Technology September 4, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,042 Reads share

How You Can Make Use Of Google Acquisition Reports?

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If you are into online marketing to plan your marketing activities and generate traffic to your website you have to first understand how you are acquiring visitors to your website. Once you have the biggest traffic sources, you can have an idea of where to spend your marketing budget and time. You will get the information from the Acquisition section in Google Analytics.

Acquisition report overview

The acquisition report provides you with an insight on how your business is operating. It shows how you are acquiring users, how the users behave on your website, and who among them converts. You will get to know the top channels sending visitors to your website.

All traffic that interacts with your website has a point of origin. Google considers the following channels to find out your traffic source:

  • Organic search – the visitors who arrive at your site after looking at search results or other search engine results.
  • Paid search – visitors who came to your website after finding it from AdWords or other paid ads
  • Referral – visitors coming to your site from another site clicking on the link
  • Direct – visitors whose referral source cannot be traced
  • Social – visitors from the social network sites

Acquisition report overview

An overview report shows you a summary of the sessions by channel. You will not only understand where the majority of the traffic is coming from, it is also possible to comprehend whether the channels are attracting new visitors or the percentage is more that of repeat visitors.

The behavior table breaks down the bounce rate of each channel:

  • It helps to evaluate how users from different channels interact with the website.
  • It also help to explore the traffic source with high bounce rates. It indicates that the web-audiences are visiting a website but do not find it relevant. So, they are leaving without viewing more than one web-page.
  • Number of pages visited each time and the average duration of visit also help to determine whether the visitors from each channel are well engaged or targeted improperly.

Channel report

This is a detailed version of the Acquisition report overview. It begins with Acquisition, Behavior and Conversion for each of the default channels. It enables you to compare different channels from where you have gained visitors. However, you have more flexibility in this report to select how you can break the data down and how you want it to appear (that is in table or graph format).

Channel reportChannel report 2

All Traffic

As the name suggests, all traffic reveals the sources of all incoming traffic. Instead of separating the visitors from the social networks, search engine, or from the referral websites, the total number of visitors are listed. It helps you to locate the source from where most of your traffic is coming.

The data shown is broken down into source and medium. The “Source” is the specific URL of the website from where you are receiving visitors and “Medium” shows the kind of traffic- like organic and referral.

All Traffic

All Referrals

It leaves out the traffic from the search engine and other sources of direct traffic. It only shows the website domains (including social network channels) that have referred traffic to your website. Clicking on some of the domains you can see particular posts that are sending visitors to your website.

All Referrals


This is a great tool if you are running different campaigns to promote your website. With this tool you can determine the number of visitors coming to your website from specific campaign. The three parameters that you can track are the campaign source, its name and the medium. Other than that, the campaign section shows two optional parameters- Content and Terms.


This report breaks down the keywords that the visitors use to find your website. It considers both the organic and paid search. It helps to determine the keywords that are performing better on your site.


The example only shows organic keywords.

Cost analysis and AdWords

The cost analysis report shows the cost and revenue performance data for all the paid advertising campaigns. You can compare the revenue performance and the paid campaigns in order to find out the Return per Click, profit margin, and Return on Investment. From this part you will get an insight of how the paid campaigns are performing. You can connect this part with Google AdWords to see the visitors who click your campaigns.


The social section provides details about the social activities of your website. It allows you to derive the conversion value that is generated from the social channels. Not only the conversion value, you may know traffic from those specific networks from the report.


This section is further divided into seven more parts to offer more details. It is possible to find specific data from such reports.

Search Engine Optimization

The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) report offers information about the queries that have returned URL results from your website. The SEO reports in the Analytics help you to compare the clicks and impression for your site from the Google search engine to the other traffic source. You can derive the data from your Google Analytics report. You will also be able to identify the Google web search queries that drive traffic to your site.

The reports will provide following details about your site’s performance:

  • Queries that the users are typing to reach your site
  • Number of clicks that your website’s URL receive from the search result page
  • Number of impressions of your website in the search result page
  • Average position of your website’s URL in the search listings
  • Ratio of clicks to impressions for the website’s URLs

The Acquisition reports share a lot of information and give you a clear picture about which marketing tactics bring in most traffic to your website.

Images: ”LISBON – JANUARY 22, 2014: Photo of Google homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying


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Eric Haskell

Eric Haskell

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