Google Analytics Channels Defined for Hospitality
Use this page to understand the meaning of the Channel names used in Google Analytics’ “Channels Reports”. Analytics separates web site visitor traffic into categories called ‘channels’, based on how the web visitor found your web site.
These definitions are specially tailored here to be relevant to analysis of web sites in the outdoor hospitality industry, specifically the RV campground industry.
Primarily the visits from top search engines to your web site, after a consumer does a search on the web using their search query words (which become ‘keywords’). The search query reveals what the user is thinking of, or searching for.
Organic search terms often include your property’s name and sometimes the whole URL (web address like www.nameofpark.com). Either they didn’t know the exact URL, or they just typed the web address in the search box by mistake.
Visits to your web site where the consumer typed your exact, correct URL address into the browser field for URLs. This means they already had your web address in hand from another source. Direct traffic would then come from off-line advertising like camping directories, brochures, club flyers, or the person is a repeat customer so they had your URL written somewhere. Maybe from prior correspondence.
2017 Note: Google counts visits as Direct when there is no tracking information attached to the visit/session. A new thing has happened on the internet, HTTPS. Secure web site servers ‘strip away’ private information including prior web sites. Recently TripAdvisor.com and Yelp.com have converted to HTTPS, so visits from those sites are now called Direct. Privacy issues beat us on this one.
Referral traffic is the segment of traffic that arrives on your website through another source, like through a link on another domain. Analytics automatically recognizes where traffic was immediately before arriving on your site, and displays the domain names of these sites as the referral traffic sources in your reports.Important in this channel are advertising services that you paid for. If you have paid for advertising on a web site and it does not appear on Analytics’ Referrers list, the web ad has not caused visits to your web page.
Social Media web sites are listed under Referral traffic, even if you have paid ads there. Social Media traffic can be separated out using other Analytics reports.
Traffic to your web page from Google AdWords, and sometimes other advertising services like Bing, Yahoo, ReachLocal and more. Google does not often include their competitors as Paid Search, rather the other ad services will be listed in the Referrals channel. Sometimes the other paid searches are listed as Other on the Channels report.
Visits to your web site by clicking a link in an email sent to a consumer, via an email service which allows for tagging in Analytics. Requires an email service like MailChimp, Constant Contact, IContact, and many others.
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