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A partner sends us traffic two ways:

  1. Visitors click on a link on their site and land on ours
  2. Visitors interact with our widget on their site, eventually saving some info and clicking through to land deeper in our checkout process.

Visitors coming from path 1 are currently marked as medium=referral by the browser and thus tracked in Google Analytics. Visitors from path 2 are tagged medium=affiliate by our own UTM parameters. Should we leave it split like that or is it better to unify that traffic as one medium?

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If you have a host of legacy data with this separation, you are better off leaving it as it is. You can usually sort this out in your reports, so having consistent data is best.

In contrast, if this is a new partner, you should keep the medium consistent and use "affiliate". You never know what dimensions or metrics will reveal important data. If you have to set up segments or manage report filters because of this medium inconsistency, it may be troublesome to get to the correct view quickly. Keep in mind that the optional "campaign content" parameter can be used to differentiate the specific content that was clicked.

  • Thanks Max! We'll revert back. We actually have a ton of legacy data on referral as unified medium. Only recently started splitting the data, so we'll revert. – Daniel Horning Jun 16 '15 at 19:33

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