Direct traffic includes traffic from users accessing a website’s URL directly in their browser search bar, or through a bookmark or favorites list.
It also includes visits from documents not available in the search results or visits resulting from clicks from email messages in email managers such as Outlook, Thunderbird, etc., as well as from Social Network applications.
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Direct traffic as a measure of Branding
Direct traffic is directly related to brand awareness. Therefore, an increase in direct traffic is usually related to a greater number of users who access the web directly by typing the URL into the browser. However, to achieve a correct measurement of brandign, it will be necessary to debug that source and exclude incorrectly classified traffic.
How to improve direct traffic classification
One of the main problems presented by direct traffic in web analytics is that it is a source in which not only the visits of that channel are collected, but others that are not properly classified arrive at it.
Among the reasons why sessions are classified as direct traffic in Google Analytics we can highlight:
- Shortcuts from when typing the site URL in the browser
- Clicks from favorites
- Sessions from mail managers
- Links from documents (word, pdf, powerpoint)
- Clicks from websites developed with Flash
- Dark Social (social media apps)
- Traffic from https to http
For this it is essential to label these links with UTM parameters that will serve so that these visits are collected in their corresponding sources (Email or Social)
Google has the following tagging tools available:
- Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder serves to generate website URLs
- Google Play URL Builder serves to generate GOOGLE Play Store app URLs
- Campaign Tracking URL Builder for iOS serves to generate App App URLs