketing channel rule, the Natural Search settings are as follows:
See Paid Search Detection in the Admin for more information.

Affiliates

An affiliate rule identifies visitors that originate from a specified set of referring domains. In the rule, you list the domains of affiliates you would like to track, as follows:

Social Networks

This rule identifies visitors that originate from a social network, such as Facebook*. The settings can be as follows:

Display

This rule identifies visitors originating from banner advertisements. It is identified by a query string parameter in the destination URL, in this case Ad_01 .

Internal

This rule identifies visitors that originate with a referrer that matches the internal URL filters for the report suite.

Email

To set up this rule, you provide the query string parameter for your email campaign. In this example, the parameter is eml :
If your rule contains Tracking Codes, enter one value per line, as shown here:

Direct

This rule identifies visitors that have no referring domain. This rule includes visitors that come to your site directly, such as from a Favorites link or by pasting a link in their browser.