How to set up Channel Groupings

If you’d like to customize how Google Analytics groups channels in your reports, you’ll need to set up your own Channel groups. In the “Channels” report in “All Traffic” under “Acquisition,” you can check your traffic sources using default channels like Organic, Social, Direct, Referral, and Display. But if you wish to label your traffic in other ways for analysis, Google Analytics lets you edit the default Channel Grouping, create a new Channel Grouping, or create a Custom Channel Grouping.

Channel Grouping configurations are set in the Admin section at the View level under Channel Settings. Here you can see a list of the Default and Custom Channel Groupings that exist. Clicking into the Channel Grouping will show you the list of channels and how they are currently defined using specific rules.

System channels are the default channels created by Analytics. Click the Edit icon to view the definition rules for that channel. Here you can rename a default channel, redefine rules for the dimension used to group the channel, define new rules, or change the display color for the channel to help organize your reporting.

For example, if the Google Merchandise Store wanted the Default Channel Grouping for Social to only include Google Plus and Facebook traffic, we could change the definition from "System Defined Channel” “ matches” “Social" to "Source” “contains” “plus.google.com or facebook.com."

Note that any changes to a Default Channel Grouping permanently changes how Analytics will classify that traffic for all future hits and will be visible to all users with permission on a view. However, no historical Default Channel Grouping data will be affected.

If you edit the Default Channel Definitions, you can go back to the original default settings by clicking “Reset channels” at the top of the list. However, this is not retroactive, so any sessions that occurred before you reverted to the default channels will still be classified with your prior channel definitions.

You can also create a new Channel Grouping by clicking the button at the top of the list. You can name and define the channel, similar to the way we edited the Default Channel Grouping. Note that when creating a New Channel Grouping, that it is applied retroactively to all the data you have collected based on the rules you’ve applied.

If you create a new Channel Grouping for a View, you can immediately see it in the Channels report by selecting it from the Primary Dimension drop-down menu. In Multi-Channel Funnels reports, your new Channel Grouping is also available in the Channel Grouping drop-down menu. 

You can create a maximum of 50 new Channel Groupings per view, which all users with access to the view will be able to see.

If you wish to create new channels that are only visible to you, you can go into the Personal Tools and Assets area of the Admin section and click Custom Channel Groupings. You can create the Custom Channel Grouping in the same way as the New Channel Grouping. Note that you can create a maximum of 100 Custom Channel Groupings per user.

After you have created and saved a Custom Channel Grouping, you can copy, delete, or share it directly with others. You can also share it in the Solutions Gallery. Note that when you share a Custom Channel Grouping, only the configuration information is shared. Your data remains private.
 

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