An overview of sources that direct traffic to your site

The user-friendly Google Analytics reporting interface tracks the traffic pattern to your site from emerging two broad referring sources – organic and paid. Organic campaigns can originate from unpaid search engine results link, referral from some other site like a blog as well as direct traffic. On the other hand, paid campaigns can be attributed to AdWords, relevant paid search engine keywords, or non-Adwords providers’ paid ad campaigns.

Once a user arrives at your website from one of the above mentioned sources, visit of that user gets tagged with a campaign tracking cookie as originating from that specific source. Subsequent visits to your website from other sources like from a paid search engine link, Adwords link, or banner ad, will by default override the earlier campaign cookie data.

In such a scenario, the visit will appear in your traffic reports as attributed to a different source. A direct traffic visit, which follows a referred visit, will not override any existing campaign.

As we’ve checked in one of our previous blogs, for all those important Google Analytics reports that matter so much to you, the Dashboard will serve as a facilitator or interface. As we have already followed, a large graph will allow you to select a piece of important data for your site traffic. You can expand it to check about visits, overall pageviews, pages/visit, average time user/s spent on your website, bounce rate as well as % new visits. Apart from these aspects, Traffic Sources reports are equally important.

It is important to follow the basic aspects of customizing the various elements comprised in the Traffic Sources segment of the Google Analytics reporting interface.

The vital Traffic Sources segment consists of the various reports that offer an overview of the various types of sources, which direct traffic to your website.

  1. The graph displays traffic trends – the pie-chart and tables indicating what exactly is driving the traffic trends.
  2. ‘Direct Traffic’ denotes visits from users who have clicked a bookmark for arriving at your website or those who have directly typed your site URL into their browser.
  3. On the other hand, ‘Referring Sites’ indicates visits from users who have clicked to your website from another source site.
  4. ‘Search Engines’ suggests visits from users who have clicked to your website from a result page of search engine.

All Traffic Sources

  1. How do users referred from top search engines, websites as well as tagged links compare to your site’s ‘average’ visitor? The graph denotes the overall trends whereas the table will show the specific sources like search engines, websites, tagged links etc driving the trends.

Direct Traffic

  1. How do the users who have clicked a bookmark to arrive at your website or those who have typed your site URL into their respective browser compare to your site’s  ‘average’ visitor?
  2. Direct traffic can comprise visitors who are recruited via offline campaigns, including print and television.

What are the other important aspects of the Traffic Sources segment? We shall check them in the next post.