Larry Linson

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My client's direct traffic exploded: 17 on March 31, 142 Today. Should I be exploring something?
 

Dan Foland

SEO Director at Postali
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Any time I've experienced this it has been due to an attribution issue. Have you seen a correlated decrease in users from other sources such as organic search, referrals, etc.?

Google Analytics gives you data that should help you figure out what's happening. I would look at what country the traffic is coming from, bounce rate, time on page, device, operating system, browser, conversions, etc.
 

Digitaldar

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Does your client send a newsletter? Often I find the newsletter software is not connected to Google Analytics and therefore comes in as direct.

Alternatively you could look at cities from which direct traffic is coming and see if they appear relevant. Entry pages?
 

aggiejulie12

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When nailing down direct traffic, I've had the most luck with the following metrics:

1) Network Domain Name
2) Time of Day
3) Landing Page

This information coupled with what you know about your client's business and their marketing efforts (i.e. did they send out an email around that time, did you receive traffic from a country you're not targeting, etc.) should help you narrow it down.
 

Larry Linson

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Does your client send a newsletter? Often I find the newsletter software is not connected to Google Analytics and therefore comes in as direct.

Alternatively you could look at cities from which direct traffic is coming and see if they appear relevant. Entry pages?
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question about a spike in direct traffic. My client does not do a newsletter, but he did a Facebook post and a "boost" ad. On that day of direct traffic spike he also had a huge number of visits from Facebook.
 

Eric Rohrback

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I agree with @aggiejulie12 - look at the landing page and if you can tie that back to the FB post boost, then you've got your answer. Whenever traffic can't be attributed to a source/medium, then it defaults to "Direct/(none)" in GA. Unfortunately, "Direct" also includes a good amount of FB app users, since the click from the app simulates a browser opening and typing in the address.

Any time you share anything on social media, use UTM parameters to make sure it gets attributed correctly.

Read more about "Dark" traffic from FB app here. - this should help clear up what you're seeing.
 

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