Traffic Source Channels In Google Analytics

Written by: Anne Holz | IANR Media

Google analytics channel report

Your Google Analytics channel report Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels gives an overview of where your site traffic is coming from and groups the traffic into eight default categories. 

Direct
traffic is generated when a visitor goes to your site by typing the URL in their browser, clicking a browser bookmark, or clicking a link from a source other than a web page such an email or PDF document where links aren’t being tracked with Google Analytics tracking code. Distribution of print publications that advertise a site url are often associated with an increase in direct traffic.

Organic Search traffic is generated when a visitor goes to your site by clicking on a link from a search results page, excluding paid search advertisements. 

Referral traffic is generated when a visitor goes to your site by clicking a link on another site, excluding search engines and social sites. Referral traffic may include other unl.edu sites.

Email traffic is generated when a visitor clicks a link in an email that has Google tracking code on it that includes utm_medium=email. Email links that aren’t tracked will be mixed in with “Direct” traffic stats.

Paid Search traffic is generated when a visitor goes to your site by clicking on your pay-per-click ads. Google AdWords ads are tracked by default. Non-AdWords PPC ads that aren't tracked will be mixed in with “Direct” traffic stats.

Social
traffic is generated when a visitor comes to your site from a social media site (Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, etc.)

Other traffic is generated when someone clicks on a link to the site that has Google tracking code and utm_medium does not equal “email”.