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We are trying to track conversions on our website using Google Analytics, and we got Events and Goals to work.

However, the payment is done through a 3rd party payment processor (similar to Paypal), so the session is restarted during the purchase, and the user's landing page is our "payment success" page, and not the "real" landing page.

[landing page] -> [buy now page] -> {payment processor} (3rd party) -> [payment success]

Cross Domain Tracking seems to be what we need to keep the session alive during the transaction, but I don't see how I can do that without being able to insert code on their website, which I obviously can't.

Is there a way to set up Cross Domain Tracking without access to the second domain? Or is there another way we can track the path of purchase properly?

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To prevent your payment gateway from starting new sessions, you should add their domain to the referrer exclusion list. The purpose of that list is that referrals from sites on it don't count as new sessions. This will allow the user to continue their session on your site when the come back from the payment processor.

The referral exclusion list does have some limitations compared to cross domain tracking. You won't be able to see the page views on the third party site in analytics. But your payment processor wouldn't want you to be able to do so anyway (for security of credit card info).

  • Hey Stephen, I can now see the previous steps and the landing page for all successful payments - Thanks a lot! However, the payment processor still shows up as referral for most goal completions. Shouldn't that be fixed with referral exclusion? And how do I prevent that? – Benjamin Schwalb May 11 '17 at 11:52
  • I'm not completely sure about that. You might have to change your attribution model. – Stephen Ostermiller May 11 '17 at 13:41
  • I just read up on it a bit more - users who have been referred by them before I've added it will count as being referred by them if they visit the site directly, until they are referred by another site. Thanks again, Stephen! – Benjamin Schwalb May 11 '17 at 15:05

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