Google Analytics Part 3

Acquisition – Google Analytics

Carrying on with our series on Google Analytics we are now covering the basics of the Acquisition tab. We’ve previously covered the main homepage and the audience tabs in our previous articles.

The acquisitions area is one of the largest in Google Analytics and it covers a lot of areas. But to break it down very quickly, it shows where users have come from. What other sites or sources have directed the user to a website.

Acquisition Overview

The overview area like in most other tabs gives the most useful and relevant information, without the need to go searching. In this tab, it breaks down the locations to show what source is top. A site with good SEO will have organic search high as one of the main sources. A site which is investing heavily in advertising will show more non-organic searches being top. Sources are simply where a user has come from, be it social media or search engines.

The overview tab is very good to gather quick and easy to understand information. It helps direct future marketing plans and understand the users better.

All Traffic

Similar to the overview tab, the All Traffic tab of acquisition breaks down further where users have come from. Below is a bit more information on the areas that are covered in this section.

  • Channels – this is very similar to the acquisition overview section. It shows where the users have come from on a category level. Rather than breaking down the information into the exact sites that have directed users.
  • Treemap – The treemap gives a visual representation of where users have come from.
  • Source/Medium – Breaking down the Channels tab the source/medium section shows exactly what sites are directing the most amount of users.
  • Referrals – The referrals tab shows what websites are directing users to a site. This section ignores search engines. Giving better knowledge of what sites are currently providing links and sending users.

The All Traffic tab is very useful for understanding the users. It can really improve marketing plans and help provide knowledge on ROI (return on investment). For SEO purposes the referrals tab can shed light on what websites are linking through. This can be especially useful if unwanted sites are linking, as this can damage SEO reputation.

Google Ads

As we are going to cover Google Adwords in another future article I will keep this section brief. This section covers off how each campaign is doing. Basically showing what campaigns are bringing in the most amount of visitors. Breaking it down so far as to show the times at which these users come on to the site. Stay tuned for a future article on Google Adwords.

If you want a quick break down check out this article here.

Search Console

The search console is a very useful tool that anyone who runs their own website should set up. It’s a free service by Google that allows users to gain control of their website through search engines. Giving the ability to look at how Crawl bots are moving around the website and to see errors before they affect the website.

Identify landing pages on a site that has good clickthrough rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see but have trouble finding.

Identify search queries (keywords) for which site has good average positions, but poor click-through rates. These are queried for which pages get attention and improved content could lead to more visitors.


Social is a great tool to understand what social media channels are working best in terms of web traffic. Breaking down each social media channel and, how many users have come from that channel. It also shows information on how long those users will stay on the website and provide the best information on what channel is most valuable.

This is a very useful tool when developing a digital marketing plan. From showing which social media channels lead to the most conversions, through to which channels provide the longest view time. Helping develop where attention, time and resources should be invested to get the best yield.


The common misconception when it comes to campaigns is that it only refers to AdWords or pay per click. However, it accounts for more than that. It lists those sites which can lead users through to a website, such as directories. Yell and other directories can be classed as campaigns. It does also show how Adwords and PPC are doing.

Similar to the social tab, the campaigns tab of acquisition gives more resources into where investments could be made. If an unpaid Yell campaign is performing very well it may be worth investing more time and money into that campaign. These can all be very useful when developing a digital marketing plan.

Acquisitions overview

As with all these Google Analytic tabs, they all provide a great resource for researching. providing great physical data that can translate into improvements within a marketing plan. I found that Acquisitions is the most useful tab and should be checked every week. By understanding the users, better marketing towards those users and future users can be achieved.

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Check out our other Analytics articles here