Demystifying (not set) Landing Pages Related to Phone Call Tracking in Google Analytics

Stela Yordanova October 25, 2017

Are you seeing (not set) landing pages in Google Analytics? I recently experienced this, related to call tracking for a client. Here is an overview of my experience researching (not set) pages, understanding what they are and why they often appear as top landing pages in Analytics reports.

A while ago we started tracking phone calls for a client using the CallRail platform. CallRail integrates with Google Analytics by implementing auto event tracking usually using Phone Calls as a category. Event category, action and label can be assigned by the user.

After implementing the tracking, and as data for received phone calls started to collect in Google Analytics, we started seeing (not set) landing pages reported among the top landing pages. These (not set) landing pages had a near 100% conversion rate for phone calls which made it clear that these pages were related to the new call tracking implementation.

(not set) in Google Analytics Reports

Let’s step back a little and understand how and why (not set) can appear in a Google Analytics report. If Google reports any dimension as (not set) this means that information for the dimension was not recognized and it could not be identified. In the Landing page report a page would be reported as (not set) if a session began before a landing page was registered, usually if a session begins with an auto event.

How the CallRail Platform Tracks Phone Calls

The CallRail script can be added to a website using Google Tag Manager. CallRail uses JavaScript to automatically change a phone number on a webpage to a tracking number, typically based on marketing channel or location.

CallRail provides reports on total phone calls, first time callers, call duration, missed calls, etc. With the integration between Google Analytics and CallRail all data related to phone calls is available in Google Analytics.

Investigating the Cause of (not set) Landing Pages

Receiving (not set) landing pages related to a specific auto event means that the session began with the event before a landing page was recorded. For example:

  • If a user lands from organic search on the home page and makes a phone call to the tracking number. this call will be registered with the following data: the phone call resulted from organic traffic that landed on the home page.
  • But if that same user makes another phone call a few days later and uses the same tracking number without landing on the website, the call will still be tracked as coming from organic. This time however Google Analytics and CallRail will not have any data about the landing page since the user hasn’t visited any page. In this case, the landing page will be recorded as (not set).

Actions Without Website Visits

If you track phone calls via a platform that integrates with Google Analytics make sure you analyze any (not set) dimension that might start to appear in the reports. In a scenario like this it would mean that a session is registered without a user actually being on the website.

However, keep in mind that a (not set) phone call is still a valid measure of an interaction that resulted from your marketing efforts. Keep an eye on what percentage of all traffic these (not set) landing pages represent to understand if you are faced with a major tracking issue or a simple limitation.

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