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I don’t know about you, but I’m not always good at remembering things.

For the longest time, I could never remember the difference between a traffic source and traffic medium inside Google Analytics.

Until the day I decided I would figure out a way to remember.

If you’re into stories like I am, I promise you’ll never forget the difference between a traffic source and traffic medium again, after you read this story.

Don’t believe me?

Then keep on reading.

TLDR;

  • A source always has a name. Like Facebook, Google, Twitter.
  • A traffic source usually has many traffic mediums; for example, if the source is Facebook, the medium could be: post, cpc, bio.

Remember, a traffic source always has a name

This story is about a guy named Jimmy.

Jimmy was a cool guy, until the day he got locked up.

Jimmy was a fun, wide-eyed, and friendly kid who wanted to be rich, but he didn’t start out with that dream.

You see, Jimmy was poor, his friends were poor, and everyone he knew was poor.

But for the longest time, he never realized he was poor.

He didn’t care because Jimmy was all about making friends and having fun.

Until one day, Jimmy saw a guy in his neighborhood driving a red Ferrari.

red ferrari guy in expensive suit

Guy and red Ferrari

Jimmy stared and wondered, who is that guy, and how do I become like that?

So Jimmy asked the guy, who replied with:

“Come work for me, and I’ll make you rich kid.”

The next day, Jimmy started dealing drugs for this guy. In a matter of weeks, Jimmy climbed the ranks and made more money in a day than his entire household made in a month.

And because Jimmy was all about making friends and having fun, his boss used Jimmy as his main dealer at big parties that were packed with celebrities, models, DJs, athletes, and actors.

Needless to say, these parties were a gold mine for Jimmy’s boss to push his drugs. But instead of exposing himself, he used Jimmy as his source.

Jimmy was now rubbing shoulders with people he’d only dreamed of. Jimmy was happy because he was hanging with his new friends, and was having fun.

Until the day, Jimmy got locked up. The end.

The difference between a traffic source and traffic medium

If you can remember this story about Jimmy, you can remember the difference between a source and medium.

Jimmy is the source; the drugs he sold are the medium.

The source is where the medium comes from, and a traffic source always has a proper name like Facebook, Youtube, Morningbrew, Jimmyswebsite.
A traffic medium is the format of the traffic. For example, post, videodescription, email, banner.

Viewing these examples as a source/medium in Google Analytics would look like this:

  • Facebook/post
  • Youtube/videodescrption
  • Morningbrew/email
  • Jimmyswebsite/banner

If you can remember the source, the rest is easy

Next time you try to remember what a source or a medium is, think of Jimmy and remember: He was the source.

Now over to you, will this story help you remember the difference between a source and medium?

Do you use any stories or mechanisms to help you remember things like this?
Please share in the comments below, I’d really love to know.

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