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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
If the visitor does return to your site in six months or less, the cookie will be maintained and it will be tracked under the previous site's source, not necessarily piled into the direct bucket. The lack of info about direct can make it a challenge do to analysis, but all is not lost. There are some things we can detect about the visit that doesn't depend on the source tagging, for example, geo- detection of the IP address to tell us what geographical area that visit came from. So let's take a look at this. Let's dimension by city and figure out which cities were the sources of our direct traffic.
Now let's say, for example, that we had sent our catalog where the URL was prominently displayed, and we think that a number of people may have typed in the URL directly after receiving this print campaign. In this case, we can switch on over to the Ecommerce tab and take a look at the amount of revenue that came from each of the cities based on direct traffic. Another thing that points out at us here is that we see in Houston, Minneapolis, and Dallas, even though Houston had the largest number of visits, it had the lowest amount of value, meaning from all the visits that came there, I collected the least amount based on direct traffic.
Now of course, I don't know for sure that this traffic came from this particular mailer, but if I'm willing to make that assumption, either based on the fact that I got little to no traffic from them before or I saw a spike right around the time that those mailers were sent out-- granted, this is not necessarily a precise data, but it's a lot information that I have before when we were just looking at one big lump some of direct traffic. However, it's obviously less than ideal, and we want to avoid this if possible by the use of proper tagging. We'll take a look later at some campaign tagging videos to show how we can avoid this problem and get much more precise metrics.
Direct traffic should be avoided whenever possible, but it's sometimes inevitable. With a little digging there are some insights that can be salvaged.
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