Reports

Understand HubSpot's traffic sources in the traffic analytics tool

Last updated: October 3, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic

When using the Sources tab in the traffic analytics tool, HubSpot categorizes different traffic metrics into sources. You can see this in your Sources chart and table.

Understand these sources, the drill-down data that HubSpot can provide for each source, and how HubSpot categorizes traffic into these sources.

You can see a list of these sources in the table of contents on the right by clicking the first section.

Definitions and drill-down data of each source

Each source has one or two levels of data that you can view. To drill down into these details, click the source in the table in the Sources tab.

Organic Search

Traffic bucketed under Organic Search comes from non-paid search results in known search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Click the Organic search source in the Sources table to view the keywords used in the search engine. When there are Unknown keywords (SSL), it is likely due to the search engine encrypting user data. For example, Google encrypts all search terms entered by their users.
  • Click a keyword to view the referring search engine, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Referrals

Traffic bucketed under Referrals comes from external sites that link to your website. HubSpot does not categorize visits from your added site domains as referrals, as they are not external sites.
  • Click the Referrals source in the Sources table to view the referrer domain that linked the visitors to your site.
  • Click a referrer to view the specific pages from the domain that links to your site.
    • A referring domain may have more than one page that links to your site.
    • If the page's link to your site has been removed, it remains in your referrals data as it is still historically accurate.

Social media

Traffic bucketed under Social media comes from social media websites or apps. An example is when a visitor shares your content or website on their social media account, leading to their connections to visit. 
  • Click the Social Media source in the Sources table to view the social media channels that led visitors to your site. HubSpot recognizes the following social media networks:
    • Facebook (HubSpot will also recognize "fb")
    • Twitter
    • Google+
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • Instagram (HubSpot will also recognize "ig")
    • Tumblr
    • Pinterest
    • SlideShare
    • Digg
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Sphinn
    • MySpace
    • Propeller
    • Mixx
    • Fark
    • Tip'd
    • Triiibes
    • LiveJournal
    • Technorati
    • Slashdot
    • Ning
    • Orkut
    • MyBlogLog
    • Metacafe
    • Meebo
    • Squidoo
    • Wikipedia
    • Flickr
    • Slide
    • Plurk
    • BlogCatalog
    • Delicious
    • Knol
    • links.hubspot.com
    • FriendFeed
    • HootSuite
    • CoTweet
    • Seesmic
    • Quora
    • Xing
    • Vimeo
    • HackerNews
    • Qq (includes traffic from the subdomains: xw, mp, mail, and feeds of qq.com)
    • Zhihu
  • Click the site to view if there were campaigns related to the social media shares. This is derived if the URL contains the "utm_campaign" parameter. HubSpot's social publishing tool automatically adds this parameter if there is a campaign associated to the post.

Email marketing

Traffic bucketed under Email marketing comes from HubSpot marketing emails or emails that used the "utm_campaign" parameter in the URL the visitor used to arrive at your site.
  • Click the Email marketing source in the Sources table to view the campaigns. These values are derived from the "utm_campaign" parameter in the URL. HubSpot's marketing email tool automatically adds this parameter when the email is associated to a campaign.
    • The value "hs_email" is the default campaign value for HubSpot marketing emails sent without being associated to a campaign.
    • The value "hs_automation" is the default campaign assigned to automated emails sent through workflows.
  • Click the email campaign to further view the name of the email, derived from the "utm_content" parameter in the URL the visitor used to arrive at your site.
    • The "utm_content" parameter is added automatically for emails sent through HubSpot.
    • If the HubSpot email that the visitor used to arrive at your site has been deleted in HubSpot, the email's internal ID will be displayed instead of its name.

Paid search

Traffic bucketed under Paid search comes from paid search campaigns (e.g., Google AdWords).
  • Click the Paid search source in the Sources table to view the paid search campaigns specifically. This is derived from the "utm_campaign" parameter in the URL.
  • Click a campaign to view the search term that led the visitor to your site. If the URL is from a content network like AdSense, the data will be grouped under Content Network (AdSense or Other). If the keyword cannot be identified, the data will be grouped under Unknown Keywords SSL.
    • HubSpot usually derives the search term for the Paid search bucket from the "q" parameter in the visitor's URL.
    • To identify this parameter, view the First Referring Site property value in the contact record you want to check for.
    • In the URL, identify the "q" parameter. This is the search term. If the "q" parameter is empty, HubSpot checks for the value in the "utm_term" parameter. If both parameters do not exist or have no values, the keyword cannot be identified.

Paid social

Traffic bucketed under Paid social comes from a paid social campaign.
  • Click the Paid social source in the Sources table to view the social media channels that contributed to this source. This is derived from the "utm_source" parameter in the URL. HubSpot recognizes the following social media networks:
    • Facebook (HubSpot will also recognize "fb")
    • Twitter
    • Google+
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • Instagram (HubSpot will also recognize "ig")
    • Tumblr
    • Pinterest
    • SlideShare
    • Digg
    • Reddit
    • StumbleUpon
    • Sphinn
    • MySpace
    • Propeller
    • Mixx
    • Fark
    • Tip'd
    • Triiibes
    • LiveJournal
    • Technorati
    • Slashdot
    • Ning
    • Orkut
    • MyBlogLog
    • Metacafe
    • Meebo
    • Squidoo
    • Wikipedia
    • Flickr
    • Slide
    • Plurk
    • BlogCatalog
    • Delicious
    • Knol
    • links.hubspot.com
    • FriendFeed
    • HootSuite
    • CoTweet
    • Seesmic
    • Quora
    • Xing
    • Vimeo
    • HackerNews
  • Click the social media channel to view its campaigns. This is derived from the "utm_campaign" parameter in the URL.

Direct traffic

Traffic bucketed under Direct traffic do not have an indication of their source. Typically, these are people who typed the URL directly in their browser, or removed all query parameters before entering a site. You can click the Direct traffic source to view the entrance URLs for these visitors.

Other campaigns

Traffic bucketed under Other campaigns usually comes from tracking URLs created in HubSpot.
  • Click the Other campaigns source in the Sources table to view the campaign. This is derived from the "utm_campaign" parameter in the URL.
  • Click a campaign to view the values for "utm_source" and "utm_medium".

Offline sources

Traffic bucketed under Offline sources comes from offline sources. This appears if you select the Include offline sources checkbox in the Sources tab.

However, because these metrics come from offline sources, they will not have certain metrics, such as sessions. Click the Offline sources source to view the source drilldown data of the new contacts.

How traffic is categorized into each source

HubSpot follows a set of rules to categorize traffic into a specific source, and checks the full page URL and the referring domain, if available, against these rules. They are applied in this order:

Order Rule Source
1 The referring domain is considered internal traffic based on the listed site domains in reports settings. None
2

The "utm_medium" parameter is “social” and the "utm_source" contains a name of a recognized social network.

OR

The "utm_medium" parameter is "social" and the referring domain is a social media site.

Social media
3 The "utm_source", "utm_medium", "utm_campaign", or "source" parameter contains the word “email”. Email marketing
4

The "utm_medium" parameter contains "paid," "ppc," or "cpc", and the "utm_source" parameter contains the name of a recognized social network.

OR

The "utm_medium" parameter contains "paid," "ppc," or "cpc", and the referring domain is a social media site.

OR

The "utm_source" or "utm_medium" contains "paidsocial".

Paid social
5 The "utm_source", "utm_medium", "utm_campaign, or "source" parameter contains the word “adword”, “ppc”, or “cpc”. Paid search
6 The "gclid" parameter is present, as it is the Google click ID. Paid search
7 The "utm_source", "utm_medium", or "utm_campaign" parameter is present and the referring domain is google.com. Paid search
8 The "utm_source", "utm_medium", "utm_campaign", or "source" is present and does not contain the words “email”, “adword”, “ppc”, or “cpc” Other campaigns
9 Referring domain is a social media site. Social media
10 Referring domain is a search engine. Organic search
11 Referring domain is not a social media site or search engine. Referral
12 Referring domain is a mail domain or RSS reader. Direct traffic
13 No referring domain or tracking URL. Direct traffic

Please note: these rules are case-sensitive and may require lowercase utm parameters to be bucketed correctly.