Brand and Generic Channels

Better classify your paid search queries

Set up Brand and Generic Paid Search Channels in Google Analytics to separately analyze the performance of your brand and generic paid search keywords, which may have radically different performance metrics.

Brand keywords tend to have: Generic keywords tend to have:
High CTRs Low CTRs
Low CPCs High CPCs
A high number of last-click conversions A high number of assisted conversions

Use Brand and Generic Paid Search Channels to get a more accurate understanding of how your brand and generic keywords work together to drive conversions.

To get started: Complete the 3 main setup components for each view (profile) in which you want to use this feature.

1. Identify and enter your brand terms

Use the Manage Brand Terms section of the Admin page to enter terms used to find your company or products, including trademarked terms. Analytics uses your list of entered terms to analyze all paid search queries. If the search query itself isn’t available, Analytics looks at your paid search keyword instead.

Any query/keyword that contains one or more of your active brand terms will be labeled Brand and will be included in the Brand Paid Search channel you’ll set up in the next section. Similarly, any query/keyword that contains no active brand terms will be labeled Generic and will be included in the Generic Paid Search channel you’ll set up in the next section.

Keep the following information in mind when thinking about which terms to include:

  • Add misspellings of your brand.
    Example: For google, add misspellings like gogole or googel.
  • Don't add variations in capitalization because the terms are case-insensitive.
    Example: Google and google are treated as duplicates.
  • Don't add pluralizations because this feature uses contains matching. This means that if a brand term appears anywhere in a search query—even within another word—then the query is labeled Brand.
    Example: adword matches both adwords and google adword.

Follow these instructions for each view in which you’d like to use Brand and Generic Paid Search Channels.

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account at www.google.com/analytics.
  2. Click the Admin tab at the top of the page.
  3. Use the Account, Property, and View drop-down menus to navigate to your desired view.
  4. Click Channel Settings, and then click Manage Brand Terms.
  5. Review the Suggested brand terms section. Click Add to add a suggestion to your Active brand terms list, or click X to permanently remove the suggestion.
  6. In the Enter brand terms text box, type or paste additional terms that describe your brand, then click the Add brand terms button to add these terms to your Active brand terms list.
  7. Click the Save button.
2. Create new channels in the Default Channel Grouping

After adding brand terms, most users will be prompted to allow Analytics to create two new channels in the Default Channel Grouping. Follow the pop-up instructions to finish creating the Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search channels.

Any changes you make to a view’s Default Channel Grouping are visible to all users of the view.

If you've previously modified the default Paid Search channel, you can manually update your Default Channel Grouping to include two new channels: Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search.

To manually create Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search channels:

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account at www.google.com/analytics.
  2. Click the Admin tab at the top of the page.
  3. Use the Account, Property, and View drop-down menus to navigate to your desired view.
  4. Click Channel Settings, and then click Channel Grouping.
  5. In the table, click Default Channel Grouping.
  6. Under Channel Definitions, click Define a new channel, and create a Brand Paid Search channel:
    1. Select System Defined Channel in the first drop-down menu, then select Paid Search in the second drop-down menu.
    2. Click the AND button.
    3. Select Query Type in the first drop-down menu, then select Brand in the second drop-down menu.
    4. Click Done.
  7. Under Channel Definitions, click Define a new channel, and create a Generic Paid Search channel:
    1. Select System Defined Channel in the first drop-down menu, then select Paid Search in the second drop-down menu.
    2. Click the AND button.
    3. Select Query Type in the first drop-down menu, then select Generic in the second drop-down menu.
    4. Click Done.
  8. (Optional). Rename the default Paid Search channel to Paid Search (unknown) by clicking the edit icon next to it. This channel contains paid search traffic for which there is no query or keyword to classify, e.g., (not set) queries.

Important: The rules are evaluated in order for each session, so keep your new Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search channels above the default Paid Search channel in the Channel Definitions list.

It takes up to 24 hours for data to show up in your Acquisition reports with the new channel names.

3. Create new channels in the MCF Channel Grouping

If you use Multi-Channel Funnels, you also need to create a Custom MCF Channel Grouping that includes two new channels: Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search.

Any changes you make to your MCF Channel Grouping are only visible to you, but you can easily share a template with other users.

You can create a Custom MCF Channel Grouping by using the shared template or by manually modifying a copy of the MCF Channel Grouping.

Option 1: Use the shared template to create new channels

Visit the following URL to create a new Custom Channel Grouping in one of your views: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=yjJyuJIrTy-Jc3RQJq7TIQ

Choose the view in which you want the new channels to appear. You can open the shared link multiple times to apply it to many views.

Option 2: Manually create new channels

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account at www.google.com/analytics.
  2. Open the Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions report (or most other MCF reports).
  3. From the Channel Groupings drop-down above the report table (next to the primary dimension options), select Copy MCF Channel Grouping template.
  4. Enter a name for your new grouping, such as Default Channels with Brand & Generic.
  5. Click Define a new channel, and create a Brand Paid Search channel:
    1. Select System Defined Channel in the first drop-down menu, then select Paid Search in the second drop-down menu.
    2. Click the AND button.
    3. Select Query Type in the first drop-down menu, then select Brand in the second drop-down menu.
    4. Click Done.
  6. Click Define a new channel, and create a Generic Paid Search channel:
    1. Select System Defined Channel in the first drop-down menu, then select Paid Search in the second drop-down menu.
    2. Click the AND button.
    3. Select Query Type in the first drop-down menu, then select Generic in the second drop-down menu.
    4. Click Done.
  7. (Optional). Rename the default Paid Search channel to Paid Search (unknown) by clicking the edit icon next to it. Click Done. This channel contains paid search traffic for which there is no query or keyword to classify, e.g., (not set) queries.
  8. Click the Save button.

Important: The rules are evaluated in order for each session, so keep your new Brand Paid Search and Generic Paid Search channels above the default Paid Search channel in the Channel Definitions list.

It takes up to 24 hours for data to show up in your Multi-Channel Funnels reports with the new channel names.

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