What’s going on when Direct traffic goes up or down?

What’s going on when Direct traffic goes up or down?

Written By Felix Chi - August 5, 2014

One of the largest sources of online traffic for many brands comes from “Direct” visits to your website. Direct traffic is one of the few metrics that gives you insight into how your branding is actually doing in terms of your marketing efforts. The problem that many people run into when they see drastic increases or decreases in Direct traffic is figuring out what happened and its cause. Here are some helpful tips on how to analyze the change in Direct Traffic.

Campaign Annotations

One of the most under-utilized features of Google Analytics is the annotation tool. If you’re launching any campaigns or ads, it’s crucial to make annotations to gauge their performance. Utilizing the annotation tool helps keep things organized and may answer any questions as to what caused the change in traffic. It’s best practice to annotate when you run print, radio, or television ads due to outside forces influencing the amount of direct traffic to your website. Determining which external ad that can’t be tracked with parameters usually makes for big changes in Direct traffic.

Landing Page Analysis

You should also be studying what landing pages people are arriving onto directly. Your homepage more than likely will be the highest visited page opposed to your internal pages. If there are any other URLs that are generating large amounts of traffic, you’ll want to figure out what is causing traffic to be directed to that particular URL. You’ll want to compare different date ranges to see if the traffic fluctuation is being caused to these internal URLs instead of the homepage.

Traditional Advertising

External forms of traditional advertising play a major role in the fluctuation of visitors coming to your website directly. Be aware of the bumps in traffic that can result when using direct mailers, billboards, radio ads, newspaper ads, and the like. Also note how much of an increase the advertising created for organic and possibly even direct traffic. You will generally see a rise in both direct and organic traffic when running traditional advertising, but, forecasting how much of an increase the traditional advertising makes to Direct traffic helps demonstrate how a specific change in ads may have performed.

Location of Users

Getting information about fluctuations is difficult, but one of the best areas to look for answers is analyzing where the visits came from. You may be targeting a specific city heavily and wonder why direct traffic may have dropped after all the effort you’ve put into that market. When looking at a breakdown of locations, direct traffic may have increased in visits in that targeted location.  However, the overall drop of visits outside that target market accounts for the bigger drop in direct traffic.

Device Trends

The rise of mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones is occurring dramatically. One way to get more insight about your direct visitors is observing what type of device they are using when typing your website into a browser. If you’re running physical banners or billboards on the highway, for example, you could see a major increase in mobile visits for that particular month due to people driving in their car and using their phone (we don’t recommend). لعبه القمار Another example commonly seen is when there are increases in brand mentions in an online article or announcements of partnerships but there are no links listed for your site. The lack of a link online is often the culprit of people directly typing in your brand name into their browser with  “.com” at the end, causing the direct traffic to rise via desktop.

URL Parameters

We LOVE tagging our links with parameters and highly recommend using them, because it gives you insight about which campaigns drove the most traffic and conversions. Unfortunately, sometimes tools like Google Analytics are confused about what to do when a parameter is used in a URL. شراء يانصيب اون لاين If Google Analytics doesn’t know how to handle a specific parameter, you’ll usually see it appear under “Direct traffic.” It’s a great exercise to see if there are any odd URLs that contain parameters that fall into the Direct bucket. It is common to see a successful piece of content fall into Direct traffic due to sharing via social media. The reason is simple: we are social beings and we take links we find on social media platforms and share them directly with others via any chat program or e-mail. When the user visits the link we share, there could be a parameter in the URL. However, Google Analytics will designate that user’s visit as Direct instead of using the parameters defining its source or medium. كيفية اللعب في bet365 It is also possible for certain tools and applications to cut off parameters at the end of the URL and record those visits as Direct.

Organic Traffic

Recently, Search Engine Land conducted a study to test how much of Direct traffic was actually being accounted for as Organic traffic. The study determined that as much as 60% of Direct traffic might actually be misrepresented as Organic traffic. We don’t recommend you running this test, but it’s something that you should be aware of.

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