The Channel report in Google Analytics (under ‘Acquisition’ section) splits out into 6 or more types of visit channel:
Channel report

Direct

Where a visitor has:

  1. typed the URL into the address bar
  2. clicked on a link which is NOT in another web page (e.g. in a mobile app)
  3. visited a bookmarked link

Organic Search

All visits from search engines (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo) which were not an advertisement. You used to be able to filter out people searching for your brand (which are more like Direct visits), but now the search terms are not provided.

Paid Search

Visits from search engines where the visitor clicked on an advert.

Referral

Where a visitor has clicked on a link in another website (not your own domain), but not including search engines or social networks.

Social Networks

Specifically links from known social network websites (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc)

Email

From links tagged as medium = ’email’. Your email software needs to be configured correctly to add this tag.

Display

Links tagged as ‘display’ or ‘cpm’.

FAQs

Can I change the channel groupings?
Yes, you can change this under Admin .. (Selected View).. Channel Grouping. But we recommend you don’t do this for your default view, as you won’t be able to compare the historical data.
Change channel groupings

Edward

Founder of Littledata, Technical Lead and Product Consultant. He has broad experience helping companies with business strategy, product development and technology management.

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