Do you know which online sources are directing the best traffic to your website?
Keeping track of this data can help you determine the best steps to take as you move forward with your marketing strategy.
As we explore this information, it is usually necessary to filter the data to help us distinguish between the sources that are driving high quality traffic from those that are not.
Let’s begin by examining our basic filtering options within Google Analytics.
When we get into the acquisition section of our Analytics report, we can view all the online sources that are directing traffic to our website. While this gives us a general overview of where our traffic is coming from, we need to dig deeper to make use of the information.
Under the “Acquisition” tab on the left, select the “All Traffic” section and then click on the “Source/Medium” option.
If you want a basic view of your referral traffic then you can simply type in “referral” in the search box on the right hand side and filter the results to display all of your referral traffic sources.
At this point, your referral sources will be listed according to the number of sessions that it has generated. Skimming through the first couple pages of your results may reveal some sources that you want to exclude from the results.
For example, when I view the referral traffic sources for Convirza, a large referrer is our old https://www.convirza.com domain. Since the traffic that is being generated from this domain is simply being redirected to our new website it is not really a useful metric.
To exclude a specific source from your results, start by clicking on “advanced” next to the search box on the right.
This makes it possible to begin filtering your queries. As you can see in the image above, our only filter is currently referral traffic.
To add another filter, click on the “Add a dimension or metric” option.
Click on the “Dimensions” tab and select “source/medium.” At this point, you want to choose the “exclude” option that is located just before the “source/medium” section. The drop-down box just after this section should be set to “containing.” In the box at the end, type in the referral source that you want to exclude from the results.
For this example, I will use https://www.convirza.com. When you are done click the “Apply” button on the lower left-hand side to filter out the source. Your current results should now reflect this change and any traffic that came through that source will not be displayed.
There are a variety of filters that you can implement to sort the data in your report. By including or excluding specific metrics from the referral traffic report, we can determine our most valuable traffic sources.
For instance, sources that generate visits with a high bounce rate may not be the best channels to focus on. If we wanted to filter out these referral sources, we could click on the “Add a dimension or metric” button and click on the summary section and select “bounce rate” from the list.
Select the “exclude” option from the drop-down box before “Bounce Rate” and select “Greater than” in the drop down before the text box. Now add a number that you would like to exclude from the results.
For example, if we wanted to remove referral sources with a bounce rate of more than 50% from the results we would ad 50 to the box. Click apply to refresh the list with the new filter.
Your report should now only reflect referral sources with a bounce rate that is lower than 50%.
There are many other filters that you can use to modify your report so that you can view the data that will be the most useful to you.