2023-05-16 | Article | Insights
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) finally provides Custom Channel Groupings that allow you to categorise your traffic sources in a way that makes sense for your business. This article explains what Custom Channel Groupings are, why they are important and how to create them in GA4.
Custom Channel Groupings are a way to categorise your website traffic sources based on your business needs. By default, GA4 provides a “Default Channel Grouping” of predefined channels, such as "Organic Search", "Direct" and many more. These predefined groupings do not always align with your business goals and strategies, which is why Custom Channel Groupings are so valuable.
Custom Channel Groupings allow you to understand where your traffic is coming from and how it is performing in a way that aligns with your business goals. This is especially important for businesses that have unique acquisition strategies or sources that cannot be easily categorised using the predefined "Default Channel Grouping". If you have custom combinations of source and medium, GA4 groups this traffic into "Unassigned". This makes the analysis of your channels and ROIs more complicated.
Custom channel groups can be used in any report that supports default channel groups as the primary dimension. This includes Acquisition reports where custom channel groups can be used as primary or secondary dimensions. In addition, custom channel groups are available as dimensions in custom reports, explorations and when creating conditions for audiences. This provides more flexibility for analysing and understanding traffic sources and user behaviour on your website or app.
You can create a channel group by copying an existing group and making changes. If you have not yet created any groups, start with a copy of the default channel grouping. If you have already created other groups, you can start with a copy of one of these groups or with a copy of the standard group.
Navigate to your GA4 Account and select the GA4 Property you want to create a Custom Channel Grouping for. Go to the “Admin” section and select in the property column “Data Settings”. Click on “Channel Groups” and then “Create new channel group”. Name your Custom Channel Grouping.
5. Create / Update the channels.
6. Click “Save” to save your Custom Channel Grouping.
If you open the channel groups, you can:
Note that traffic is added to the first channel whose definition matches the current order of channels in the group.
Custom Channel Groupings in GA4 are a valuable tool for businesses to understand their traffic sources in a way that aligns with their business goals. By using Custom Channel Groupings, companies can make data-driven decisions to optimise their acquisition strategies and improve overall performance.