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How To Find Referral Traffic In Google Analytics

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PPC and SEO campaigns are the main areas of focus for digital marketers when trying to bring targeted traffic to a website. At Eurawest, we pay rigorous attention to the keywords we are performing for and bidding on, to the point where we frequently overlook some of the other methods that people reach us with.

Moreover, in Eurawest, we spend a significant amount of time examining the results of PPC campaigns and organic search data. Yet, how carefully do we watch over Recommendation Reports?

If you don’t regularly check the channel of Eurawest, you might be missing out on traffic that originates from links you’ve collected from other websites, including localized business listings, media mentions, and other sources. When considering how to rank websites in the SERPs, Google frequently simply takes links into account as a means to a goal. But, these website links may actually be directly boosting its traffic.

Eurawest will go through how to view Referral Reports in Google Analytics and a few more methods to use that data to better guide your online marketing choices in this article.

What Reports on Referrals Google Analytics’ Measure 

Referrals feature displays websites that “directed” visitors to your website by having them click a link. In most cases, this category does not include visits from advertisements or results from natural search.

When assessing Referrals, it’s important to consider both the volume of overall traffic and the contribution of that traffic to site engagement. To determine how much time users are spending on the site and how many pages they are reading, consider the Pages/Session and Avg. Session Duration metrics. In order to determine how successfully these sites are helping you achieve your company objectives, look at conversion data.

What You Should Know About Referral Reports

Referral Reports may give you a wealth of knowledge about the methods your internet marketing tactics are using to bring visitors to your website. Also, you can pinpoint issues with your data tracking.

Monitoring Social Media Activity

The ideal approach to compile statistics from social media platforms is through Google Analytics Social reports, but social traffic should also be included in the Referral Report. Here, you may quickly compare social media sites’ performance to that of other websites.

For instance, you’ll be able to determine whether a local business directory listing you once acquired is sending more genuine traffic than a Twitter account that demands hours of daily care (this may also be a comment on your social media engagement approach, but that’s for another subject).

Moreover, you can observe traffic coming from the same platform coming in several instances at slightly different URLs. For instance, both and can be seen in the sample we provided. The Address represents traffic coming from a link mask, a redirect that verifies the security of the destination URL. 

Also, you can notice, which represents traffic coming from Facebook’s mobile website. In summary, be mindful that Facebook referrals alone don’t provide a whole picture of the site’s traffic.

Assessment of Business Listing Sites

Referral Reports can demonstrate the effectiveness of local directory listings or company alliances in boosting website traffic and conversion rates.

This information can be used to assess which company relationships are most effective at bringing in customers who are genuinely interested. On the other hand, it can also highlight areas where paid listings aren’t generating a return on investment or are driving unqualified traffic.

How to Spot Spam Traffic

Despite the value of Google Analytics, spam referrals have grown to be a major issue that deliver hundreds of bogus Sessions and skew data in all reports. In order to optimize your statistics and make sure you’re viewing the most correct info possible, the Referral Report can assist you in identifying these invalid visitors to your website.

You should establish a Segment that excludes these Referrals when viewing the most recent data and a Filter that excludes them going forwards in order to examine the data in the most accurate way possible.

Using Referral Reports to Identify Organic Search Traffic

The most of organic search traffic will be listed as “google/organic” in the Source/Medium report, but some organic traffic may also end up in the Referral Report. Look at, for instance, in our sample report. A chunk of Bing search traffic now ends up as a Referral rather than a Bing/Organic Visit due to Bing’s move to search encryption. Some less popular search engines, like DuckDuckGo, will also appear here. might occasionally appear in your Referral Reports. While you could mistakenly believe that this is Google’s organic traffic, it actually primarily refers to traffic to Google’s non-search properties. For example, Google Groups forum postings with links will receive traffic from the domain.

You can use this to gain a fuller view of your organic search presence outside of Google. If you’ve been putting effort into communicating in Google’s forums or on other websites, it can also be helpful. Other Google websites’ traffic will appear in the Referral Reports under the domain rather than as organic search traffic.

PR Placement Measurements

You frequently get a link back to your website when your PR efforts lead to an online publication highlighting your business. Your Referral Reports will include traffic from these connections, enabling you to assess the contribution of PR activities to the value of your online presence. Google Analytics can assist with making the connection between online activity and PR, even if PR may require offline actions.


You may gauge the effect of social media engagement, PR appearances, company listing websites, and other websites making reference to your own using referral reports. You may assess how successfully each site helps your bottom line by taking a look at visitor volume, user engagement, and target completions. While incoming links provide value to a site’s online presence in other ways, those that send referral traffic may have a tangible effect on the bottom line.

To discover high-performing contributing sites on which to concentrate future efforts, you should ultimately integrate Referral Data into your analytics information disclosure. With the use of this information, you may more precisely identify links originating from important websites, underperforming websites with promise, and reduced listings that might not be worth maintaining. 

Referral traffic is important in content marketing because it will help you determine and know your website engagement, online presence, revenues and others. 

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