What referrer category does Chartbeat apply to visitors who arrive to our site via our web push notifications?
Most of our partners who use web push notifications rely on third-party push notification vendors to power this service, like Urban Airship or OneSignal. We've seen that these various services have different default values that they use for the referring URL when visitors arrive to your page via one of these web push notifications. Additionally, some of these services allow the website owners to customize the referring URL within their push alert configuration settings. So the answer to how we track web-push referred users to your site is... it depends on how your push alerts are configured! Here are a few possible scenarios for how your push alert referring URLs could be set by default:
- No referring URL value is defined
- In this case, document.referrer would return a null value when our tracking script loads on the page for your push-referred visitors, and we would track these users as Email, apps & IM referred (dark social) under the Social traffic source category in your Real-time dashboard.
- Referring URL: yoursite.com/pushAlertVendor.js?appId=12345abc
- Our tracking script would collect this referring URL via document.referrer and our system would recognize your domain name in the URL, registering these visitors as Internal traffic in your Real-time dashboard.
- Referring URL: pushalertvendor.com/yourSiteId?appId=12345abc
- Our system would recognize this referring URL as an external site driving traffic to your article pages, and we would track these visitors like so in your Real-time dashboard: Referrer = pushalertvendor.com, traffic source = Links (external).
If the tech team responsible for managing the web push integration for your site is able to customize the referring URL for your push notifications, we recommend using the placeholder domain name webpush.referrer (followed by any path you care to use) so our tracking code categorizes these sessions as Links referred traffic.
Finally, our primary recommendation for reliably measuring the impact of your web push notifications in Chartbeat's Real-time dashboard is to use unique UTM source and/or UTM medium codes in the target article links for your push notifications (NOT the referring URL). For example:
Now you can use our built-in UTM source and medium filters in the Real-time dashboard to filter on traffic referred by these specific web-push channels, without additional configuration needed in Chartbeat. We'll pick up these UTM codes from your visitors' open sessions to your website and the filters will appear in your dashboard automatically.