Actually useful attribution info
How many articles have you read about marketing attribution this year? Lots. How many made a great case for the importance of it? All is them. How many made your feel behind the times? Most. How many gave you even a single really actionable step to get better? ("Buy my SaaS!" doesn't count) Three? One? None?
This article from Moz is hands-down the most useful resource I've found on improving marketing attribution this year. It takes something most of us take for granted -- Direct traffic to our websites -- then demystifies it, gives you ways to sort out what's not really Direct, and helps you make use of what's left.
Here are a few parts I found helpful
- In Google Analytics, "Direct" is just a label for traffic for which the origin is unknown. It's the catch-all end of an If:Then chain. This means there are lots of ways to find attributable traffic from within those sessions.
- If your site is still http, any session referred to it from an https site will lose its referral information and be labeled Direct. Just another reason to make that migration.
- If there's a GTM error on a landing page on your site, any second-page views will be recorded as a new season. And, because GA by default has your own domain on a referral exclusion list, that false second session is labeled Direct.
- Not all traffic we traditionally think of as Direct is labeled as such. For example, is a user discovers your sure through organic search, leaves, then starts a new session via Direct within the campaign timeout period (six months by default!) that session is labeled as Organic.
It's a long article, and these are just a few of the really helpful things it mentions. It's a rare thing to stumble across a marketing article that can make your immediately better at what you do, so I highly recommend checking it out.