What You Can Learn From Referral Paths In Google Analytics? (Solved)

What Are Referral Paths? In Google Analytics, when you view your Referrals under Traffic Sources, you see the main domains that traffic to your website originated from. When you click on any of these source domains, you see the specific pages where people found your links and clicked on them.

What I learned from Google Analytics?

A Google Analytics training class teaches more than how to generate reports. Participants learn which reports are the most valuable for their business, and how to interpret reports so that they can turn the data into insight and suggest actions based upon the data.

How does Google Analytics know where the referring URL is coming from?

In Google Analytics specifically, those visits show up in your “Referrals” report under “Traffic Sources”. And when visitors click on an outbound link on your site (a link to another website), your site shows up as a referring source in that website’s referrals report.

What is the referral medium in Google Analytics?

What is Medium in Google Analytics. Now the medium is a more narrow description of your referral traffic. While your visitor might have arrived through a source of “google”, it is not clear if it was a paid campaign or organic search, for example, that brought him here.

Why does Google Analytics show self referrals?

In general, self-referrals indicate that there are Analytics implementation problems on your site. If you’re receiving self-referrals, that may mean that traffic to your site is being attributed incorrectly, or that your session count is inaccurate.

What 3 key things did you learn about Google Analytics?

Course Overview You’ll learn how to navigate the Google Analytics interface and reports, and set up dashboards and shortcuts. The course will also demonstrate how to analyze basic Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior reports, and set up goals and campaign tracking.

What awesome things have you learned about your website from Google Analytics?

20 Things You Had No Clue Google Analytics Could Do

  • Import data from other sources.
  • Show real-time traffic data.
  • Find the geographic locations your visitors come from.
  • See which devices your visitors are using.
  • Show the channels your traffic is coming from.
  • Watch the path visitors take through your site.

What does it mean by referrals?

1: the process of directing or redirecting (as a medical case or a patient) to an appropriate specialist or agency for definitive treatment. 2: an individual that is referred. referral. noun. re·​fer·​ral | ri-ˈfər-əl

How do Google referrals work?

Employee referral: Referral is a good way to stand out among applicants. Google sends a mail after an employee puts referral, to choose three job openings and apply. But it may take some time to hear back from a recruiter.

What is a referrer in Google Analytics?

The referrer is the webpage that sends visitors to your site using a link. Referrer URLs are logged by many web analytics programs including Google Analytics. You can monitor these URLs to get insight into where your web traffic is coming from.

Which goals are available in Google Analytics?

Let’s take a look at what each of these goal types are and what kinds of metrics we can measure with them.

  • Destination Goals. Destination goals track when a visitor arrives on a specific page while on your website.
  • Duration Goals. This type of Google Analytics goal is simple.
  • Pages/Visit Goals.
  • Event Goals.

What does assigning a value to a Google Analytics goal enable?

By assigning a value to a goal in Google Analytics, you can analyze the effectiveness of the website conversion funnel.

What does enabling auto tagging do in Google Analytics?

Auto-tagging is a required feature, which when used with Google Ads conversion tracking or Google Analytics, allows you to see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity, such as website purchases, phone calls, app downloads, newsletter sign-ups, and more.

How can I improve my self referrals?

How To Generate a Lot of Referral Business

  1. Adopt a customer referral program.
  2. Offer incentives.
  3. Look for opportunities for a positive response.
  4. Create different avenues for advocacy.
  5. Align with your customers’ values.

What is referral exclusion list?

A referral exclusion list is the list of domains whose incoming traffic is treated as direct traffic (instead of referral traffic) by Google Analytics. Direct traffic is a Google Analytics session (or visit) which starts without a referrer being passed by a user’s web browser.

What is not set in analytics?

(not set) is a placeholder name that Analytics uses when it hasn’t received any information for the dimension you have selected. The reasons for (not set) appearing as a dimension value vary according to the report.

How To Analyze Your Referral Sources (Using Google Analytics)

Do you have a clear understanding of where your users are coming from? What particular pages on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram referred them to your site? Do you know where they came from? And what about all of those blogs on which you left comments? Were they successful in driving visitors to your website? If that’s the case, how do you find out? Also check out: Everything You Need to Know About Google Analytics for Your eCommerce Store for more information. The next article is for you if you don’t have a satisfactory answer to at least one of the questions.

Let’s get started!

  1. What is the difference between referral traffic and a referral marketing campaign
  1. Measuring referral traffic from guestposts, as well as spam and referral reports

(Click here to proceed to the next section.)

1. What is the difference between referral marketing campaigns and referral traffic in Google Analytics?

Promotional efforts that encourage your consumers to recommend your items to their family, friends, and colleagues are referred to as referral marketing campaigns. Referral marketing programs are, at their core, a method of converting your consumers and followers into brand ambassadors. Referral traffic in Google Analytics refers to traffic that has been recommended from one website to another. It is possible to examine these referrals using Google Analytics in order to have a better understanding of how your consumers are discovering you.

Not to mention that you can measure traffic from ReferralCandy in Google Analytics as well.

1.1 How to find and analyze your referrals in Google Analytics?

In the Acquisition section, you’ll notice a drop-down choice that says “All Traffic.” Referrals may be found under the “All Traffic” section, in the drop-down menu next to “All Traffic.”

Step 2: Check the Backlinks in the Referral report

Additionally, the proportion of people (who were brought over by the backlinks) who are converting can be shown. In the report below, I’ve indicated how you can identify the source, the pages, and the conversions that occur on those pages by looking at the data. Pages with low conversion rates but strong engagement High conversion rates combined with poor engagement The same may be said for high-converting pages that have poor interaction rates. As you can see in the sample below, the backlinks generated by Facebook are converting at a rate of 1.99 percent on average (a pretty high conversion rate in the industry).

  1. Identifying and categorizing new users in the Referral Report You may utilize the capabilities of Google Analytics to segment your backlinks in order to obtain even more detailed information.
  2. The following is an example of how to segment these people in the Referral Report: Go to the referral drop-down menu at the bottom of the Acquisition menu.
  3. When you’re finished, click Apply, and you should see the percentage of the New Segment Audience.
  4. Audience segments provide a comprehensive image of the people who have clicked on your backlinks.
  5. In addition, it is crucial to know that you may not be able to view any data for some audience segments.

This particular audience is also comprised of acquisition traffic, thus that information will not be displayed. Don’t be alarmed if you can’t view statistics for some audience groups; this is most likely due to the way Google Analytics interprets certain things on the basis of its algorithm.

Step 4: Checking the Referral Path

When you use Google Analytics, you will be able to view not just the source domains of your referral traffic, but you will also be able to see the individual sites where visitors spotted your links and then clicked on them. Referral pathways are special pages that are linked to from other pages. To view this information in Google Analytics, navigate to the Traffic Sources section of the navigation menu. Referrals may be seen in the Traffic Sources section. To access the pages, change the Primary Source setting to Referral Path.

Select Referral Path from the drop-down menu to discover which pages on your website are referring to other sites.

When the Primary Source is set to Referral Path, you will be able to see the individual pages of those domains, as seen in the following image.

2. Analyzing Social Media Referrals

With social media becoming increasingly popular in almost every business, it is not only proving to be an excellent communication tool, but also a tremendous source of traffic and purchases. When viewing your website’s traffic and conversions in Google Analytics, select the Acquisition tab to observe how social media is influencing them. Under Acquisition, you’ll discover the Traffic Submenu, which will take you to the Referrals section of the menu. As you can see in the sample below, Instagram is ranked 5th on the list of the most popular referral sources.

2.1 What is Dark Social?

Dark social is a phrase used by marketers and SEO professionals to refer to website referrals that are difficult to trace and attribute to a specific source. According to a research published a few years ago by news publishers The Atlantic, 25 percent of their traffic could not be explained. Because they were completely clueless as to where the traffic was coming from or why it was occurring. Being data-driven is really effective, but it is only effective when the data is reliable. What happens when you are forced to make costly marketing decisions based on data that is difficult to track down to the individual?

Here’s a nice handbook that breaks down some of the strategies.

2.2 How To Use UTM Parameters to Measure Social Media ROI

Including UTM parameters in social media links allows you to track and show the effectiveness of your social media activities. With the use of UTMs, you can simply demonstrate how social media postings drive traffic to your website. UTMs also assist you in gaining a clear view of lead generation, referral traffic, and conversions by providing a graphical representation. You can report the influence of social media on your bottom line with confidence if you have strong facts to back it up! Here are a few examples of how to make use of UTM parameters:

1. Campaign source

This is the name of the social network, search engine, newsletter, or other unique source that is directing the visitors to the website.

Examples include social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs and newsletters. utm source is the UTM code. utm source=facebook is an example of code.

2. Campaign medium

This identifies the sort of channel that is driving the traffic, such as organic social, paid social, email, and other similar channels. Examples include: cpc, organic social, and others. utm medium is the UTM code. utm medium=fb ad is an example of code.

3. Campaign name

Assign a name to each campaign so that you can keep track of your progress. For example, the product name, the name of a contest, a code to identify a certain sale or promotion, or a slogan might all be examples of this. Examples: Free trial and summer discount are both available. utm campaign is the UTM code for this campaign. utm campaign=summer sale is an example of code.

4. Campaign term

This may be used to track the performance of purchased keywords or key phrases. Examples: Twitter, New York Cupcakes, and other social media utm term is the UTM code. utm term=social media is an example of code.

5. Campaign content

This option allows you to track the performance of different advertisements throughout a campaign. For instance, video ad, text ad, blue banner, and green banner are all examples of advertisements. utm content is the UTM code. utm content=video ad is an example of code. You may utilize all of the UTM parameters in a single link if you want to. They are all grouped together after the? and are separated by symbols. The link would look like this:utm medium=fb ad if you used all of the sample codes above.

Continue reading to find out how to use a UTM generator to connect them to your links without making any mistakes.

What Can You Learn From This?

UTM parameters bring together specifics and allow you to track social media success on a post-by-post basis using a single URL. Clearly distinguishable differences may be seen between sponsored and organic social media posts. With this information, you can now reliably assign social ROI to specific campaigns. Another advantage of using UTM parameters is that they allow you to track ALL social media traffic.tm parameters Because they are not present, it is easy to forget to tally social referrals from hidden social channels such as chat applications.

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2.3 How to Use UTM Parameters To TrackInfluencerMarketing Results

In today’s world, influencer marketing is a critical social media marketing technique for many marketers and organizations. According to Fast Company, the influencer industry may be worth anywhere between $5 billion and $10 billion dollars. However, assessing the return on investment (ROI) of influencer initiatives is a significant difficulty for 76 percent of marketers. What is one of the most effective remedies to this problem? Using a unique UTM code for each influencer with whom you collaborate.

Properly gathering this information allows you to determine which influencers are most likely to have a positive, long-term impact on your company. Do you want to delve a bit deeper into the UTM parameter settings? Get into this guide by clicking here.

2.4 Twitter

Twitter is one of the most effective platforms for developing communities and demonstrating a brand’s personality, according to research. Take, for example, Wendy’s Twitter account, which brims with personality. Navigate to Acquisitions and then to the referrals section in order to see how much traffic Twitter is delivering to your site. According to the graph below, Twitter is ranked 19th in terms of referrals. Changing the Primary Dimension to Referral Path will help you determine which individual pages referred visitors to your site.

What Can You Learn From This?

The identification of your strongest and most powerful brand supporters on Twitter may be accomplished by determining which tweets are generating the most traffic to your website. Continue to individually call them out, thank them, and engage with them on a personal level. Keep in mind that all healthy relationships are built on reciprocity!


Despite the fact that Pinterest recently went public and is a very well-known social network, many marketers and companies are probably underutilizing the platform. It’s typically referred to as a “mood board” or a “niche social network for DIY material,” but with a little imagination and the appropriate location, it might prove to be a reliable traffic generator. Finding out which photographs from your website are being pinned the most may be done by entering the following URL into your browser and substituting “domain.com” with the domain of your website: Ex: However, do you know which pins are truly bringing visitors to your website?

Navigate toTraffic Sources – Sources – Referrals in Google Analytics and choose pinterest.com as the source.

What Can You Learn From This?

In addition to expressing gratitude to the Pinterest users who have shared your image, you can utilize this information to determine the types of photos that are being pinned. When you detect a pattern in the photos you’ve pinned, you may use that pattern to create new images with your own spin in the future. Another effective strategy is to include a humorous call-to-action in the photographs to entice Pinterest visitors to visit your website.

3. Are You Guest Blogging Effectively? Here’s How To Check in Referral Reports

Guest posting, blogger outreach, and commenting on blogs may all be useful strategies for increasing traffic to your website. What is the best way to determine whether or not any of it is effective? You guessed it: I was looking at Google Analytics data. Navigate toTraffic Sources – Sources –Referrals and choose the blog’s domain from the drop-down menu. After that, you should be able to view the precise referral path (particular sites) that brought visitors to your site.

3.1. Other Referral Paths to Investigate

Apart from social media, there are a variety of other channels that might be excellent sources of traffic, depending on the sort of business you run and its popularity.

Among the many that are worth exploring are the following:

  • Reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List
  • Questions on Quora and other respectable question-and-answer websites
  • Forums in which you participate and where you may have mentioned your company
  • Expanding the scope of internet directories or Yellow Pages

For example, as seen in the graphic above, Quora is one of the top ten traffic drivers. Apart from being a rich mine of information on virtually any topic, it’s also a fantastic location to establish authority, attract followers, and grow a following of your own. You may locate certain pages on Quora that bring traffic to your website in the same way that you did in the instances above.

3.2 How To Identify Spam Traffic?

As a webmaster who uses Google Analytics, it’s likely that you’ve come across some of the following websites in your Referrals report(Acquisition-All Traffic-Referrals) recently:

  • The domains semalt.semalt.com and buttons-for-website.com are among the most popular in the world. Other popular domains include forum.topic31342700.darodar.com, make-money-online.7makemoneyonline.com, and anticrawler.org.

In what ways are these websites related to yours, and why are they linked to your site? To be more precise, they are not linked to you in any way. These websites are posing as legitimate referral sources. These spammy websites pose as legitimate websites and appear in Google Analytics in order to entice you to click on their advertisements. By visiting one of these URLs in your browser, you will nearly always be sent to a marketing scam, virus site, or online shop. Not to be concerned, you can filter out these bogus referrals.

A helpful definitive tutorial on eradicating Google Spam is available at this link, which is well worth your time to read.

3.3 What You Can Learn from Referral Reports?

Referral reports are excellent tools for determining where your website visitors are originating from. Any time you are able to remove the element of surprise from your business and bring more clarity to it, you are making progress. The information in this post taught you how to identify the social media pages that are driving the most traffic to your website, how to utilize UTM parameters for influencer marketing campaigns, what dark social is and how to decrease it, and how to filter referral traffic.


Steve is the founder and CEO of the Shopify appConversific, as well as its Head of Analytics.

That’s why the team behind Conversific is working hard to turn the world of eCommerce analytics on its head and make it available to every Shopify shop.

Learning From Google Analytics Referral Paths

It’s far too simple to glance over your Google Analytics traffic sources without taking the time to examine them. Direct traffic, feared black traffic, and a slew of referral channels make it seem impossible to investigate every facet of where your traffic is originating from. But it is possible to do so. Those referral channels, on the other hand, are the gateways to valuable resources and information for your pages and site, such as:

  • Who is talking about you on Twitter? Which tweets are the most popular
  • Which hashtags are trending
  • What influencers are talking about your brand
  • Who is talking about your brand
  • What type of content is attracting visitors to your website
  • And

Consider the following: what referral pathways are, how to utilize them, and what they signify for you and your website. So, what exactly are referral paths and how do they work? Referrals is a tab that appears while you are looking at your Traffic Sources in Google Analytics, so pay attention to it. It provides you with a list of all of the web pages where a visitor discovered and clicked on a link to your website. These are the channels via which you can receive referrals. These websites cover a wide range of topics, ranging from social media sources to blogs, review sites, and message boards.

If you are familiar with Google Analytics and have spent time delving into your site traffic, you may be questioning why you need referral pathways at all if you are already utilizing UTM parameters.

These options broaden the scope of what Google Analytics can track for you, ensuring that connections from social media sites and secure HTTP sites are not flagged as dark traffic by the system.

The use of UTM parameters might be considered to be all that is required to determine where your traffic is originating from. However, there are two strong reasons to employ both: first, it is more efficient.

  • There is still some dark traffic that gets through the holes in the UTM parameters. Insights into referral channels provide additional particular information about the social media networks that are bringing traffic to your site.

Use this form to request your free site audit.Twitter Referral Paths Using Twitter as an example, connections from Twitter can often be tracked back to their source using the UTM protocol. Finding out which tweets from which Twitter users are bringing the most traffic to your site, on the other hand, can only be accomplished through the use of referral route analysis. Those are a few simple actions you may take in Google Analytics to obtain the answers to those questions:

  • Go to “Traffic Sources,” then “Sources,” then “Referrals,” then “t.co” for Twitter
  • Then “t.co” for Facebook.

This will display information in a more meaningful manner than just using UTM parameters, but you will still be unable to know whose tweets referred visitors to your site. However, plug-ins are now available on the market that are designed to address this widespread issue. A good example of such a plug-in is the Campalyst Tweet Lookup Plug-in, which is available as an extension for Google Chrome. It is capable of taking Twitter referrals and displaying genuine tweets from real individuals in real time.

  • This is a terrific plug-in, and there will undoubtedly be more like it available on the market in the near future.
  • It will undoubtedly be a useful tool in the future, but it is not the best instrument for looking backward.
  • As a blogger that participates in cross-marketing through blogs or as a guest blogger, you are likely to have blog referral channels in your network.
  • Specifically, you want to know what sorts of articles, which articles in particular, and which blogs are bringing the most visitors to your site.
  • Here are a few easy steps to follow:
  • Select “Traffic Sources” from the drop-down menu
  • Then “Sources” and “Referrals” from the drop-down menu
  • Then click on the domains of individual blogs that appear.

Referral Paths from Pinterest Pins are an effective marketing tool since they appear quickly in search results, which is particularly useful if your brand or business places a big focus on aesthetics. Finding out which pins are sending the most traffic to your site is simple if you follow these simple methods, which are identical to those outlined above:

  • To find traffic sources, go to “Traffic Sources,” then “Sources,” then “Referrals,” and finally “Pinterest.”

As a side note, you can use this link to find out which photographs from your website are being pinned the most frequently. Referrals from other social media platforms are also possible. In order to determine which of your posts about your site receive the most up-votes and which (if any) posts result in site visits, you’ll want to know which of your posts about your site receive the most up-votes and which (if any) posts result in site visits.

To identify referral pathways from Reddit, you can follow the methods outlined below, which are similar to the process outlined above:

  • Select “Traffic Sources” from the drop-down menu
  • Then “Sources” from the drop-down menu
  • Then “Referrals” from the drop-down menu.

The subreddits that have generated the most click-throughs will be displayed. Additional Referral Channels to Consider Depending on the genre and popularity of your site and your company, there will be other referral paths to consider that are not necessarily tied to social media outlets, such as forums and blogs. Some of the ones you might want to look into are as follows:

  • Reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List
  • Questions on Quora and other respectable question-and-answer websites
  • Forums in which you participate and where you may have mentioned your company
  • Website directories or yellow pages with a broader reach

Identifying and analyzing your referral channels might seem like a daunting undertaking, especially when you are already dealing with dark traffic. However, spending the effort to become familiar with your referral channels will not only help you to build your site, but it will also help you to grow your social networks. Contact us right away if you would want additional information on best techniques for discovering your site statistics.

Campaigns and traffic sources – Analytics Help

In this post, we will discuss:


Customers find their way to your website or application through a multitude of channels, including advertising campaigns, search engines, and social media platforms. It is described in detail in this article how Analytics collects, analyses, and reports campaign and traffic-source information. Using this troubleshooter, you may discover and repair any issues that are causing unexpected variations or inconsistencies in your traffic.

Understanding campaignstraffic sources

Campaigns and traffic sources are the terms used to refer to the advertising campaigns, search engines, social networks, and other sources that direct people to your website in Google Analytics, respectively. The following are the procedures that must be completed before campaign and traffic-source data may be transmitted to Analytics and loaded into reports:

  • With the help of the SDKs or tracking code, values are collected and submitted to Google Analytics in the campaign and traffic-source fields. Preparation– the values gathered are utilized to populate the final report dimensions in accordance with a predetermined processing logic. Enhanced reporting — campaign and traffic-source dimensions and metrics are now available in the web interface and Reporting API.
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The behavior of the collection, processing, and reporting systems may be changed.


When transmitting campaign and traffic-source data, the Analytics SDKs and tracking code make use of the following fields:

Field Name Protocol Parameter Field Description Sample Value
Campaign Source cs Sets the source dimension in reports. email_promo
Campaign Medium cm Sets the medium dimension in reports. email
Campaign Name cn Sets the campaign name dimension in reports. january_boots_promo
Campaign Content cc Sets the content dimension in reports. email_variation1
Campaign Term ck Sets the term dimension in reports. winter%20boots
Document Location dl Sets dimensions whencustom campaign (utm) parametersare embedded. utm_campaign=january_promoutm_content=copy_variation1
Document Referrer dr Describes the referring source and may set dimensions when no other campaign or traffic source fields have been set.

It is important to note that each session may only be linked to one campaign or one traffic source. As a result, if new campaign or traffic source values are given to Analytics during collection time while an existing session is in progress, the current session will be terminated and a new session will be initiated.


While processing, the traffic-source and campaign field values are converted into dimension values and ascribed to sessions, which are then processed again. TheCampaignTraffic Sources Processing is a service provided by The logic of the procedure is depicted in a flowchart. The following procedures are applicable to processing that makes use of utm parameter values: (e.g., display, social, email, paid search, etc.).

  • A direct-traffic visit that occurs after a paid-referred visit will never override an existing sponsored campaign because of the source precedence rule. This visit is referred to by the most recent paidcampaign visit, which is given as the recommendation for the visit. Each visit to your site that originates from a different paid source—such as a paid search engine link, a Google Ads link, or a banner advertisement—overrides the campaign cookie information that was previously set by a prior source. Only one campaign is allowed per session —Each visit to your site from a different campaign (organic or sponsored) results in the creation of a new session, regardless of the amount of time that has transpired during the current one. Specific to the campaign URL parameters, any change in the value of any of the following campaign URL parameters results in the initiation of a new session: utm source, utm medium, utm term, utm content, utm id,utm campaign, and gclid. Session definitions in Analytics may be found in How a session is defined in Analytics.

Processing custom campaigns

When custom campaign parameters are included in thedocument locationfield, or when thecampaign-sourcefield is set, a session is treated as a custom campaign and handled accordingly. As soon as a custom campaign is performed, the values of the custom-campaign parameters are translated into the dimensions displayed in reports. For example, the followingdocument locationfield value_dl=?utm source=promo emailutm medium=emailutm campaign=january promoutm content=copy variation1would be processed into the following final dimension values_source=promo email medium=email campaign=january promoutm content=copy variation1 would be processed into the following final dimension values_source=prom

Processing paid search-engine referrals

When custom campaign parameters or Google Ads / Google Marketing Platform click IDs are used in the ad’s destination URL and are supplied to Analytics in thedocument locationfield, a session is handled as a paid-search referral. Learn more about how to check if Google Ads auto-tagging is functioning properly. The session may be considered as organic instead if special campaign settings or click IDs are not utilized throughout the session.

Processing organic search-engine referrals

The search-engine referral data is handled by comparing the hostname and query parameter of thedocument referrerfield to a list of recognized search engines and their query parameters, which is stored in thedocument referrerfield. The report dimension values are determined by using the hostname and query parameter of the first known search engine that matches both the hostname and query parameter of the document referrer value. See the list of default search engines for further information. You may customize the default search engine list by including more custom search engines.

Referral data from social networks is analyzed by comparing the hostname specified in thedocument referrerfield with a list of social networks that are known to the system.

Processing direct traffic

It is possible for a session to be considered as direct traffic in cases where no information about the referring source is available or in cases where the referring source or search phrase has been specified to be disregarded. Learn about the exclusions for referrer and search term information.


Reports are generated after processing that include the following campaign, traffic source, and traffic metric dimensions and metrics:


Web Interface Core Reporting API Description
Source ga:source The source of referrals to your property.
Medium ga:medium The type of referrals to your property (e.g.email,cpc, etc.)
Campaign ga:campaign The name of a marketing campaign sending users to your property
Ad Content ga:adContent A description of the advertising or promotional copy used to send users to your property.
Keyword ga:keyword The keyword searched by users to reach your property.
Social Network ga:socialNetwork Name of the Social Network that referred users to your property.
Referral Path ga:referralPath The path of the referring URL (e.g. the value of thedocument referrerfield)
Social Source Referral ga:hasSocialSourceReferral Indicates whether a session was a referral from a social network. The possible values areYesandNo


Web Interface Core Reporting API Description
Organic Searches ga:organicSearches The number of organic searches that happened within a session. This metric is search-engine agnostic.

In the case of paid Google Ads or Google Marketing Platform campaigns, there are extra fields that may be filled in automatically by establishing either Google Ads or Google Marketing Platformclick IDs, or manually by importing cost data from the Google Ads or Google Marketing Platform campaigns.

Advanced configuration options

Properties may be configured to include sophisticated configuration options such as the following:

  • Campaign Expiration Period
  • Custom Organic Search Sources
  • Exclusions: Referrers and Search Terms
  • Campaign Timeout Period

Campaign Timeout Period

It is determined by the campaign timeout duration how long a certain campaign or traffic source will be connected with a specific user or device. Learn how to set the campaign timeout period in this tutorial. No matter how long the set timeout period is, existing campaign or traffic-source data for a certain user will be replaced by new campaign or traffic-source data. The campaign timeout is measured from the moment a certain campaign was initially logged in the system.

Custom Organic Search Sources

Custom organic search sources may be set up at the property level, just as regular search sources.

These custom search sources can be added to the normal list of search sources, or they can be used in conjunction with them. Learn how to personalize organic search sources in this tutorial.

Excluding Referrers and Search Terms

Exclusions from reports may be specified at the property level, allowing users to remove certain referring sources or organic search phrases from their reports. Adding the hostnames you are measuring, as well as the hostnames of any third-party payment gateways, to the list of banned referrers can help you avoid “self-referrals” in web measurement, in which sessions are ascribed to a referral from your own domain. Learn how to omit a referrer and exclude search phrases from your search results.

Processing flow chart

With the help of the flow chart below, you can see how dimension values are calculated based on campaign and traffic-source parameters that are given to Analytics in a single click.

What Is Referral Traffic in Google Analytics?

A “referral” in the context of Web traffic is similar to a recommendation from one website to another. When you use Google Analytics, you can see who is referring people to your website, which helps you gain a better knowledge of how users reach your website and what they do once they get there. Referral traffic may be a powerful indicator of which external sources are most effective in assisting your company in achieving its objectives, demonstrating once and for all, for example, if your Facebook page is truly beneficial to your company’s objectives.

What Is Referral Traffic?

Visits to your site that come from sources other than Google’s search engine are referred to as “referral traffic,” which is Google’s term for this type of traffic. When a visitor clicks on a hyperlink to navigate to a new page on an other website, Google Analytics records the click as a referral visit to the second site, according to the terms of the agreement. The original site is referred to as a “referrer” since it is responsible for directing traffic from one location to another. Google Analytics tracks three types of information, one of which is referral traffic.

Direct traffic to a website is the third type of traffic.

How Do You Build Referral Traffic?

Google Analytics allows you to measure website activity that is generated by links you create, bookmarking sites you submit to, and social media posts you make, such as short links from Twitter, among other things. Google analyses the source of traffic and generates information on user activity for its users’ benefit. A tracking code put on other websites, such as banner adverts such as Google AdWords, may also be used to track referral traffic that is tied to a specific marketing campaign. Referral traffic can also be generated through search engine optimization.

How Can You View Referral Traffic Sources?

Logging into your Analytics account is required in order to view referral traffic sources. Referrals may be seen under “Traffic Sources” on the left-hand side of the screen. A traffic graph for a one-month period will be displayed on the screen. It is followed by a table that lists the names of the domains that are sending traffic to your site, along with information on how visitors react to what they see on your site.

What Statistics Does Referral Traffic Display?

A website’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who come to your site but depart without spending much time there), the percentage of visitors who are new to your site, and the average time spent by users who came from a certain referral source are all displayed in analytics. Searching for key values that are significant to you, according to Google, might help you determine which traffic source is the most productive for you.

In order to get users to read your content, you should look at data such as pages per visit and time spent to identify which sources are sending the most traffic to your site.

How is Referral Traffic Tracked?

Because referral traffic is routed through a user’s browser, this information may be recorded and transmitted using the HTTP referrer header. It is this referrer that indicates where a user has come from and where they are now located. When someone visits your site through a link in their browser, the browser makes a request to your server. The request includes a field that contains information about the most recent location that the visitor visited. As a result, Google Analytics records this information and reports it to you as a referral domain (such as Twitter.com or Facebook.com).

Since 2007, he has written on a variety of themes including dating, Comic-Con, and the technology industry.

Why Does Google Analytics Show Self-Referrals?

In your reports, self-referrals are one of the most prevalent red flags that point to an issue with your code implementation. However, even if the implementation is done correctly, it is normal for a small number of self-referrals to show up in the database. A indication of poor or missing code on your website might be the appearance of your own website under the All Traffic or Referrals report in Google Analytics. Inflating your statistics and hiding your referring sources may be a problem if the amount of self-referrals is excessively large, as it is in this case.

Once you’ve obtained it, you may use web analytics tools to analyze the information.

Why are there self-referrals?

This occurs when the tracking code detects that there is a new traffic source for the visit. This occurs most frequently when the tracking code is rewritten. Because the cookies have expired or because the cookies do not exist on the current domain, this might be the case.

Small numbers of self-referrals

Most prevalent situation for “valid” self-referrals is when a person visits your site, then leaves it inactive or works in other windows for more than 30 minutes before returning to your site. At that moment, the visit is no longer valid. Whenever people visit your site, they will be sent to a new page, with the appearance that the page they were on when they clicked the link was the source of the visit. If the number of self-referral visits is a tiny fraction (5 percent) of the total number of visits, it is most likely acceptable to disregard the data.

Multiple domains

A cross-domain tracking system must be implemented if you are utilizing numerous domains in your website design. If you’ve previously done this and are still seeing self-referrals, it’s likely that some sites weren’t coded correctly or were simply overlooked completely.

Go to Traffic Sources -Referring Sites in Google Analytics to find out more. Locate your website’s listing and click on it to get to it. You’ll want to pay attention to two things.

  1. Referral pathways: The table that appears will provide a list of all of the referral paths that lead to that site. You can see the previous page from which the visitor arrived at your site. After that, select Landing Page from the Dimension dropdown menu. This will display you all of the pages on your site where the traffic originated
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Specifically, you’re seeking for pages that have extremely high traffic counts. That would imply that the code is incorrect or missing in only a few distinct spots across the code. If all of the referral pathways have the proper code on them, double-check that the landing pages have the correct code as well.

Multiple subdomains

It is possible that tracking cookies will be written to a specific subdomain if your website has many subdomains. The visitor will not be identified if he or she switches to another subdomain in this situation. The same thing can happen if a visitor visits to mysite.com and then uses the same procedure as described above for several domains to determine which individual pages are the problem.

Cookie timeout

It’s possible that visitors will have a propensity to leave your site open in the background for extended periods of time, in which case their browser cookies will expire and their next click will initiate an entirely new visit as a referral from that page. On news websites or blogs that are often updated throughout the day or that a reader could read in their leisure time, this is a common occurrence. In this case, if the Referring Sites report indicates an evenly distributed pattern of referral pathways and landing pages, this is most likely the cause of the problem.

Extremely high statistics might also suggest that users are being interrupted while reading your site and then returning to it later.

One of our clients was a prominent newspaper, and we proposed that they expand their cookie timeout to as much as 90 minutes.

Visitors who are interrupted but who continue to browse the site in the background will still be counted as a single visit in this manner.

Next Steps

Check out our list of Recommended Tools to learn about products that may be used in conjunction with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics for Intranets

Is your firm making use of Google Analytics to track the performance of intranet websites? If that’s the case, there’s a little problem: Google Analytics is not intended to be used on intranets.

How to Find Top Referral Traffic Sources in Google Analytics (Easy Way)

Is it possible for you to obtain some useful information regarding the sources of your referral traffic? You can find out who recommends your site and which referral sources are the most important for your business by looking at your Google Analytics data, which can be found here. In this post, we’ll teach you how to use Google Analytics to identify the most popular referral traffic sources. Let’s get this party started.

What is Referral Traffic in Google Analytics?

Referral traffic is defined by Google Analytics as visitors that arrive on your website after clicking on a link from another source (other than search engines). In terms of WordPress analytics plugins, MonsterInsights is the greatest option. You can have it for free! Consider the following scenario: you have an article on how to make chocolate chip cookies. Another food blog uses your piece as a source on their own website, which you can see here. Visitors that come on your website as a result of clicking on that link will be tracked by Google Analytics as referral traffic.

For starters, you’ll discover that your site is largely reliant on a single source of traffic for the majority of its visitors.

Furthermore, by evaluating your referral traffic, you can improve your company’s performance.

It provides you with information on how to increase the amount of visitors to your website. You’ll be able to tell which strategies are the most effective and which ones are not. Are you ready to understand how to identify referral traffic sources at this point?

Video Tutorial

Do you want to read the written guide that takes you step by step through the process? Simply continue on to the next segment.

How to View Top Referrals in WordPress

The most effective technique to incorporate Google Analytics with WordPress is through the usage of MonsterInsights. It is the most effective Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. With MonsterInsights, you can easily integrate Google Analytics into your WordPress website without having to write a single line of code yourself. In addition, you can access all of your key Analytics statistics from within your WordPress dashboard as well. In addition to making complex monitoring in Google Analytics simple, it also allows you to examine the reports from within your dashboard.

  1. To begin, you’ll need to install Google Analytics on your website, which will allow it to track the visitors to your website.
  2. Once you’ve successfully configured Google Analytics on your website, you can get your analytics reports by navigating toInsights » Reports »Overviewreport.
  3. Now, scroll down to discover the most popular referrals for your website.
  4. This information is incredibly beneficial.
  5. This gives a chance for guest posting and the acquisition of backlinks for your website.
  6. Clicking the View All Referral Sources option at the end of the report will provide you with a list of all of your referral sites.

How to View Top Referral Sources in Google Analytics

If you’ve installed Google Analytics in WordPress without using a plugin, you’ll need to go into your Google Analytics account in order to see which websites are referring to your site from theirs. Let’s get this party started. Access your Google Analytics account and choose the website for which you’d like to view referrals to your site from other websites. To see the traffic referrals, go to Acquisition » All Traffic » Referrals in the navigation bar. You’ll now see a table that lists the referral traffic sources that have directed visitors to your site.

That’s all there is to it!

If you’d want to learn more about tracking user interaction in WordPress with Google Analytics, you can read our article on the subject. Please remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more useful Google Analytics hints in the future.

How Google Analytics *Really* Handles Referring Traffic Sources [Experiment] – Why Clicks and Visits Might Not Match Up

Allow me to guide you through a scenario that is prevalent in online marketing. You have a website, and some visitors to your site get to it by clicking on links on other websites to get there. Those visitors are labeled as referring visits in your web analytics reports, which you can view here. Referrals visits are recorded in your Google Analytics “Referrals” report, which is found under the “Traffic Sources” heading. In addition, when visitors click on an outbound link on your site (a connection to another website), your site appears as a referring source in the referrals report for the other website that they visited.

  1. The majority of marketers and webmasters, in my experience, are oblivious to how Google Analytics handles referring traffic on subsequent visits to their websites.
  2. Do you have any idea how that particular visit will be classified in Google Analytics?
  3. When it comes to revenue and cost, it is critical to understand how referrals are generated.
  4. Sure, you’ll want to know how many visitors are coming from each referring site, but for many webmasters, knowing the exact amount has little influence on their earnings or payments to other websites.
  5. If you were to charge some partners for traffic that you were sending from your site to theirs, or vice versa, this would be an example of revenue sharing.
  6. And, depending on your individual circumstances, the statistics might be completely erroneous.
  7. When a visitor comes to your site from a referring source, the utm z cookie is changed to include the referring source’s information in the URL.

This value will not be overwritten by Direct Traffic.

Direct Traffic will not overwrite the value stored in the utm z cookie.

Exactly What Does This Mean to You I’m quite aware of what you’re thinking.

And what in the world does that mean to me, exactly?

Consider the following scenario: you have a relationship in place where another website pays you for visitors.

You review your statistics for the previous month and note that you sent 500 visitors to partner A.

Okay, so you contact them to see how the relationship is progressing and to ensure that they are receiving the same amount of visits that you are receiving.

The check will be issued as soon as possible.

What is causing such a significant discrepancy between your partner’s reporting and the data you are seeing for yourself?

If, for example, you are sending outbound clicks to partners through a redirect that collects a variety of crucial data, you may want to consider using this technique.

You know you are recording all outbound clicks to the partner website when you see this message.

You are tracking clicks away from your site, to be sure, but your partner’s analytics package is also recording those clicks, in addition to any return visitors that are not referred by a link.

The visit will appear as a visit from the original referring source if they leave that site and return back to it (by putting the url directly into their browser or by bookmarking it) (your website).

And if they repeat the process, it will be a total of three trips.

Three visits were made in response to your single outbound click in this example!

This would result in more than one visit per user, and the number of visits to your website might be skewed as a result.

Allow me to clarify this by doing an experiment below.

In the basic example that follows, I created a webpage on a second domain that connects to a landing page that I created just for this experiment on my own website, which you can view here.

Afterwards, I utilized numerous computers I have here with fresh browsers to first view the referring website that has a link to my new landing page, and then I clicked through to the new page.

That would be visit number one.

However, even though I’ve entered the site under “Direct Traffic,” the referring website should, in principle, appear as the source of traffic.

Last but not least, I would search for a term that my website ranks for and then click on to the website.

Let’s have a look at the findings of the experiment in the section below.

Initial Consultation In the first instance, I went to the second domain and followed the link to my website.

A Second Appointment (Directly Visiting the Site) After that, I exited the site and returned via Direct Traffic to my computer.

Also, take note of how exactly it classifies me as a “return visitor”: 3.

Google Analytics reveals that the visit originated from the same source as the first one: 4) The fourth visit, this time from the search engine Finally, I looked for my own name on Google and went to my own website.

That’s all there is to it.

For those of you who read this piece who are either making money from referral visits or are required to pay partners based on visits, you may be frantically reloading your Google Analytics dashboard in order to rerun your statistics.

The decision on how you handle the matter is entirely yours.:) What You Can Do – The Importance of Having a Clear Objective If you do get into a partnership in which you are either making income by pushing traffic to other websites or paying for traffic from other websites, then both parties must be well aware of the terms of the agreement.

Let us consider the example of Google AdWords for a moment.

And, by the way, the vast majority of partners will not provide you with access to their reporting.

If you want to track outbound clicks, you may utilize event tracking in Google Analytics to keep track of those clicks and the sites or links from which those clicks are coming.

If you are getting traffic, you may ensure that the referring links contain querystring parameters so that you can determine which partner the traffic is coming from (and that it is not a typical referral from the site) by inspecting the referring links.

Summary – Using Google Analytics to Understand Visits I hope you found this piece, which explains how Google Analytics handles referred traffic, to be informative.

So now you understand why your visits may be more or fewer than you expect them to be, as well as how the utm z cookie influences what appears in your reports.

I’m willing to wager that you’ll never look at referring sources in quite the same way again. 🙂 Let’s hope you’re not the one who gets caught with your pants down. Good luck with your reporting.GG

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