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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have some blog pages that receive search engine traffic, but are also linked-to in the sidebar of most of my pages.  When I look at these individual pages in Behavior->SiteContent, and add a secondary dimension of Source, I can see that they get some Direct traffic.

 

 

  1. Are the Direct traffic sources all coming from inside of my site?
  2. Can I determine my internal URLs which are providing these Direct source of traffic.
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Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Direct traffic is traffic whose referral source is not known by GA. The below is a good guide and explains it in detail.

 

https://www.optimizesmart.com/geek-guide-direct-traffic-analysis/

 

So, to answer your questions:

 

1 - No, or at least it shouldn't, unless you're using utm tracking in links on your own site. Traffic is attributed to Direct when GA can't identify its source.

 

2 - You can see what pages Direct traffic lands. Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages. You can also see previous pages related to Direct landing pages, just make use of Referral Path. SO, what you can do is - create a segment filtering in Direct only, then go to the Landing Pages report, and once there apply Referral Path as secondary dimension.

 

Hope the above helps.

 

 

 

 

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

When I do what you suggest, EVERY referral path is set to "(not set)"- for every page of my site with Direct set as the segment.  That can't be what I'm looking for.

 

What I'm trying to determine is which URLs on my site the user was on before they navigated to each of my Landing Pages.  So if my Landing Page were:

 

www.mysite.testpage.url (30 direct visits)

 

I want to see the URLs on my site that the user was on before they clicked on a link to the above address:

 

www.mysite.pagewithlink.url (15)

www.mysite.pagewithlink2.url (15)

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

This is because Direct traffic is just a way of GA saying that this traffic is unkown - I hope the post I linked to has been read. As a result, if GA can't determine the source of traffic it by consequence can't say what the previous path was, which makes sense.

 

To sum up:

 

1 - A landing page in GA is the first page viewed in a session, that is the page on which users landed when they arrived on your site. To view the page previous to a landing page is to use the Referral Path dimension, but this won't work for direct traffic, as explained.

 

2 - To view pages users were before a specific page, that is how users are navigating on your site, you can make use of the Behaviour Flow report within Behaviour. You can change the dimension to Source/Medium, for example, then click on Direct to highlight the paths users took from this specific source/medium.

 

Hope this helps. 

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

It looks like Behavior Flow is what I'm after.  So is there a way to isolate a particular page on that report to see what URL on my site the user is coming from when they access a particular page?

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

Click on the page node and choose Highlight traffic through here

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Except for the Landing Page, all of my layers after that either say "Not Set" or "Page Grouping".  I need to somehow identify the individual pages but can't seem to get that to happen through any of the menu options.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Brad P
July

Determining a Direct Source of Traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

For anyone reading this, the solution is to use the Navigation Summary report.  You can get there through Behavior->All Pages.  Then select Navigation Summary in the tab.

 

From there you can specify a page to inspect, and see whether the traffic to that page is coming in directly, or from a page on your site.

 

This is exactly what I was looking for.