In almost all cases, direct traffic refers to browsers who entered a URL directly into the web bar or accessed the site using a previously created bookmark. These types of sessions are normally read as direct traffic when the browser cannot determine a source for the visitor. This type of label simply means the visitor came from another source that wasn’t listed within the Google Analytics account. Whether you’re managing your search engine optimization yourself or consulting with a top-tier San Diego SEO agency, here’s what you need to know about direct traffic and Google Analytics.
Fixing Direct Traffic
The easiest ways to identify and fix direct traffic tracking within a Google Analytics account is to tag URLs that are used in campaigns. A good example would be tracking results from an email campaign. Simply add a tag to the URL that says “email,” and the visitor will show up under the right source. Google has a useful tool called Campaign URL Builder that can make the process very easy.
Noticing a Drop in Traffic
A sudden drop in traffic from one particular source could be a clue that traffic isn’t being categorized correctly. To determine the source of the problem, first make sure your website hasn’t been hit with a Google penalty or you don’t have some type of technical issue preventing visitors from accessing your site. Next, analyze other sources of traffic and look for sudden spikes in traffic. If you see a sudden spike in direct traffic, it means you haven’t lost that traffic. Those visitors are now categorized differently. A number of things could be causing this to occur, including a change from a non-secure to a secure HTTPS connection. If this is the case, the inbound links must be changed to match the new secure connection.
If you have any redirects within your website, always use server-side redirects. Perform regular audits to ensure these redirects are occurring successfully and as planned. The complex redirect road map can often lead to the removal of tracking tags from the links.
If you need help optimizing your Google Analytics tracking capability, turn to Saba SEO. As one of the leading providers of SEO in San Diego, we have been in the industry for almost fifteen years. Our services include website development, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management. To make the most of your online presence and Google Analytics tools, call us at 858-277-1717.