A core tenant of Attribution.io is receiving web traffic and organizing it into easy-to-understand categories. This guide shows you how the platform parses your incoming traffic. Part 2: Organizing your Traffic discusses several features that will help you categorize and organize your traffic for transparency and ease of reporting.
The platform organizes your traffic based on several checks on the start of each users session. Let's take a quick look at each step.
The first check on new traffic is: does it have UTM tags? UTM tags are a great simple way to organize your traffic explicitly. If we ever see UTM tags we'll parse it accordingly, usually creating the source, campaign and link automatically, according to the utm_medium, utm_source and utm_campaign tags found.
UTM tags are a must for all traffic you can control: paid traffic, email traffic, and push notifications. This way you will be sure to always get credit for conversions and actions taken from these links.
Secondly, the traffic is inspected to see if it includes a
referrer http header. This value is passed with every pageview and says where the last page was, both from another site and on your own, for example from google or yahoo.
Referral traffic is commonly considered as: Organic (search) traffic, social network traffic and coverage in media/news sites.
Traffic with a referrer gets organized according to matching referrer lists. All accounts start with some default referral mediums and referrer lists to sort common organic and social sources like Google and Facebook. You can also sort traffic into paid referral sources(like ad networks or redirect servers). Untagged email traffic often shows up as referral traffic from a web-hosted email service like Yahoo or Gmail.
Finally, traffic that has no UTM tags and no referrer value is considered Direct traffic. This means your visitor arrived directly without following a link to your site, usually by typing the domain in directly, following bookmark or clicking from a link outside of the browser (like a PDF).
If your traffic routinely travels across domains, you can make sure that both domains are considered Direct traffic (instead of Referral).
Now that you're familiar with how traffic gets organized, take a look at how you can customize your account to organize your sites traffic: Part 2: Customize your Traffic