Glossary keyword - Direct traffic

Direct traffic

The term direct traffic refers to an instance of a user directly entering a specific webpage by pasting the URL into their browsers or by using a bookmark. So to put, direct traffic happens anytime the Google Analytics tool cannot find another channel or source which the traffic has come from. 

This type of direct traffic is different from the traffic that comes from other channel groups like social, email, referral, paid, and organic search results. This type of traffic can also be direct traffic that users have gone through to reach the website.

Types of direct traffic

There are many forms of direct traffic. Ways to achieve direct traffic would be to click an untagged link from some email. Entering a link via a PDF document or a Microsoft office. Depending on the URL shortener, opening a website through a shortened URL. In most cases a mobile application like Twitter or Facebook will not pass on information like a reference, hence clicking on a link from these apps may pass on as direct traffic. 

In some instances, if a user is entering a non-secure website through a link that is hosted on a secure site, the website with the security feature will not be passing the referrer data to the non-secure one. For example, if a user clicks on the link “httpS://somewebsite.com (“S” is written in bold to show a secure website) to enter http://somewebsite.com, the analytic data for HTTP without the security will show the link as a direct traffic. There might even be a case where the organic search click may be registered as direct traffic due to some issues regarding the web browser. Some research shows that more than half of the traffic reported sometimes ends up being shown as direct traffic. 

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