Direct traffic is a particular URL that people type in directly or through their browser bookmarks. Google Analytics and all other web analytics systems depend on the HTTP language of a header known as referrer which directs users to the relevant web pages. If the amount of direct traffic is higher than expected, the chances are that spammers have hit your Google Analytics account. But if the direct traffic shows up to ten percent of your data, then that’s a normal range, and you should not worry about it. Artem Abgarian, the Semalt Senior Customer Success Manager, believes that one of the best ways to reduce false direct traffic is tagging your campaigns and controlling the number of visitors on your website. With this process, the campaign traffic and direct visits will be attributed to the right source, regardless of where the traffic has come from.
What is Direct Traffic?
If someone typed the domain name into his/her browser and used the bookmark to access your site, then you will get direct traffic for sure. It’s important to remember that the direct sessions can occur anytime and your Google Analytics account will check if the direct traffic is legitimate or not. Some other instances include:
- Clicking on an email link depending on the service provider
- Clicking on the link of a Microsoft Office or your PDF file
- Accessing the website from the shortened URL
- Clicking on the link from the mobile social media applications such as Twitter and Facebook. Most of the phone apps do not pass the referrer information.
- Checking the non-secure sites (HTTP) and comparing them with the secure sites (https). In such a situation, your secure site will not pass the referrer to a non-secure website.
Direct traffic has the ability to encompass different sources, and the visits are always recorded in your Google Analytics account.
Fixes for the Direct Traffic
If you feel that the traffic your site is receiving is not up to the mark, one of the ways to address it adding the tracking parameters or tag URLs in the specific campaigns. For instance, you can easily prevent the traffic from referral spam by adding relevant parameters that ensure that all the sessions from a particular campaign show up as email in the Google Analytics account.
Explaining Direct Traffic to Your Clients
When you find that the direct traffic is on its rise, you should explain it to your customers with proper examples. Be clear and transparent about the fact that the data from any source could end up in direct buckets. You should adequately explain different scenarios that might result in Direct, such as the emails, search engines or backlinks with https websites. The chances are that this information will make your customer unhappy, but you should not cheat on someone and should pay attention to receiving organic traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
It’s true that direct traffic is the curse for analytics professionals. But you can take the right steps to deal with this problem and can satisfy your customers in a better way. Make sure you regularly check your Google Analytics account and keep an eye on the traffic sources.