Creating custom segments to see how different traffic performs and observe trends (for better or worse!) is one of the most powerful uses for Google Analytics . One class of segments that exist by default in Google Analytics are
Channels. Channels are a grouping of common ways that people come to your site. Google Analytics automatically sorts the many ways you acquire a user - whether it is social media, pay-per-click, email, or referral links - and bundles them into a bucket, or Channel.
Channels are simple, aggregate buckets of data. To sort your acquisitions into Channel buckets, Google sets distinct rules and definitions using specific parameters: a combination of acquisition Source (the origin of your traffic) and acquisition Medium (the general category of the source).
While having these buckets can help you make sense of where your traffic is coming from, this data is not actually tagged by channel but by a combination of Source and Medium. Because Google sends channel information as two separate data points, channel groupings do not automatically show up in MBI.
By default, Google sets you up with 8 different channels. Let’s take a look at the rules that determine how they’re created:
|Channel||What is it?||How is it created?|
|Direct||Anyone who comes directly into your site.||Source =
AND Medium =
|Organic Search||Traffic that has been organically ranked in unpaid search engines.||Medium =
|Referral||Traffic that comes in from an external link that is not Organic Search or from websites that are not social networks.||Medium =
|Paid Search||Traffic that has a UTM Tracking code where the medium is either “cpc”, “ppc”, or “paidsearch” AND is an ad distribution network that does not match “Content.”||Medium = `^(cpc|
|Social||Referral traffic that comes from any of approximately 400 social networks and are not tagged as ads.||Social Source referral =
OR Medium = `^(social
|Traffic from sessions that are tagged with a medium of “email.”||UTM Tracking code of Medium =
|Display||Traffic that has a UTM Tracking code where the medium is either display or cpm. Also includes AdWords interaction where the ad distribution network matches “Content”||Medium = `^(display|
|Other||Sessions from other advertising channels, not including Paid Search, that are tagged with a medium of “cpc”, “ppc”, "cpm, “cpv”, “cpa”, “cpp”, “affiliate”.||Medium = `^(cpv|
Now that you know channels are just combinations of sources and mediums, it is an easy 3-step process to recreate these groupings in your Data Warehouse.
Enable yourGoogle ECommerceintegration
Upload a mapping of Google’s channel groupings
To save you time, Commerce has already created a table with the default groupings mapped as a file that you can download.
If you are a Google Analytics pro and created your own channels, you will want to add your specific rules to the mapping table before uploading the file into MBI.
Bring it into your Data Warehouse as a File Upload.
Establish a relationship betweenGoogle ECommerceand Mappings File Upload
To establish a relationship between theGoogle ECommerceand the mapping table, submit a support request to our Data Analyst team and reference this article. The analyst will create a new calculated column called Channel in the ECommerce table. After a full update cycle, this column will be ready to use in a Filter or Group by.
Congratulations! Now you have Google Analytics Channel groupings in your Data Warehouse, which means you can analyze your data from a new perspective:
In this example, we started simple - segmenting the Number of Orders metric by Channel. Now it is your turn - go test out your new column and see what trends you can identify in your Google Analytics channel data!