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How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

envisionitmedia 05-22-14

How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

I'm trying to create audiences that match the segments that show up under Source Type in the test results pages. Here's what I created for Source Type --> Search, based on what I understand that segment to be:


search segment


When I target an experiment to that audience, I don't get any traffic. Any guidance on what I'm doing wrong?

Amanda 05-23-14

Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

Based on your audience set-up, your experiment will behave as follows.

The experiment will include any visitors that come from a URL that includes the string,,, or but do **not** have the query string parameters utm_campaign, gclid, or aclk. Is this the way you expect the segment to behave?

Here are some common culprits for 0 traffic and some suggestions:
- Have you checked your URL targeting to make sure this is a correct match?
- Also, can you confirm that the correct snippet is on the experiment page?
- Finally, I would recommend re-saving your experiment to make sure the snippet is fully updated.

If you have confirmed all of the above and you are still not seeing traffic to your experiment then I would be happy to take a closer look at this -- I'll just need you to provide the experiment ID.



Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

Amanda, here are the experiment IDs that are not behaving as expected:


1032710364 - should be targeting non-campaign search traffic.

1026071912 - should be targeting campaign traffic.

1025984718 - should be targeting direct/referral traffic.


Can you take a look and tell me if there's something I'm not doing right?

Amanda 05-28-14

Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

I looked at your experiments and they look correct. My suspicion is that the # parameter is interfering with the query string parameter targeting. For reference, Optimizely ignores anything that comes after # in the URL.   I will be able to confirm this once I can test out the flow below.


Can you please provide a search term that I can enter into Google or Yahoo to see one of the running campaigns that will point me to the URL, or another targeted URL? Ideally one search that returns a link with a campaign parameter and one link that does not (for the campaign and search experiments).


If the parameters are appended after the #, then we can get around this by using custom javascipt or adding information to the substring match. 



Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

No problem and thanks for digging into this!


You can try the search term "rightsize smoothies". The ad should take you to a landing page. The experiment is running on the page that you get to when you click the "Start Losing Weight" button on the landing page.


That is, you go from Goolge to to (experiment page).

Amanda 06-02-14

Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the information. I think I know what is going on here. The targeting conditions you have created leverage query string parameters and referring URLs. However, these conditions are only valid on the initial landing page, not on the #flavors page.


For example, when a visitor clicks on an ad, they are taken to and query string parameters are present on this page (but the experiment is not URL targeted to this page so it does not run) . However, when the user clicks on the button "Start Losing Weight", he lands on the correct URL but I would imagine that all the query string parameters are stripped on the second page. Because the user does not pass the query string parameter conditions on the #flavors page, the experiment is not running. Also, at this point in the flow, the referring URL is defined as the landing page URL instead of the search engine. 


Does this sound like it might be the issue?


If so, then you can work around this in a few different ways:


1. We just rolled out a new option within Audiences (which is already enable on your account) that allows you to target based on the same cookies that our segmentation uses. Under Audiences, you can find "Come from any of these traffic sources." This method uses the cookies we set for segmenation, so the "campaign" segment will stick with the user even if the query string parameters disappear. You can find a definition of the different source types here

2. You can use or drop your own cookies on certain sets of cookies and then use this cookie for experiment targeting. This way the cookie will be present no matter where the user is in the flow. 


3. You could use the custom javascript targeting to look for a referring URL that includes certain query string parameters. As a simple example, if the user landed on, then you could use the custom JS condition document.referrer.indexOf("utm_campaign") > -1 to validate that there was a "utm_campaign" parameter present in the referring URL. 


Let me know if you have any questions on the above. 




Re: How to recreate native segments (Search/Campaign/Referral/Direct) as Audiences?

Thanks Amanda!


Looks like using the Search/Campaign/Direct/Referral audiences solved the problem.