What Is Not Considered A Default Medium In Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. It helps businesses and marketers to understand how their users are interacting with their online presence, so they can optimize their websites to improve user experience and increase conversions.

One of the key features of Google Analytics is the ability to track the source of website traffic through mediums such as organic search, referral, paid search, social media and email marketing. However, not all sources of website traffic fall into these default mediums in Google Analytics.

There are other ways people can find your website or interact with it that aren’t considered default mediums. Understanding these non-default mediums is important because they can provide valuable insights into how people are finding your website and engaging with it.

In this article, we will explore what is not considered a default medium in Google Analytics and why tracking these non-default mediums is crucial for businesses looking to improve their online presence.

What are Default Mediums in Google Analytics

An analysis of default mediums in Google Analytics reveals that these are pre-set sources of traffic that do not require any additional tagging or customization, serving as a foundation for gauging website performance and audience behavior.

Custom mediums, on the other hand, are used to categorize traffic from sources that are not covered by default mediums. These custom mediums can be created based on specific marketing campaigns or platforms, allowing for more precise tracking of user behavior.

Non-attributed traffic refers to visits where Google Analytics is unable to determine the source of the visit, such as when users access a site through a bookmark or type in the URL directly. While non-attributed traffic is not considered a default medium, it is still an important factor in understanding website performance and audience behavior.

Understanding the Importance of Tracking Non-Default Mediums

It is imperative to acknowledge the significance of monitoring alternative sources of traffic in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of user behavior on digital platforms. While default mediums such as organic search, direct, and referral are important for tracking website traffic, non-default medium examples like social media, email marketing, and paid advertising should not be overlooked.

Tracking these non-default mediums can provide valuable insights into user engagement and conversion rates across different channels. Benefits of tracking non-default mediums include identifying which campaigns or channels are driving the most traffic and conversions, optimizing marketing efforts by focusing on what works best, and ultimately improving return on investment (ROI) for digital marketing strategies.

By expanding beyond default mediums to track other sources of traffic, businesses can gain a more holistic view of how users interact with their website and improve overall performance.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is a critical aspect of website analytics that must be tracked for effective digital marketing strategies.

Direct Traffic refers to visitors who come to the website without going through any referral source or search engine, making it difficult to track their behavior.

To accurately monitor and improve direct traffic, marketers can use various techniques such as setting up tracking parameters, creating unique URLs, or leveraging Google Analytics.

Importance of Direct Traffic Tracking

Tracking direct traffic in Google Analytics is crucial for accurately measuring website performance and understanding user behavior. Direct traffic attribution refers to the number of website visitors who directly enter a website’s URL into their browser or click on a bookmark.

This data can provide valuable insights into how users interact with a website and what content they find most engaging. By tracking direct traffic, website owners can identify popular landing pages, measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and optimize their site for better user engagement.

Without accurate tracking of direct traffic, it is impossible to fully understand how users are accessing and interacting with a website, which can lead to missed opportunities for growth and improvement. Therefore, it is important to ensure that direct traffic tracking is properly set up in Google Analytics to get the most out of this valuable source of information.

How to Track Direct Traffic

One effective method for monitoring the number of website visitors who directly enter a site’s URL or click on a bookmark is to implement a custom tracking code that utilizes a unique parameter, such as utm_source, to identify and differentiate direct traffic from other sources.

To track direct traffic accurately, one should consider measuring offline marketing campaigns by assigning specific URLs or phone numbers to each campaign.

Additionally, tracking dark social sharing can help to understand the extent of direct traffic coming from social media platforms that are not easily tracked through traditional methods.

By combining these techniques with regular analysis of website traffic data, businesses can gain valuable insights into their audience’s behavior and preferences while also improving their overall marketing strategies.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is an important aspect of website analytics that tracks the sources of incoming traffic from external websites or links. This type of traffic is different from direct and organic search because it originates from another website rather than a user typing in a URL or using a search engine.

Referral tracking allows website owners to understand which external sources are sending traffic to their site, and how effective those sources are at driving engagement and conversions. Cross-site tracking techniques can help to identify specific referral sources even when they are not directly linked, allowing for more accurate attribution of traffic and conversions.

Understanding referral traffic is essential for optimizing marketing efforts and improving overall website performance.

Paid Search

Paid search is a crucial aspect of digital marketing, and therefore, tracking its effectiveness is essential. Proper tracking of paid search helps to determine the return on investment (ROI) on advertising spend, identify which keywords are driving traffic and conversions, and optimize campaigns for better performance.

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To track paid search accurately, businesses need to set up conversion goals in Google Ads and link their AdWords account with Google Analytics to gain insights into user behavior on their website.

Importance of Paid Search Tracking

Advertising campaigns can significantly impact website traffic and revenue, as evidenced by the fact that businesses that invest in paid search typically see a 200% return on investment.

However, it is essential to track these campaigns accurately to understand their effectiveness fully.

Utilizing tools such as Google Analytics allows for tracking of paid keywords and ad performance, enabling marketers to optimize their campaigns continually.

It also highlights the importance of balancing organic search with paid search for an effective digital marketing strategy.

While organic search has numerous benefits such as lower costs and higher trustworthiness, limitations of paid search include its cost and dependence on ad placements.

By considering both options in a marketing campaign, businesses can maximize their ROI while providing users with relevant content and increased freedom of choice.

How to Track Paid Search

Tracking the effectiveness of paid search campaigns is a crucial aspect of digital marketing, and there are several tools available that businesses can use to monitor their performance. Two other important channels to track are SEO and display advertising. When it comes to tracking SEO, Google Analytics offers valuable insights into organic search traffic, including which keywords drive traffic and how users interact with your website. Display advertising can be tracked through ad platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads Manager, where you can see metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions. It’s important to note that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are not considered default mediums in Google Analytics, so businesses should make sure they have proper tracking set up if they’re running ads on these platforms. To ensure accurate tracking across all channels, it’s recommended to implement UTM parameters on all external links leading back to your website.

Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are widely used by businesses to engage with their audience and drive traffic to their website, but they are not considered a default medium in Google Analytics.

While social media analytics can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and engagement on these non-traditional marketing channels, it is important to understand that Google Analytics only tracks website data.

This means that any traffic coming from social media platforms will be recorded as ‘referral’ traffic rather than directly attributing it to the social media channel itself.

To accurately measure the impact of social media on website performance, businesses must integrate additional tracking tools or utilize social media analytics tools for a more comprehensive view of their online presence.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a popular digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional emails to a targeted audience with the aim of building brand awareness, nurturing leads, and driving sales. As such, it is not considered a default medium in Google Analytics.

However, email metrics can be tracked using various tools such as UTM parameters or specific tracking codes within the email campaign itself. Email campaign analysis allows businesses to monitor open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) to optimize their email marketing efforts and drive better results.

By analyzing these data points, businesses can gain insights into what works best for their audience and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of non-default mediums in Google Analytics?

Non-default mediums in Google Analytics include email, social media, display ads, and referral traffic from non-search engine sources. To track these, custom campaign parameters must be added to the URL for each medium.

How can tracking non-default mediums benefit my website’s performance?

Tracking non-default mediums can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance, allowing you to identify which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions. Best practices for analyzing this data include setting clear goals and regularly reviewing metrics to optimize campaigns. By doing so, you can unlock new opportunities for growth and maximize your online presence.

Can non-default mediums affect my website’s search engine optimization (SEO)?

Tracking non-default mediums in Google Analytics can positively impact SEO by providing insights into which channels drive the most traffic and conversions. This information can inform optimization efforts and improve overall website performance, leading to increased organic search rankings.

How can I identify non-default mediums in my Google Analytics data?

To identify non-default mediums in Google Analytics data, custom channels can be used. Understanding the impact of these non-default mediums on conversion rates is crucial for optimizing website performance. A concise and technical approach can engage an audience seeking freedom from suboptimal website performance.

Are there any limitations to tracking non-default mediums in Google Analytics?

Although tracking non-default mediums in Google Analytics can provide valuable insights, there are limitations to consider. Best practices include properly tagging URLs and regularly reviewing reports for accuracy. It’s important to note that default mediums cannot be tracked as non-default.


Google Analytics provides a tool for tracking website traffic and analyzing user behavior. Default mediums are the sources that Google Analytics recognizes automatically, such as organic search, referral traffic, and direct traffic. However, there are several non-default mediums that are equally important to track in order to understand the complete picture of your website’s performance.

Direct traffic is not considered a default medium because it does not provide information about how users arrived on your site. Referral traffic refers to visits from other websites, while paid search includes any form of advertising on search engines. Social media and email marketing are also important non-default mediums to track because they can drive significant amounts of traffic to your site.

In conclusion, understanding both default and non-default mediums in Google Analytics is essential for gaining a comprehensive understanding of user behavior on your website. Think of it like a puzzle – each piece represents a different source of traffic or campaign that contributed to the overall picture. By tracking all the pieces, you can gain insights into what is working well and where improvements can be made.

So take the time to examine all aspects of your site’s performance in order to make informed decisions about how to optimize it for success.

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