Often Pardot is able to capture and record the referring URL for a prospect. A referring URL is the link of the page the visitor visited just prior to accessing a Pardot tracked page for the first time. The page tracked by Pardot could be a page on your website that has Pardot tracking code, a Pardot landing page, or Pardot form.
If we are given a referring URL by the prospect’s internet browser during a visitor session then we will capture the link and it will be visible on their visitor page. However we only report on the very first referring URL we capture for each prospect.
Where can the referring information be seen?
You can first view visitors’ referring information under Marketing > Visitors. In the visitor table you will see visitors who have a referring URL listed (the blue link underneath their IP address or Hostname) and an icon of which vendor they were referred from.
You can then drill into the visitor session to see the “Referrer(s)” for the session. If there are no referrers, then the prospect didn’t have one to share with us.
When the visitor becomes an identified prospect (or when an identified prospect returns to your website and generates a referring URL), you will see the visit and its referring URL as an activity in the Prospect Activities table. You will also see their search query term if they had one.
Since many referring URLs come from search engines, the search query term that prospects use to find your website are included in the referring URL. We pull the query term out of the URL and add it to the prospect’s activity. You can also sync this value to the CRM. For more information on query reports, view our Natural Search Report article and Paid Search Report article.
Which referring URLs can Pardot track?
There is a list of referring vendors that we are able to track on the bottom right in our Icon Glossary article in the “Referrers/Vendors” table. If a prospect is referred by one of these vendors to your Pardot landing page or webpage with Pardot tracking code, then we will display the icon of the referring site next to the prospect’s visitor activity.
Google Analytics parameters and referring URLs
Sometimes the prospect’s referring URL includes Google Analytics UTM parameters. If this is the prospect’s first touch with a Pardot tracked page and their referring URL includes Google Anlaytics UTM parameters, we will record those parameters in the Google Analytics table on the prospect’s record. The parameters can be used in Pardot segmentation and can be synced into your CRM for further reporting. In order for Pardot to record the UTM parameters, the Google Analytics connector must be enabled. Here is more information about our Google Analytics Connector.
Referring URLs and Prospect Source
In some circumstances Pardot auto populates the default source field based on the referring information. For example if the first touch a visitor has with you is from a Google Paid Search, Google Natural Search, Yahoo or Bing Natural Search, Twitter or Facebook, then we will fill in the source field with the corresponding value. Here is a complete list of values that Pardot could use to auto populate your default Source field.
If you use the Google Analytics “source” parameter then you can also set your prospect’s source value through referring URLs. For more information visit our Lead Source vs. Pardot campaign article.
Syncing to the CRM
Your referring information can be synced to your CRM. Here are the three fields that can be added:
- Prospect Referrer: the full URL of the page the user visited just prior to accessing a Pardot-tracked page (a page on your website, a landing page, etc.) for the first time.
- Prospect Referrer Type: any extra details about major referrer types (e.g., Google Natural Search, Google Paid Search, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more).
- Prospect Referrer Query: the parsed keyword or query if the first referrer was a search in Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.
If you are not yet using these fields in your CRM, you can set them up in your CRM by following our “Adding the Fields” instructions.
With referrer information syncing into your CRM system, you can make reports to determine the source URL (and keywords) of your leads, contacts, and opportunities. Tools like Google Analytics are great for showing where your traffic is coming from but your CRM (combined with analytics from Pardot) is a great place to see where your organization gets your revenue!