We are running a contest on our site. To enter the contest, users click a call to action button on the landing page which takes them to a third-party website to fill out the form (submittable.com) and after they finish the form are re-directed back to a specific thank you page on our site.

The problem is, Google Analytics is attributing all of these users to the third-party form site- which is only a middle step in the funnel- rather than where they originally came from (organic, search, facebook ads). We'd like to be able to measure how many came through the facebook ads and completed a form, despite redirecting to a third-party site as one of the steps.

Is there any way to track users across multiple sessions to attribute where they originally came on successful completion of a goal in GA?

1 Answer 1


If you are using Universal Analytics, add the third-party domain to the GA Property's Referral Exclusion List.

This is the same method that is used for payment gateways such as Paypal to prevent transactions from being attributed to Paypal instead of the original source/medium or campaign:

Keep in mind this will only work going forward for new site visitors. Those that are already attributed to the third-party site will fade out over time as these visitors clear their cookies, they come back via different sources, or the campaign cookie times out (the default being 6mths).

GA4 now also offers similar functionality too.

To configure unwanted referrals, you need Edit permission on the property.

  1. In Admin, make sure that you have the desired account and property selected.
  2. In the Property column, click Data Streams > Web.
  3. Click the data stream for your website, then under Additional Settings, click Tagging settings.
  4. Click List unwanted referrals.
  5. Under Include referrals that match ANY of the following conditions:
    • Choose a match type.

    • Under Domain, enter the identifier for the domain you want to match (e.g. example.com).

    • Click Add condition to add another domain.

      Conditions are evaluated using OR logic.

  6. Click Save.


  • I know comments are for clarifications so this might get deleted but THANK YOU Bronwyn for your detail here. This is a sophisticated question and we were unclear on how to solve it for weeks. I'll try implementing this today. Jun 11, 2021 at 20:33

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