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Wide Angle Analytics uses First-Click Attribution

When a user first visits your website, we capture the following:

  • referring website URL, if present,
  • the ref tracking parameters, and
  • the utm_source tracking parameter, and
  • numerous other data points.

It's possible for the same user to return to your website within the same session, meaning these parameters can change over time.

For instance, a user might first discover your engaging article shared on social media, visit the website, and decide to subscribe. Moments later, this same user might revisit your website after clicking on a link you shared post-registration.

We understand you're keen to know how your visitors first discovered you. Thus, we prioritize the first known tracking and referring data for the given user session.

How Wide Angle Analytics Addresses Web Traffic Attribution

For traffic, specifically pageviews, we prioritize the initial referring traffic. Thus, our implemented attribution model is characterized as a First-Click Attribution Model. This doesn't apply to custom events on your site, only to incoming traffic.

The dashboard offers two pertinent tables: Top Sources and Top Referrers.

Wide Angle Analytics Dashboard listing traffic and source and referrers.

The Top Sources utilize the first ref or utm_source linked to the visit. Here, the ref takes precedence over utm_source.

Example 1: Ref takes precedence

Request Order Parameters Source
1 utm_source=linkedin, ref=OCT20223 OCT2023
2  none  OCT2023
3 utm_source=email, ref=signup OCT2023

Example 2: First source wins

Request Order Parameters Source
1 utm_source=linkedin linkedin
2  none  linkedin
3  ref=signup linkedin

Example 3: Do not overwrite once known

Request Order Parameters Source
1 ref=linkedin linkedin
2  none  linkedin
3  utm_source=signup linkedin

Example 4: Use first known, even if not first request

Request Order Parameters Source
 none  none
2 ref=linkedin linkedin
3  none  linkedin

Likewise, the Top Referrers considers the first logged referring URL.

Example 1: Do not overwrite known referrer

Request Order HTTP-Referrer Referrer
2 none

Example 2: Use first known, even if not first request

Request Order HTTP-Referrer Referrer
1   none none

Attribution Time Frame

The attribution model described assumes continuous browsing within the same session. Owing to the privacy-centric approach of Wide Angle Analytics, we refrain from tracking users over extended periods. The default and most other tracking modes in Wide Angle Analytics don't monitor user sessions beyond 24 hours.

In the standard mode, if a user switches browsers, devices, or locations (leading to an IP change), a new session is initiated, and the attribution lineage begins anew.

Exploring Original Values of Tracking Parameters

All tracking parameters, including the ref and those starting with utm_, can be used separately for filtering events. In this scenario, the original value of the parameter will be used, bypassing the previously mentioned attribution model.

Wide Angle Analytics Dashboard listing original tracking parameters

Exploring Other Tracking Modes

For a deeper dive into different attribution tracking models, visit our blog. If you're keen on having Wide Angle Analytics support other models, kindly reach out to our support team. We are always open to discuss ways to improve our web analytics platform.

Still need help? In that case please contact our support via, email or chat.