HubSpot sources | Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: September 6, 2018

Applies to:

Marketing Hub Basic, Professional, Enterprise

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What are the top-level sources?

  • Organic Search: Non-paid visits from recognized search engines, like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Referrals: Visits from links clicked on other websites.
  • Social Media: Visits from links clicked on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Email Marketing: Visits from tracking links in your emails. These links are automatically added to the emails you send from HubSpot. They can also be manually added using tracking URLs if you're using an external email system.
  • Paid Search: Visits from paid search ads that are either automatically identified by HubSpot or set by your own tracking URLs.
  • Direct Traffic: Visits to your website with no referring source or tracking URL. Usually visitors who type your website directly into their browser.
  • Other Campaigns: Visits from campaigns that are being monitored with specific tracking URLs other than those used for Social Media, Email, or Paid Search.
  • Offline Sources: This category does not apply to visits, but contacts and customers who originated outside of your website like those who are imported. In the sources report, Offline Sources is hidden by default.

How does HubSpot decide to categorize a visit into the right source?

  1. The first is by looking for a tracking URL, which is a parameter that can be added to the end of a link to your website. A tracking URL might look something like this:
  2. The second is by the referrer, which is information that is passed along when someone clicks on a link from another website to your website. The referrer is the original site that contained the link to your website.

How does HubSpot define the metrics displayed in the sources report?

You can see a high-level view of how your website is performing across several key metrics in the sources report. Hover over a specific date on the graph to see more details about the data recorded across all channels.

  • Sessions: a series of analytics activities taken by a visitor to your website. Activities include page views, CTA clicks, events, etc. A session expires after 30 minutes of inactivity. You can learn more about how sessions are categorized here.
  • Contact conversion rate: the number of contacts divided by the number of visits for the selected time period.
  • New contacts: the number of new contacts created in HubSpot divided by the number of new sessions for the selected time period.
  • Customer conversion rate: the number of customers divided by the number of sessions for the selected time period.
  • Customers: the number of customers who originally converted on your website during this time frame and are currently in the lifecycle stage of customer.
  • Bounce ratethe percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
  • New visitor sessions: the number of new unique visitors on your website.
  • New session %: the percentage of sessions that are from new users.
  • Page views/sessions: the average number of page views per session in the given time range.
  • Avg. session length: the average duration of a visitor's website session.

Why is a customer not showing up in sources for the month they converted?

  • Customers are reported in the sources report and the marketing dashboard based on the month they first became a contact in HubSpot, not the month in which they were converted from a lead to a customer. For example, if a contact is added in March as a lead and closed as a customer in July, they will appear in the sources report and dashboard for March under the Customer category.
  • This process lets you analyze your customer conversions from a closed-loop marketing perspective--illustrating what traffic sources were most effective at ultimately creating customers during a specific time period--to better focus your marketing efforts.

How often does sources update?

The sources report data updates every 20 minutes.

Why was there a sudden spike in direct traffic in my sources report?

There are several possible causes of a sudden increase in direct traffic in your sources report:

  • Filtered IP addresses were removed or changed. If an internal IP address is removed or internal users are using an IP address that is not currently blocked, direct traffic visits may suddenly increase.
  • Source Tracking is disabled for HubSpot emails. To check this:
    • Navigate to Content > Content Settings
    • Click Marketing Email in the left sidebar menu, then select the Tracking tab.
    • Under Source Tracking, ensure the radio button next to Add source tracking tags to all URLs is selected. Otherwise, HubSpot will not add tracking parameters to links clicked in HubSpot emails and resulting visits will be bucketed as Direct Traffic.
  • Emails were sent from a non-HubSpot email service that does not include tracking on links clicked in the email. Without any source tracking parameters, visits from these emails are bucketed as Direct Traffic.

How do I make a link for my campaign so that it appears in the correct source?

Your HubSpot tracking URL builder can help you generate tracking URLs with specific parameters to ensure that visits are bucketed in the correct source. Learn more about creating a tracking URL.

How do I block my visits to my website from being counted by HubSpot?

To prevent your own visits from being counted towards your website analytics, we recommend excluding traffic from your IP address.
  • Search on for your ip address. To block a range of IP addresses, reach out to your IT team to find out the full list of addresses to block. 
  • In your HubSpot account, click your photo or avatar in the top right-hand corner, then click Settings
  • On the left, select Install Code & Tracking.
  • Click the Advanced Tracking tab.
  • Add any IP addresses to filter in the IP Addresses to Exclude field and then click Save.

Learn more about IP filtering in HubSpot.

Which domains can I filter by in the sources report?

In the sources report, you can filter your report by the primary domains listed in your domain manager. A domain may be set as primary for blog posts, email, landing pages, or website pages depending on your product subscription.

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