Why do I have more Direct Traffic than expected?

Last updated: December 12, 2016

Available For:

Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

HubSpot categorizes visits and Contacts as Direct Traffic based on the following rules:

  • Referral URL:
    • The referring URL of a visit is an identified mail domain or RSS reader
    • The referring URL of a visit is empty (a visitor typed your website URL into their browser directly or the referring information is otherwise lost - for example, see this article for an explanation of "dark social" -
      • Also, if the referring domain has SSL (https://), but your domain does not, the referrer is dropped and this traffic will be categorized as Direct Traffic.
    • We are unable to categorize the visit under another source based on the referring URL.
  • 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 'Disable cooking tracking' is set to Yes within a HubSpot form's options.
    • The visitor who submitted the form has opted not to accept cookies from your site.

If you believe that your traffic is still being bucketed incorrectly, navigate to Reports > Reports Settings > Privacy Policy to ensure that cookies are enabled.

Also, please note higher Direct Traffic can be, at least partially, your very own internal traffic or internal domain setup. Please click here to learn how you can filter out internal traffic from your website analytics, and click here to learn how your cross-domain linking could be causing higher Direct Traffic than expected.