Understanding the channels report in GA


It is always nice to have thousands of visitors making their way to your site each month. But do you know how they are getting there? Knowing the routes that valued customers use is key when refining our marketing strategies and that’s where the channels report comes into play.

What is the channels report?

Channels in Google Analytics reporting software are high-level categories that show how your visitors made their way to your site. The report data is broken down into the various default channels such as direct, organic search, social, email, affiliates, paid search, ads (CPC etc.) and display ads. Using this broad data can give you a better idea of what channels to focus on.

Where to find it

To find the channels report, you first need to log into your GA4 account. You’ll then look for the acquisition tab and find the option for all traffic. After that, you’ll see the link to the channels report.


Using the GA4 channels data, you will be better equipped to make some decisions regarding your traffic sources. This could make all the difference when it comes to your marketing efforts. There’s no point in throwing good money after bad at something that isn’t working and probably never will for your product.

Which channels are performing well for conversions?

It isn’t only the traffic figures that emerge from each channel that are important. You also need to know how those users are performing—so to speak. Conversions of various types are the goals laid out by your marketing strategy and it’s imperative to know if visitors from a specific source actually complete those conversions.

Which need to improve?

Pinpointing the stars of the conversion show will not only show which sources of traffic perform well. In addition, you’ll be able to see those that don’t and perhaps need to be removed from the plan for the moment. You can always go back and reintegrate different channels at a later date.

Which channels are losing / gaining traffic?

Some channels may have once been a big deal for your model and have started to slope off in recent months. Use the channels reports to identify where the problem started and how to fix it. The reasons why traffic begins to fade over time are varied. Some can be improved with a simple fix while others may need a more detailed plan of attack to boost them back into action.

You might even decide that it’s time to give up on some marketing efforts. Display ads, for example, might not be right for your model and will never work with your customer base. Understand your customers and their intent and then focus on a channel that delivers results.


The GA4 channel reporting tools may seem a little high-level for those looking to dig down further into individual behaviour. But on a broader scale, it could be a fantastic weapon in your arsenal. The immediate cost savings from ditching an underperforming marketing stream could be put to better use elsewhere.