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I'm tracking the lead generation form conversions using Google Analytics and using Google Ads to drive paid traffic to the website. I'm using Drupal 7 as CMS for the website.

Most of the inorganic visitors who come from GAds, bounce back without completing the form. Let's say, Visitor 'A' visits the website by clicking Google Ads and bounces back without completing the form. After a day or so Visitor 'A' comes back to the website 'directly', and then completes the form. How to automate this tracking and find that the visitors' main source was Google Ads even though he later comes back directly by typing the website's address?

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You can create a "Goal" for filling out the form. An easy way to do it is make the goal a "destination goal" of the URL of the thank you page for filling out the form.

Then when you look at the Goal attribution, by default it will do what you want. It will attribute the goal to the last non-direct entrance. GA has multiple attribution models for Goals available. See How Does Google Analytics Attribute Goal Conversions? - Crazy Egg Blog

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  • Thank you, Stephen. I am using a destinated goal and like you rightly said it does only last attribution model. So, most of my conversions show as they are from organic traffic. However, is there another way to track which attribution really made the conversion to happen without getting the premium google analytics? Can I track the IP address and input it in a hidden filed when the user fills out the form? So, I will be able to match it with the first source path of the visitor. – Riyazul Aboobucker Jan 16 at 17:31
  • Using the default "Last Non-Direct Click" lets a later organic override the first click. It sounds like you want "First Interaction." Just change the attribution model in your settings: support.google.com/analytics/answer/1662518?hl=en – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 16 at 19:13
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here is your answer:

  • Users return during the lifetime of a campaign. During the lifetime of a given campaign, a returning user to your site is attributed to that one campaign. In such cases, you can expect to see more sessions than clicks. To see the number sessions from returning users, cross-segment the campaign by User Type.
  • Users return to your site via bookmarks. Analytics uses the gclid parameter in your final URLs to identify traffic from Google Ads ads. The gclid parameter shows up in your landing page URL when a user arrives at your site from your ad. For example, if your site is www.example.com, when a user clicks on your ad, it appears in the address bar as:

www.example.com/?gclid=123xyz

  • If users bookmark your website along with the gclid parameter, Analytics records traffic from these bookmarks arriving from your Google Ads ads. However, Google Ads doesn't record the clicks (and advertisers are not charged for these sessions since they're not actual clicks on the ads). Server latency
  • If a user comes to your site from an ad, and then leaves the landing page before the tracking code executes, then the gclid parameter is never passed to the Google servers, and that click is not associated with the session. The result is a clicks vs. sessions discrepancy.
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