Utilize Referrals in Google Analytics To Boost Your Display Campaigns

Display advertising allows you to reach a specific audience with a message that will be seen by their browsers. Look at the analytics for your display campaigns, and identify where people are clicking on your ads so you can better use Google’s reporting tools to optimize future campaigns. en

Referrals are a powerful tool in Google Analytics. They help you to measure the success of your display campaigns and provide insights into which marketing channels are most effective. Read more in detail here: google analytics referral.

When I’m establishing a Display campaign to raise awareness among a new audience, I prefer to go as detailed as possible with my targeting. Before I consider extending my reach to a larger audience, I want to attempt to acquire as many hyper-relevant users as possible. This is my mindset because I want to figure out what works first before putting more money in my plan. Not only will I save money on advertising, but I’ll also have more money to experiment with alternative targeting approaches.

I’d want to test a customer match campaign if possible. Customer matching may be incredibly successful, but not every marketer has access to a large email database. If customer match isn’t a possibility, one of my favorite places to begin is using Google Analytics referrals. If external sources of traffic have already done the hard work of bringing in fantastic consumers, let’s use PPC to bring in even more. Allow me to demonstrate.

Take a look at your highest-converting referral sources.

Go to the Acquisition report in Google Analytics and then to Referrals. We’ll see a list of all the traffic sources that have sent visitors to your website here. The referral report in Google Analytics will initially be organized by the number of sessions, but I’m going to explore elsewhere first. I’m going to order by the most completions first in the objective completions column. This will enable me to determine which referral sources have had the greatest results with my present audience.


There’s a rationale behind the red check marks. We’ll see these connections again in the near future. You may also use filters to exclude URLs you’re already acquainted with (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). Change the date range a few times once you receive your list of results to check whether the converting placements have a consistent tendency of converting. If you like the conversion trend, export your list of referral sources that lead to target completions and proceed to AdWords.

In AdWords, investigate each referral source.

When it comes to investigating references, you have two alternatives. You may start by using the Display Planner feature in AdWords. If a source may be utilized as a location, the Display Planner will provide further information about it. When adding new direct placement targets, I like to go into my new ad group straight immediately and look for the referral source for faster feedback. 


The sites I mentioned in the first portion of this article may be discovered in AdWords as direct placement possibilities. I can also check what sorts of Display ad formats the placement supports so that I can generate the appropriate assets for each one. Finally, I look at the number of impressions each week to get a sense of traffic volume.

What Happens If None of My Converting Referrals Are Placement Eligible?

That is an excellent question. If none of your top-converting referral sources appear as placements, add them all to Display Planner. Google will analyze the sources and provide you with the most relevant sites for direct placements in your Display targeting.


If none of the suggested locations in the Display Planner results appeal to you, try establishing a bespoke affinity audience. To test an interest-based targeting option, combine your converting referral URLs into a combined audience. Custom affinity audiences target individuals who have already shown interest in the websites you’ve recommended. You may still use your top referral traffic for Display, even though it’s not as precise as a direct placement and you’re not establishing a remarketing list from other websites (which doesn’t exist).

Make a campaign Increasing Public Awareness of New, Relevant Traffic

It’s entirely up to you how you want your Display campaigns to be structured. Remembering that daily costs are determined at the campaign level will help you decide whether to combine all new placements into one ad group or separate them into separate campaigns. I’ve kept all of my placements in one ad group for the time being. Then, if I see that particular sites are doing considerably better, I’ll separate the placement into its own campaign to keep expenses under control.

placements in single ad group

This section’s title now reads “new traffic.” This isn’t a remarketing campaign I’m conducting. My Display advertisements are designed to reach out to visitors who have never visited my website before. To keep the data clean, build audiences for prior site users and add them as campaign exclusions. This will keep your remarketing and awareness audiences apart in the same campaign, allowing your ad message to stay relevant throughout the buyer’s journey.

Begin generating more traffic.

Demand isn’t created by a search effort. It can only meet the demand that exists in the globe. While display ads may not provide you with the immediate results you need, a well-planned display campaign may boost the amount of consumers looking for your brand, goods, or services. Not only PPC, but all of your search channels will profit from more people searching. Google Analytics provides you with the data you need to identify untapped resources for new clients who have previously converted on your website. Find the greatest traffic sources for your site and leverage those new sources to raise brand recognition and create a relevant audience.

Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding your website traffic, but it’s not always the best at measuring referral traffic. Referrals are an important source of traffic that you need to understand better. The “google analytics referral vs social” is a blog post by Google that talks about how to use referrals in Google Analytics.

Frequently Asked Questions

How referrals work in Google Analytics?

A: Referral is a type of advertising where one user refers another to the website, usually for money. The referral gets credit for the person who referred them and if they sign up through their link then it counts as an additional conversion on your analytics report.

How do I increase referral traffic in Google Analytics?

A: You can increase referral traffic in Google Analytics by implementing the following two strategies. This is a pretty common thing to do, and not just for marketing purposes.

What is referral traffic on Google Analytics?

A: Referral traffic is the number of people that came to a website because another person told them about it. It’s important for websites to understand how many visitors they attract from referrals, where these visitors come from and whether or not those visits lead to conversions.

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