The ‘Tracking Code’ dimension lists the names of tracking codes on your site. This dimension is typically collected using query string parameters. You can place links with different query string parameter values in different places across the internet. This dimension reports which links were the most successful in driving traffic to your site.
Dimension items include the names of tracking codes on your site. Your organization determines what specific dimension items you want to use.
Some users who set up marketing channel processing rules configure a rule that takes all values used in the Tracking code dimension. Though an excellent practice, they are different because of inherent processing and architecture differences. The following list explains why these two dimensions, though similar at a glance, cannot be compared with each other.
Prior channels in processing rules: Marketing channels processing rules higher up in the list can prevent hits from attributing to your Tracking Codes marketing channel. For example:
Since ‘Social Networks’ is the first marketing channel processing rule, these users attribute to the ‘Social Networks’ marketing channel, and not your Tracking codes marketing channel.
Other marketing channels can steal attribution: When dealing with a standard Tracking Codes dimension, you don’t need to worry about other parts of your site stealing attribution. However, with Marketing channels, a user can match a different rule, giving different attribution. For example:
The Tracking codes marketing channel would not get last touch credit for that purchase. Instead, it would go to the ‘Direct’ marketing channel.
Expiration differences: Marketing channels have a rolling 30-day visitor engagement expiration, whether a channel was touched or not. Tracking codes have an expiration based on when the variable was set. For example:
The user ultimately made a purchase beyond 30 days, but was never inactive for more than 30 days. You would see revenue attributed to the Tracking codes marketing channel, but not for the standalone dimension.