I have been speaking about that “dreaded Direct” as a traffic source in Google Analytics for a long time, It was actually sparked because of a conversation with someone who was being trained to become a “growth hacker”, what she had learned was to see direct traffic in Google Analytics as “brand” traffic / typed in traffic. My first reaction was ‘no you can’t do that’, but now I had to figure out how to properly define direct traffic. Jump straight to the how-to fix Google Analytics traffic sources and channels here.
Here’s my simple definition;
Direct traffic is any pageview sent to Google Analytics without either a ‘http referrer’ or UTM tracking applied.Arnout Hellemans 2019
There are quite a few fixes some of which can be found in this deck on how to fix Google Analytics;
How to fix Google Analytics traffic sources and channels.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to fix Google Analytics traffic sources:
- One UTM naming convention
Create one single naming convention (and make them all lowercase)
- UTM tag all non http referrers
UTM tag your:
– Email campaigns
– PDF downloadable assets (case studies, spec sheets, whitepapers)
– OpenGraph URL’s
– Employee signatures
- Create a separate Google Analytics view
Make sure to set up a test view before you start messing about with channel groupings
- Set up channels
Set up channels to group the different traffic sources together for easier reporting.
- Finally set the default channel grouping in the same way
Make sure to overwrite the default channel grouping when you are happy with the new.