How to Use Acquisition Reports to Improve your Campaigns?

Learn how to detect the strategies that provide the best results and make fundamental business decisions.

- 6 Minutes read

Google Analytics is a very useful tool for both e-commerce and physical stores to check the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and strategies. This web analytics tool allows you to observe trends, origins or user behavior on the web as well as access to conversion and business metrics.

In these reports we will see information about all the media of acquisition of users and we will see how the traffic behaves according to the form of acquisition.


This report provides an overview of how users are being acquired. These groupings can be configured per view:

  • Direct: the user has typed in the URL of your site directly or has clicked on a bookmark link and accessed your website. Google also uses this channel to include all traffic that does not know where it comes from. For example, imagine that a user clicks on a link sent to them by WhatsApp. Google will read that the user has signed in directly because it has been shown directly in the browser, although it is not really direct traffic but referral traffic.

  • Organic search: a user has made a search in a search engine and has accessed your website by clicking on a search result.

  • Social: the user has accessed the website through organic content (or at least not correctly labeled with UTM).

  • Email: user has accessed through a click on a link found in the body of an email.

  • Affiliates: this includes users who have accessed your website through a link on an affiliate page. For example, if you display your products on price comparison sites such as Idealo or Kelkoo and a user clicks on one of these links, they will appear as an affiliate.

  • Referral: user has clicked on a link on a third page that Google does not detect as a social network and has led him to our website.

  • Paid Search: user has clicked on a paid link in a search engine

  • Other advertising: user has clicked on a link which contained as a ppc medium but did not indicate the type of content.

  • Display: user has clicked on a Display ad such as a banner or video.


As you can see, in this report there’s one dimension and two metrics possible. The dimension is the acquisition channel, the metrics (top left) are shown as main: they determine the size of each “square”. In the case of the example they are the income generated by each acquisition channel. Secondary: determines the color, the greener the higher. In the case of the example it is the e-commerce conversion rate.

This example is very enlightening. It can be seen that by number of revenues the best channel is the paid search channel, but by quality of traffic the best is “Other”.

Source / Medium

This report is the most useful for any ecommerce manager. Unlike the previous report where all the traffic sources were grouped under various criteria, in this report are the exact metrics of each source.

Imagine you have three active search campaigns that are giving very good results, one on Bing and two on Google. If you analyze the results in the channel report, you will see that Paid Search works efficiently, when perhaps only the Bing Ads campaign is successful. You will be able to detect this in this report and not in the previous one.


This is traffic from links pointing to the website from third party domains. Here you will find social network traffic as well. If you are using a link-building strategy you can evaluate the quality of your links.

All Campaigns

In this report you can see the results of all the campaigns that have been active during the selected time period and have provided traffic to the website. This report is extremely useful to analyze which have been the most successful marketing actions.

Imagine that your strategy during the first quarter of the year has consisted of a campaign on Google Shopping, an Affiliation campaign and an email marketing campaign. In this same panel you will see the real performance of each campaign and you will be able to compare the quality of the traffic that each one has provided.

If you use very similar nomenclatures for each campaign, you could add as a secondary source/medium dimension to avoid any confusion.


Other reports in Campaigns

The information obtained from these three reports is more limited. Even though they are still important.

Paid Keywords

In the case of Google Ads keywords you will be able to see them with their different matches, in the case of third party platforms we will see the word that is tagged in UTM as utm_content.

Organic Keywords

You will only see keywords from search engines other than Google. This is a useful report if we have a good amount of traffic from search engines like Bing as you will see which search terms are the most profitable.

Cost Analysis

Information on this tab will be available from the moment you upload information regarding costs of campaigns on third-party platforms.

You should remember it is vital to tag all the campaigns carried out outside Google, that is, in other search engines or in social networks outside Google, since these are automatically tagged (with the gclid tag. This sorting will allow you to clearly observe the performance of the campaigns, as well as give you important data such as the quality of traffic in each campaign