Traffic Channels

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In this video, I want to talk about the question of where is your traffic coming from? What is the source that's leading people to your website. With this information, you can start evaluating how different marketing channels are working, as they're driving traffic to your website, which marketing channels are actually leading to more people engaging with your website, which marketing channels are leading more people to convert. And as a result, we can start to understand which marketing channels are more valuable to our overall business. So to get this information in Google Analytics, we want to go to the channels report. To find this in the sidebar, click on acquisition, all traffic and channels.

And then when you're on here, we're going to see a graph of how everything is trending over time. But what's really important is the table. The table lists out the different channel groupings and it will tell us how much traffic we're getting from different sources. So by looking at these different channels, So you can see things like organic search and direct and referral. But these aren't the exact sources, right? This isn't telling us Oh, you got traffic from this ad network or from this particular website.

Rather, what the channels report is doing is it's grouping these organic searches, grouping Google and Bing, Yahoo and any other search engines that are out there. Direct is just a representation of people who came to your website directly, who are actively loading your website, possibly by typing in the URL, or maybe they clicked a link from an email or something and came directly to your website. You then have referral traffic. So referral is just all the other websites out there who are linking to you and sending traffic your way. Social represents different social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Pinterest or Instagram affiliates represents the affiliate marketing that you have other represents any custom defined channels that you want to set up. You then have paid search which is any paid advertisements that you're running on search networks such as Google ads, you then have display, which is another type of ads.

So these are the different channels that are sending traffic to your website. And right within here, we can see how many users came from each particular channel. We can see how many of those users were new who are visiting our website for the first time. And then we can see how many sessions there were so right how many times those users came back and interacted with our website. Along with looking at acquisition metrics, you can also look at behavioral metrics. And this is where it really becomes interesting to start to compare the different channels.

And right just within this report, we can see that the bounce rate is higher on organic search than it is on direct or referral traffic. We can also see that there are more pages per session on referral traffic, and there are on any of the other channels driving traffic to our website. There's also more time being spent from people coming to our website from a referral source than there is from other tracks. Their channels. And then we can also look at traffic channels by conversions. So we can start to say, Okay, well, if we get people from organic search, how likely are they to convert, and in this example, this is an e commerce website.

So we can also see the amount of revenue that's coming from each of those channels within this time period. So in this case, we can see, well, organic search led to 49 people who converted on our website. And that represented a point one 4% conversion rate. And then we can see that direct has a slightly higher conversion rate referral, despite the fact that it had pretty good behavioral metrics, right? But bounce rate, time on site has zero transaction zero conversions in the case of this website, and right by comparing these different channels by looking at these, in comparison to each other, but we can really start to understand is where is it the most important for us to invest our marketing budget? So maybe we're finding in this case that, hey, we need to put more money into organic search because we're actually really getting a lot of revenue knew from back then within each of these channels along with looking at the overall, we can also drill into each particular channel.

So for example, we could click on social, and then we can see all the different social networks that are driving that traffic. And here again, we can then compare those different social networks, though in this case, social. While there's a lot of traffic from it. Most of that traffic is just from YouTube with very little of the traffic from Facebook, or Reddit, or Cora, Twitter or any of the other social networks that are listed. And here too, like we can on the overall channels report, we can compare the different social networks, though, right, YouTube might have a lot of traffic under the acquisition channel, but then we can look under behavior or conversion to see if any of those other channels are doing better. And under conversions here, right, we can see that third one listed Google Groups is actually leading to a higher conversion rate than any of the other social network channels.

Here again, there might be some opportunities that we have to adjust our marketing, budgets and our marketing investments and where we're spending our time, based on what we're seeing in these reports, which of these marketing channels are actually more likely to generate revenue and get people coming to our website, and actually benefiting our business. Now, I do want to talk about when you drill into organic search. So when you drill into organics are going to take you to arguably one of the least helpful reports in Google Analytics. And that's the keyword report. The under keyword report, because of some changes that Google organic Google Search made a few years back, they won't tell you the actual keywords. So the number one keyword that you're going to see listed is the key word not provided.

And that's what we see here in this report. And not provided just means that it's not telling you what that key word is. So what we want to actually look at here is not the key word, but instead we want to switch to a different primary dimension. So we can switch our primary dimension source, and we can see which different organic search sources are leading traffic our way In this case, almost all of it is from Google with a little from Baidu, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Now you can also switch the primary dimension landing page. I think this is actually where it really becomes interesting and helpful to look at.

So this tells you which landing pages which pages are receiving the most traffic from organic search. So in this case, most of the people who are coming into this website from an organic search result are coming to the website's homepage. And then you can see that some of the other pages are getting some of that traffic as well. So this gives us an idea of not only that we get organic traffic, but which pages are receiving that organic traffic. So if we want optimize different pages of our website, we want to focus on updating certain pages of our website. This is the report that will tell us which pages we can use to hopefully get more organic traffic coming to our website.

So what do we do here with this traffic channels report? Well, with the traffic channels report, you can figure out which traffic channel is driving the most people to your website. But you can also figure out which traffic channel has the highest quality metrics, both in terms of engagement with time spent or bounce rate, as well as conversions. And based on this data, you can figure out how you want to adjust your marketing budgets and your time that you're investing in your marketing. Do you need to spend more time on organic means spend less time on social or more time on social and right that's where it really becomes interesting and helpful to use this report. This is definitely a report I would say you want to check every week or at least every month, understand which marketing channels are working the best for you.

Next up, let's talk about devices and how we measure which devices our visitors are using.

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