Answer: Google Analytics 4 (GA4) isn’t tracking UTM from one source but is from others

When Google Analytics 4 (GA4) isn’t tracking data from users with the utm_source of one source (i.e Linkedin Ads) but is tracking from other sources, several potential issues could be contributing to this problem. Here’s a list of common causes and troubleshooting steps you can take:

1. Incorrect or Missing UTM Parameters

  • Issue: The URLs for LinkedIn Ads may not have the correct UTM parameters appended, or they might be missing entirely.
  • Solution: Verify that the links in your LinkedIn Ads have the correct UTM parameters (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, etc.) appended to the URLs.

2. Redirects Stripping UTM ParametersIt depends.

  • Issue: Sometimes, redirects between clicking an ad and landing on your website can strip away UTM parameters.
  • Solution: Check if the ad click goes through any redirects and ensure that the UTM parameters are preserved through any redirection mechanisms.

3. Ad Blockers or Browser Privacy Settings

  • Issue: Users’ ad blockers or browser privacy settings might be preventing GA4 from tracking the UTM parameters.
  • Solution: This is more challenging to solve directly but consider educating users on whitelisting your site or understanding the limitations of tracking in your data analysis.

4. Incorrect Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Configuration

  • Issue: Your GA4 property might not be configured correctly to capture or display data from LinkedIn Ads.
  • Solution: Review your GA4 configuration, including data streams and tag setups, to ensure everything is set up correctly to capture UTM parameters.

5. Consent Mode Impact

  • Issue: If you are using Google’s Consent Mode, user consent (or lack thereof) might be affecting the tracking of users coming from LinkedIn Ads.
  • Solution: Analyze how Consent Mode might be impacting your data and adjust your consent management platform accordingly.

6. LinkedIn Ads Click ID (clid) Parameter

  • Issue: LinkedIn might be using the clid parameter to track ad performance, which might not be captured by GA4 if not properly configured.
  • Solution: Ensure that your tracking setup can capture and utilize LinkedIn-specific parameters like clid.

Troubleshooting Steps

  • Review UTM Parameters: Double-check your LinkedIn Ads to ensure the URLs are correctly tagged with UTM parameters.
  • Test Links Directly: Try clicking on your LinkedIn Ads yourself and see if GA4 captures the session with the correct source/medium.
  • GA4 DebugView: Use the DebugView feature in GA4 to troubleshoot in real-time and ensure data is being received as expected.
  • Consult Documentation: Review both LinkedIn and GA4 documentation for any updates or changes in tracking requirements.
  • Support Forums: Consider seeking help from Google Analytics and LinkedIn support forums where similar issues may have been discussed and resolved.

If after going through these steps you still face issues, it may be beneficial to reach out to Google Analytics or LinkedIn support for more specific assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are UTM parameters and why are they important for tracking ad performance?

UTM parameters are text strings appended to URLs that track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media. They are crucial for understanding how visitors interact with your website, allowing you to measure the performance of your ads and optimize your marketing strategies accordingly. For a deeper dive into automating UTM parameters for LinkedIn Ads and enhancing your tracking accuracy, check out our detailed guide on how to automate UTMs in LinkedIn Ads.

How can I troubleshoot if GA4 is not showing data from LinkedIn Ads specifically?

Begin by isolating the issue to LinkedIn Ads traffic. Verify other traffic sources are being tracked correctly to ensure the problem is specific to LinkedIn Ads. Then, use GA4’s Realtime report to test clicks from LinkedIn Ads in an incognito window, minimizing interference from browser extensions or cookies.

Can changing browser privacy settings impact how GA4 tracks user data?

Yes, enhanced privacy settings or extensions that block tracking scripts can prevent GA4 from collecting data. It’s important to inform users about the implications of their privacy choices on data tracking and consider alternative analytics strategies that respect user privacy while providing valuable insights.

What steps can I take if I suspect Consent Mode is affecting GA4 tracking?

Review your implementation of Consent Mode to ensure it’s correctly configured. You might need to adjust how consents are captured and processed, ensuring that analytics tracking behaves in accordance with user consent preferences. Testing with various consent scenarios can help identify and resolve issues.

How does the LinkedIn Ads Click ID (clid) parameter work with GA4?

The clid parameter is a unique identifier used by LinkedIn Ads to track interactions with ads. Ensuring GA4 correctly captures and attributes this parameter requires proper integration and tagging within your analytics setup, enabling detailed tracking of LinkedIn ad performance.

Is there a way to validate UTM parameters are attached to LinkedIn Ad URLs before launching a campaign?

Before launching your campaign, use URL validation tools or manually inspect the final URLs in your ads to ensure UTM parameters are correctly appended. Conducting tests by clicking through ads in a controlled environment can also verify that UTM parameters are transmitted to your landing pages as intended.

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