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How to Add Referral Exclusions in GA4

How to Add Referral Exclusions in GA4

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Steps for adding referral exclusions in GA4:

  1. Open GA4
  2. Try not to curse that you're in GA4 and not UA
  3. Open the Admin dashboard
  4. Click on Data Streams & Select yours
  5. Select Configure Tag Settings
  6. Click the "show more" button at the bottom of this page
  7. Select "List Unwanted Referrals"
  8. Add the selected website(s) to exclude & Save.
  9. You're done!

Did you know if you use a payment gateway (separate website!) such as Stripe to process credit card payments, that will then come through in your analytics as a referral from Stripe rather than the original traffic source that sent the sale. That explains why the pesky keeps showing up as your top revenue traffic source, huh?

In Universal Analytics, there was a handy-dandy setting that most ecommerce marketers new about to add this, but what about the newer GA4 UI?

This is a brief walk-through in setting up referral exclusions in GA4 so you can get your data back to scrubbed and on the right track for... tracking (need a more clever turn of phrase there, but I guess that's what we get this morning.

Here's where to go.

1) Open GA4

2) Try not to curse that you're in GA4 and not UA

(I tease, I tease)

3) Open the Admin dashboard

4) Click on Data Streams & Select yours

5) Select Configure Tag Settings

6) Click the "show more" button at the bottom of this page

7) Select "List Unwanted Referrals"

8) Add the selected website(s) to exclude & Save.

9) You're done!

Congrats, you're a GA4 professional now. That was it. Go and sell a course.

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Kirk Williams
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter or Linkedin.

In 2023, Kirk had the privilege of speaking at the TEDx Billings on one of his many passions, Stop the Scale: Redefining Business Success.

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