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    How can I prevent incorrect conversion referrals in Google Analytics?

    How to ensure your Google Ads return on investment figures are accurate for all payment methods

    If Google Ads revenue is being incorrectly attributed to referrals for the CitrusPay Gateway, PayPal, or V12, then it's likely because you need to update your referral exclusion settings in Google Analytics. 

    This guide will help you understand the issue and provide a step-by-step process to fix it.

    Understanding the Issue

    When customers are redirected to a payment gateway (e.g., CitrusPay) during the checkout process, and then return to your site after placing the order, Google Analytics will likely consider the change of site as a new session. 

    This can cause the conversion to be attributed to the payment gateway as a referral instead of to Google Ads, skewing your marketing data.

    Steps to Fix Referral Exclusion Settings

    1) Access Google Analytics:

    • Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
    • Select the Admin gear icon on the bottom left corner of the page.


    2) Navigate to Referral Exclusion List:

    • Open Google Analytics,
    • Click Admin (bottom left),
    • Data collection and modification > Data Streams > click your website,
    • Google Tag > Configure Tag Settings,
    • Settings > Show more (at the bottom) > List Unwanted Referrals,


    3) Add the Payment Gateway Domain:

    • Click the Add Condition button.
    • Select Referral domain contains as the match type,
    • Enter the domain of the payment gateway (e.g.,,, or
    • Click Save to save the changes.

    Why This Fix Works

    By adding the payment gateway to the Referral Exclusion List, you prevent Google Analytics from treating the return from the payment gateway as a new session. 

    This maintains the integrity of the original session, and ensures that conversions are attributed to the correct source, such as Google Ads.

    Additional Resources

    For further details and troubleshooting, refer to:

    [GA4] Identify unwanted referrals

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