Many brands and advertisers operating at scale struggle with messy tagging in their Google Analytics account. When you are running hundreds of marketing campaigns over a multitude of channels, it’s easy to run into trouble when tagging URL’s. And this leaves you with messy data. Luckily, Google offers the ability to create a “Custom Channel Grouping” which allows an advertiser to bucket inbound traffic to their liking regardless of campaign, medium, or source tagging!
To set up a custom channel grouping, go into the Admin < View setting of Google Analytics, open up the “Channel Settings” menu and then click on “Channel Grouping”.
Once you create a new Channel Grouping and name it, you can then start setting up the custom channels you want to report on. With the Channel Grouping, you now have the ability to bucket inbound traffic into custom channels based on over 20 different conditions along with or/and rules.
After creating all of the channel rules to your liking, the grouping can be saved and now used in Google Analytics reporting. Test it out by navigating to the “All Traffic < Channels” Report and select your Channel Grouping from the “Primary Dimensions” row as shown below:
You may have to go back to the Admin section and update the rules to define the Channel Grouping based on how this report looks. A common issue is for the “Other” channel to make up a significant portion of traffic. Click into this channel to gain more insight to the cause, then re-bucket the offending sources in the Admin section of your Channel Grouping.