There are lots of ways people can find your website, from the obvious Google and Facebook links to some more obscure ones.
But how many visitors come from each source? And how useful is each source in sending the right kind if visitor? There’s an easy way to tell.
The Acquisition Channels report
To find the report, look for Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels when you’re logged into Google Analytics:
Once there, you’ll see something like this:
This example has a longer list that one you might see, but to break down the main ones:
- Organic Search = people clicking normal search results in Google (or occasionally Bing)
- Referral = people clicking links on other websites that link to you. This could be from the likes of yellowpages.com.au and similar
- Social = people clicking links from social media sites (eg Facebook) where those links can be identified. Most of the time Google Analytics can’t tell. An example is where someone is using the Facebook app on their phone and they click a link from inside that app. It will open up your website, but Google Analytics can’t track the source activity from inside a 3rd party app. These visits will show up under “Direct”.
- Direct = Google Analytics can’t tell. Traditionally this is when someone types your website address directly into their browser’s address bar (hence the name “direct”). However, clicking a link in your email signature in Outlook that then opens up your website in a new Internet Explorer window has the same effect. The same thing happens in social media apps on your phone. (Pro tip: if you want to make sure all of your Facebook traffic is tracked properly, use this tool before adding any links to your Facebook page.)
From there, you can then look at the performance of each source. How many visitors did each channel send? How long did they stay on your site, and how many pages did they look at? How many of them converted into completing your pre-defines goals?
And for bonus info, make sure you add a value to each goal as well. That way, you can see the value of each channel. Is it work your investment of time/money?