More direct traffic in sources report than expected

Last updated: January 21, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic

If you've noticed more direct traffic in the sources report than expected, refer to the rules listed below. HubSpot will categorize visits and contacts as Direct Traffic if any of the following criterion are true:

  • Referral URL:
    • The referring URL of a visit is an identified mail domain or RSS reader.
    • The referring URL of a visit is empty because a visitor typed your website URL into their browser directly or the referring information is otherwise lost. 
    • The referring domain has SSL (https://), but your domain does not. In this case, the referrer is dropped and this traffic will be categorized as Direct Traffic.
    • The visit cannot be categorized under another source. 
  • Form submission:
    • A contact submitted a HubSpot form on a page without the HubSpot tracking code. The system recognizes that the form submission came from a website visit, but will not be able to categorize it without the tracking code on the page.
    • There is no usertoken being passed through the form submission. This can occur when using the Forms API or if cookie tracking has been disabled on the form.
    • The visitor who submitted the form has opted to not accept cookies from your site or ignored the banner completely. They must click Accept.  

If you believe that your traffic is still being bucketed incorrectly, navigate to your account settings. In in the left sidebar menu, navigate to Reports Tracking Code. Click the Cookie Policy tab and make sure the Use cookies switch is toggled on

Increases in direct traffic can also be due to internal traffic or internal domain setup. Learn how you can filter out internal traffic from your website analytics and learn how cross-domain linking could be causing an increase in direct traffic.