Everyone should have a Google Analytics Guru. Here's mine.
Make love? Direct Traffic? Really?
I am not kidding. Direct traffic contains visitors that proactively seek you out, everyone else you have to "beg" to show up on your site!
Yet this question seems to bedevil a lot of people:
As if that was not sad enough, even people who do know what the definition of Direct traffic is rarely focus on it or work hard to tease out the opportunity that exists in Direct traffic.
I love analyzing Direct traffic because it contains a valuable set of visitors who deserve more love than we currently give them.
I want you to be just as excited.
So let's look at the definition, to make sure we understand, at least on paper, what this traffic is supposed to be. We'll also look at the challenges that exist in ensuring we are looking at the real unpolluted Direct traffic.
Here is the simplest and cleanest definition:
Direct traffic contains all Visits to your website where in people arrived at your site directly (by typing the url) or via a bookmark.
Direct traffic is hence not traffic that results from people clicking on links on other sites to your site (that's referring urls traffic), it is not traffic that comes to your site by clicking on ads (that's Other in Google Analytics or Campaigns in other tools), it is not people who come from search engines (that is Search or Organic or PPC traffic).
The reason Direct traffic is a beloved of mine is that it represents (checkout the sweet contextual – red and green – numbers above):
Read more at www.kaushik.net
1. People who are your existing customers / past purchasers, they'll type url and come to the site or via bookmarks.
2. People familiar with your brand. They need a solution and your name pops up into their head and they type.
3. People driven by word of mouth. Someone recommends your business / solution to someone else and boom they show up at the site. Uninvited, but we love them!
4. People driven by your offline campaigns. Saw an ad on TV, heard one on radio, saw a billboard and were motivated enough to typed the url and show up.
[If you were really smart you would use campaign tagged vanity url so you can segment them!]
5. [Remember the part below, but.] Free, non-campaign, traffic.