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How To Fix Paypal Referral Issue In Google Analytics

Lots of e-commerce websites are using Paypal as a payment option to their customers.

This means that if customers choose this payment option, they will be sent from your website to paypal.com. Once they’ve completed the payment they will be redirected to your website and see the thank you page.

You might see paypal.com as one of your top referrals within your Google Analytics account. This is caused by visitors leaving your site for the payment.

Screenshot of paypal.com referral in Google Analytics.

These are obviously returning visitors. Ideally, you would want to ignore the step they took to paypal.com and instead attribute the transactions to the original source.

Fixing the Paypal.com referral issue

Luckily this issue is quite easy to fix within the admin section of your Google Analytics property.

  1. Go the Property section > Tracking Info > Referral Exclusion List
  2. Add Referral Exclusion
  3. Add Paypal.com within the domain field and click Create.

Step 1

Go the Property section > Tracking Info > Referral Exclusion List.

Screenshot of step 1 of fixing the Paypal referral issue in Google Analytics.
Step 1 to fix the Paypal referral issue

Step 2

Add Referral Exclusion.

Screenshot of step 2 of fixing the Paypal referral issue in Google Analytics.
Step 2 to fix the Paypal referral issue

Step 3

Add Paypal.com within the domain field and click Create.

Screenshot of step 3 of fixing the Paypal referral issue in Google Analytics.
Step 3 to fix the Paypal referral issue

How do you know it’s working?

This should ignore the Paypal step within your Google Analytics reporting going forward.

Give Google Analytics 24-48 hours to update everything properly, just to be sure. After this period you should stop seeing paypal.com pop up as a referral within your Google Analytics views.

To double check go to the Acquisition report within Google Analytics, then go to All Traffic > Source/Medium.

Select a date range that excludes the period before you made the above changes. Paypal.com should not be in the list anymore, as all visits and transactions from Paypal should get attributed to the original source.

FAQ

Why is paypal.com listed as a referral in my Google Analytics account?

This is an easy fix. Read our article for the steps to fix the paypal.com referral issue.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that can give you most of the information you need to optimise your website. It’s the most popular web analytics tool around and is known to be easy to use and reliable. Made for small and medium-sized websites to give them an opportunity to track, analyse and improve their online presence.

How does Google Analytics work?

Google Analytics works based on a piece of tracking code that is being placed on every page of your website.

What are some of the benefits of Google Analytics?

See where your visitors are coming from. See which pages your visitors have visited. See how long your visitors spend on each page. Track key conversion points on your site.

About Vazooky Digital

Vazooky Digital is a Google Analytics specialist based in Sydney, Australia. Need any help with your website tracking? Please get in touch.

By Jeroen

With over 10 years experience in digital marketing, Jeroen helps businesses to get more results out of their online advertising budgets.

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