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30 Jul

Getting to know Google Analytics: Acquisition Reports

Following our previous article on the Audience reports of Google Analytics, we’re now going to be exploring the Acquisition reports. These can help you to understand where your audience is coming from and which channels bring the most visitors to your website.

Key Reports in ‘Acquisition’

There are fewer Acquisition reports than there are Audience reports, so we will give a general overview of all of them, but you might find that there are some reports that you will use much more often than others.

Acquisition reports menu

Overview

The Overview report gives you a summary of the number of visitors to your website from different traffic sources and their engagement with the site over a specified time period. It's useful to see the information laid out in graphs like these so that you can clearly see which source is bringing in the most traffic, whether that be Organic Search, Direct, or Paid Search.

Acquisition Mockup

All Traffic

The 'Source/Medium' report under All Traffic is one of the key sources of information for Dolia when we are preparing reports for our SEO clients. This is because it gives us a breakdown of the exact number of users visiting the website from each individual traffic source or referring website.

For an overall figure, you can check the 'Channels' report, which groups together the traffic into 4-6 key categories, depending on whether your site receives paid traffic or not. 'Referrals' allows you to view the specific websites that visitors have come to yours from, and 'Treemaps' displays the Channels data in the form of a treemap.

Channels data

Some sample data from the All Traffic/ Channels report.

Google Ads

If you don’t use Google Ads, you might want to skip this section. If you do, it would be beneficial to link your Google Ads account with your Analytics account so that you can monitor the performance of your ads and website all in one place.

Some of the key Google Ads reports include:

  • Campaigns: check the performance of specific ad campaigns
  • Keywords: find out which keywords are attracting the most clicks
  • Search Queries: discover what people typed into Google to see your ad
  • Final URLs: see the website pages that people reach when they click your ad

There are a range of other reports too, such as 'Bid Adjustments', 'Display Targeting' and 'Video Campaigns'. You can browse through these for additional data on how your ads are performing.

Search Console

If you’re not already familiar with Search Console, take a look at our blog article, ‘Getting to Know Google Search Console’, to learn more about what it is and the tools it provides.

Google Search Console Inner

In this section of the Acquisition reports, Analytics imports data from your Search Console account, making it easier for you to compare different data sets. The 'Landing Pages' report is useful for seeing the number of impressions, clicks and sessions that certain pages on your website have, as well as their average position or ranking.

The 'Countries' report gives you an overview of how your website is performing in different countries so you can see where your visitors come from, and the 'Devices' report narrows this down to the devices they use: Mobile, Desktop or Tablet. The 'Queries' report, like the Google Ads 'Search Queries', shows you what people typed into Google to find your business.

Social

As you might have guessed, the Social reports allow you to view data on traffic to the website from social media networks. In the 'Overview', there is a breakdown of the number of conversions from social traffic and a summary of the number of visitors from different social networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Network referrals report

Some sample data from the Social/Network Referrals report.

The data is broken down further in the following reports; in 'Network Referrals' for example, there is more detail on the behaviour of visitors from different social networks, including pageviews and average session duration.

There is also some interesting data on social traffic in the 'Landing Pages', 'Conversions', 'Plugins' and 'Users Flow' reports if you wish to explore this section more.

Campaigns

You can use campaign tracking to identify how users discover your site, whether that is organically or through a paid campaign. The Campaigns reports include data from both 'Paid' and 'Organic Keywords' so you can see how well your chosen keywords are performing and get a better idea of what people are searching for to find your business.

There is also a 'Cost Analysis' feature that compares the cost of your paid campaigns and their revenue, so you can easily see how they are performing.

Google Analytics Inner Image

In summary, the reports in the Acquisition section of Google Analytics are designed to give you detailed information on where your website visitors come from, both physically and digitally. This allows you to make an informed decision about which channels you need to focus on and promote more. For instance, you may notice that traffic to your website from social channels is quite low, so to combat this you could post links to the site more regularly and perhaps invest in Social Ads.

If you have any questions on the above reports, we would be happy to answer them. The section of Google Analytics that we will be getting to know next is the Behaviour reports, which are all about how users interact with your website. Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog post!

Emily

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