Google Analytics (GA) vs Nativform (Stuff Native platform)
Why do the stats you’ve provided not match the stats I see in my Google Analytics reports?
GA is a web analytics tool and is used to analyse visitor activity on a website. Nativform is an ad server which serves and reports on all native advertising run by Stuff and, amongst other things, is used to track imps and clicks on ads. Nativform will tell you how well your ads performed on our site (incl. mobile platforms) and GA will tell you what visitors are doing on your site after they’ve clicked through.
As per industry standard, advertisers are not advised to reconcile impression or click numbers between Nativform and their own Google Analytics (GA) implementation. In general, these two products measure different metrics at different points in the user funnel and so there are many places where they simply do not count the same action. This can result in a significant discrepancy between Nativform and analytics solutions, including Google Analytics (GA).
Frequently Asked Questions:
Briefly, what are the primary functions of Nativform and GA?
Nativform: Native ad management and reporting ad metrics such as clicks and impressions.
GA: Insights on website traffic and where the traffic came from.
How are the two systems different?
Metrics are counted at different points in the click-referral cycle.
Nativform counts ad clicks at the source; GA counts pageviews or sessions when a user hits the site.
Why don’t I see any traffic from stuff in my GA reports?
Visits that come to your site via our ads will not necessarily show up as referrals from stuff, since they come via the Nativform ad server, not directly from stuff. They may show up under one of the following referral sources instead (this list may not be complete):
click.fairfaxmedia.co.nz / referral
stuff.co.nz / referral
fairfaxmedia.co.nz / referral
googleads.g.doubleclick.net / referral
adclick.g.doubleclick.net / referral
dp.g.doubleclick.net / referral
ad.doubleclick.net / referral
ad-apac.doubleclick.net / referral
pubads.g.doubleclick.net / referral
(direct) / (none)
For sponsored content there are 2 additional sources of traffic:
Clicks from ads that appear next to the sponsored content – if you have supplied display ads to accompany your article then any traffic will come via Doubleclick.
Clicks from embedded links in the sponsored content – if you included links to your website on the article then any traffic will come via click.fairfaxmedia.co.nz
In some cases GA cannot read the referral source – when this happens the traffic will not appear as a referral but will instead be tagged as “direct”.
How can I be sure which traffic came from my ads?
The only reliable way is to ensure that you supply us with trackable URLs.
Use the GA URL builder to create trackable links here:
The URL builder will pass on the source, medium, campaign name, etc into Google Analytics. When you look in Google Analytics you will see those values showing up under Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns. At the top of the table you can click on Campaign, Source or Medium headings to see any traffic that has come from our ads.
For example, if your website is http://example.com and you want to track a local carousel running across iPhone, iPad, Android and Mobile web platforms, you could do the following for iPhone:
Source = stuff
Medium = carousel
Campaign = mar2017
Campaign Content = iphone
Plug those values into the URL builder to get this:
In GA, navigate to Acquisitions > Campaigns > All Campaigns and click on the Source header and look for “stuff”, click on the Medium header and look for “carousel”, click on the Campaign header and look for “mar2017”. The Sessions column tells you how many sessions were created as a result of traffic from the carousel for the mar2017 campaign.
To view the campaign content (e.g. iphone), click on the Other header and select Ad Content under Acquisition. You can use Campaign Content to differentiate the platform or the creative.
I still don’t see as much traffic as there should be
Google Analytics measures traffic differently to Nativform. For example, if a user clicks on an ad multiple times within a 30-min window each click will be counted separately in Nativform but only counted as one session (or page view) in Google Analytics. In this case you may see a higher number of clicks compared to pageviews in GA.
Also, if a visitor closes their browser as soon as they reach your site, we will count that as a click but the pageview might not be counted in GA. In this case you may see a higher number of clicks compared to pageviews in GA.
Setting up Google Analytics correctly
In addition to the above, you need to make sure that Google Analytics is set up correctly. An incorrect implementation or filtered profiles may affect your ability to see the traffic that has been directed to your site.
To check that your GA implementation has been set up correctly you should check with the person(s) who set up your GA account/profiles.
Some of the most common setup mistakes are listed here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009683?hl=en
Ensure you are using an unfiltered view
Google Analytics can be set up to filter out certain types of traffic. This can affect the profiles that you view in GA. Check that you are looking at an unfiltered view.
To check for filters that might be affecting your data, click on the name of the view in the top left-hand corner of the report. This will open a drop-down where all the views that are available under that property are listed. Look for any view that may be unfiltered.
If you have Admin access to your GA account, then click on the Admin menu (at top of screen), navigate to your Account, Property and View. Click on Filters and look for any filter that has been added.
Learn how to create filters to control your report data.