Documentation

Learn how to use Attributer to get marketing channel and landing page data into your CRM, form building, analytics or email marketing tools

Overview

Attributer is a marketing attribution script that you place on your website. When a visitor arrives at your website, it looks at some technical things about the visit to determine where the visitor came from (the same things analytics software like Google Analytics looks at).

It then categorises the visit into a series of channels (like Paid Search, Paid Social, Organic Search, etc) and stores it as a cookie in the visitors browser.

Then, when that visitor submits a lead form, it passes the Channel & Landing Page information along with the lead details into your CRM, email marketing tool, etc.

How to setup Attributer

In order to set up Attributer on your website, you need to do 2 things: Install the script on your website and add Hidden Fields with Default text to your lead capture forms.

1. Install the script on your website

On the Dashboard of your Attributer account you’ll find a copy of the script that you need to install on your website.

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 2.55.45 pm

When putting the code on your site, follow these requirements:

  • This code should ideally be put in the  <head> tag. If it’s put in the middle or at the end of the page, some visitors who don’t wait until the whole page loads won’t be tracked correctly.
  • The code needs to be put on every page of the website, including the page where the form is located (this is important to note if you are using a marketing automation tool or landing page tool and your forms are on seperate pages to your main website).

2. Add hidden fields with default text to your forms

The next step is to add hidden fields with particular Default text to any forms on your website that a potential lead could complete. This could include your Contact Us form, Request A Demo Form, Whitepaper Download form, Webinar Signup Forms, etc.

The Default text that you need to use is as follows:

  • [channel]
  • [channeldrilldown1]
  • [channeldrilldown2]
  • [channeldrilldown3]
  • [landingpage]
  • [landingpagegroup]

Given that Attributer looks for the Default text, you can actually name these fields whatever you want to name them.

Depending on how you’re building your forms, the name of the fields is usually what they’ll end up being called in your CRM, so we recommend naming your fields in a recognisable way.

See below for an example of how we use Attributer to do marketing attribution tracking here at Attributer. We use use Gravity Forms to power our forms, and have added the 5 hidden fields to the form with the above Default values. We named the form fields the same as the Default values for ease of use.

Forms-‹-Attributer-—-WordPress

How Attributer categorises visits

At a high-level, the potential categories include:

  • Organic search - Non-paid sessions from recognized search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Referral - Sessions from links clicked on other websites.
  • Organic social - Sessions from links clicked on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Email marketing - sessions initiated by clicks in your email campaigns
  • Paid search - sessions from paid search ads (I.e. Google Adwords)
  • Paid social - sessions from a paid social campaign
  • Display - Sessions from Display advertising campaigns you undertake around the web.
  • Direct traffic - sessions on our 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 - sessions from campaigns that contain URL parameters, but are not the one’s used for social media, email, paid search 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 tracking URL first. If there is no tracking URL, we then honor the referrer. If there is no tracking URL 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 (see appendix)
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
6The "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
7Referring domain is a recognised social media siteOrganic social
8Referring domain is a recognised search engineOrganic search
9Referring domain is not a recognised social media site or search engineReferral
10Referring domain is a mail domain (Gmail, etc)Direct
11No referring domain or tracking URLDirect

What data Attributer captures

1. Channel information

Once the categorisation has been completed (I.e. Paid Search), the script then captures further detail about the visit (such as Source, Campaign Name, etc).

The 4 fields that capture this attribution information are:

  • Channel - The top level of information and will include the main category (I.e. Paid Search)
  • Channel Drilldown 1 - The 2nd level of information that will include further detail (I.e. Name of Search Engine)
  • Channel Drilldown 2 - The 3rd level of information that will include the finest level of detail (I.e. Campaign Name)
  • Channel Drilldown 3 - The 4th level of information that will include the finest level of detail (I.e. Ad Group Name)

For each Channel (The top level of information), different pieces of data will be stored at the Channel Drilldown 1 and Channel Drilldown 2 and Channel Drilldown 3 level.

Here are the schemas for each:

Channel = Organic Search

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = The domain of the referring search engine
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = The searched keyword, which is passed by the referring search engine. If no keyword is present, but the session is identified as coming from a search engine, it will show ‘Unknown Keyword’.
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Not used

Channel = Referral

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = The referring domain, like salesnews.com.
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = The specific URL on the domain that referred traffic to your website, like http://www.salesnews.com/blog/10-proposal-apps-reviewed
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Not used

Channel = Organic social

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = The name of the referring social site
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Not Used
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Not Used

Channel = Email marketing

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Shows the source of the campaign (I.e.Salesmagazine.com.au’s Newsletter), which is set by the value of the 'utm_source=' tracking parameter. If no Source is present, but the session is identified as coming from an email, this is populated with ‘No Source’.
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Shows the campaign name of the email, which is set using the value of the 'utm_campaign' tracking parameter. If no campaign is present, but the session is identified as coming from an email, it’s populated with ‘No Campaign’.
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Shows the key message of the email, which is set using the value of the 'utm_term=' tracking parameter. If no Term is present, but the session is identified as coming from an email, this is populated with ‘No Term’.

Channel = Paid search

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Shows the source of the campaign (I.e. Google), which is set using the value of the 'utm_source=' tracking parameter. If no Source is present, but the session is identified as coming from a paid search, this is populated with ‘No Source’.
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Shows the campaign name the Ad belongs to (I.e. Integrations campaign), which is set using the value of the 'utm_campaign=' tracking parameter. If no campaign is present, but the session is identified as coming from an email, this is populated with ‘No Campaign’.
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Shows the name of the Ad Group that the Ad belongs to (I.e. Salesforce ad group), which is set using the value of the 'utm_term=' tracking parameter. If no Term is present, but the session is identified as coming from an email, this is populated with ‘No Term’.

Channel = Paid social

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Shows the source of the campaign (I.e. Facebook), which is set using the value of the 'utm_source=' tracking parameter. If no Source is present, but the session is identified as coming from paid social, this is populated with ‘No Source’.
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Shows the campaign name the Ad belongs to (I.e. Cold Traffic campaign), which is set using the value of the 'utm_campaign=' tracking parameter. If no campaign is present, but the session is identified as coming from a paid social, this is populated with ‘No Campaign’.
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Shows the name of the Ad Group that the Ad belongs to (I.e. Agencies ad group), which is set using the value of the 'utm_term=' tracking parameter. If no Term is present, but the session is identified as coming from paid social, this is populated with ‘No Terms’.

Channel = Display

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Shows the source of the campaign (I.e. Google Display Network), which is set using the value of the 'utm_source=' tracking parameter. If no Source is present, but the session is identified as coming from display, this is populated with ‘No Source’.
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Shows the campaign name the Ad belongs to (I.e. Agency campaign), which is set using the value of the 'utm_campaign=' tracking parameter. If no campaign is present, but the session is identified as coming from paid social, this is populated with ‘No Campaign’.
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Shows the name of the Ad Group that the Ad belongs to (I.e. Beautiful Proposals group), which is set using the value of the 'utm_term=' tracking parameter. If no Term is present, but the session is identified as coming from paid social, this is populated with ‘No Terms’.

Channel = Direct

  • Channel Drilldown 1 = Not used
  • Channel Drilldown 2 = Not used
  • Channel Drilldown 3 = Not used

2. Landing page information

Landing Page URL

Attributer captures the URL of the landing page (I.e. The first page of the site they ever saw) and passes it through as a raw URL string (I.e. qwilr.com/features or qwilr.com/templates/marketing-proposal-template)

Landing Page Group

Unfortunately, passing through just the landing page can be very messy from a reporting perspective, as it often just becomes a huge list of URL’s with a relatively small number of leads from each.

In order to combat this, Attributer groups related pages together (I.e. All blog posts, or all Integrations pages) so that you can measure the number of visitors, signups and customers from the Blog or Integrations pages (for example) as a whole as well as from every individual page.

Attributer categorises landing pages by looking at the first-level of sub-directory in the URL.

So for instance, if the landing page URL is attributer.io/blog/sales-tips then we’d record the landing page group as ‘/blog/’. Similarly, if the Landing Page URL is attribute.io/integrations/salesforce then it would record the landing page group as ‘/integrations’.

Recommended UTM Parameters

Attributer can support a number of different UTM parameters (see the rules section to understand whether your existing UTM structure would result in data being captured the way you want).

However, if you’re just starting using UTM parameters or are open to changing the way you currently do it, this is the UTM structure we recommend using the following as it will both (a) work with Attributer rules and (b) be the easiest to manage.

ParameterUsage DescriptionExample ValuesUsage Notes
UTM_MediumThe highest level of information, use to see the top-level channel this traffic & leads are coming from, like Organic Search, Paid Advertising, Social Media, etc. Similar to Channel Grouping in Google Analytics.paidsearch, paidsocial, display, emailIf it’s a Paid Search campaign (I.e. Google Ads, Bing Ads), then use “paidsearch”.
If it’s a Paid Social campaign (I.e. Facebook), then use “paidsocial”.
If it’s a wider Display campaign (I.e. Google Display Network or a bespoke display ad buy), then you use “display”
If it’s a top of funnel email campaign, (I.e. You pay for a dedicated email send to designernews.com’s audience), then use “email”
UTM_SourceThe second level of information. Usually used to see what site, network, etc the traffic and leads are coming from.google, facebook, linkedin, twitter, instagram, etc.Make sure it's always in lower case, as the reporting tools you will use to analyse this data are often case sensitive. So use 'facebook' as opposed to 'Facebook'
UTM_CampaignThe third level of information, usually giving some sort of name to the particular campaign to determine different ones apart from each other.high-intent, problem, competitor, etc.Again, everything should be in lower case. Consistency is key here so that if you want to see similar campaigns together, you can.
UTM_TermThe 4th level of information, used to show the keyword grouping that attracted the user to the site.Proposify, PandaDoc, etc.Likely used for differentiating Ad Groups.

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