| 4:22 pm on Jul 19, 2013 (gmt 0)|
Do you mean this:
Step 1) Visitor enters your site through a forum page (which DOESN'T have google analytics tracking code).
Step 2) Same visitor then goes from a forum page to a non-forum page (that DOES have google analytics tracking code).
If so then I thought they would be considered "direct" traffic. At least that is what I thought.
But really, you should put the google analytics code on your forum pages, too.
| 8:49 pm on Jul 19, 2013 (gmt 0)|
I was thinking along the same lines because that's definitely how piwik works. It means you have to put the tracking code even on pages you're not particularly interested in, so that people moving to or from these pages will stay in your analytics.
Which is why sooner or later everyone caves in and starts using include files ;)
| 10:39 pm on Jul 19, 2013 (gmt 0)|
|If so then I thought they would be considered "direct" traffic. |
"direct" traffic is an HTTP Request without a Referer: header.
it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of analytics.
it's not something that you can influence as a webmaster.
GA will show traffic sources from many pages that do not have GA code installed.
for example, i doubt bing search pages have GA code installed...
| 1:24 am on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)|
I don't know about the OP, but what I'm describing is what I've directly and personally witnessed. There are areas of the analytics report where they classify referers-- www site, search engine and so on-- but there's also a rough sort by entry page. If you enter the site on a page that doesn't have analytics installed, then the first page that does have analytics will be shown as your entry page, and it will be called a direct entry.
| 3:20 am on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)|
"direct entry" must be piwik's terminology but that doesn't equate to the accepted meaning of a direct (vs referred) visit.
if your log files have recorded a Referer then your analytics should be able to see that, regardless of the presence of analytics on the referring page.
| 4:14 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)|
|If you enter the site on a page that doesn't have analytics installed, then the first page that does have analytics will be shown as your entry page, and it will be called a direct entry. |
I'm with phranque on this. Even if the initial entry page doesn't have analytics installed, the browser would still pass the Referer to the next page, the page with analytics installed.
| 11:03 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)|
I did not know that (among other things).
Thanks for the explanation.
| 1:36 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)|
|the browser would still pass the Referer to the next page, the page with analytics installed |
The referer for page 2 is page 1. The browser doesn't tell page 2 who the referer was for page 1. That's what analytics are for.
| 5:02 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)|
or the server access log...
| 5:31 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)|
Well, sure, but if you've got a fully developed log-wrangling routine of your own, what do you need analytics for?
Don't know about GA but there's a recently released alternative form of piwik that works from your logs instead. Haven't tried it-- mainly because it would probably duplicate what I'm already getting out of logs. And logs by themselves can't show some of the interesting stuff, like how much of your internal navigation really gets used, or where people go when they leave your site. Sooner or later everyone must leave*-- but when they do, I'd just as soon they go where I send them ;) Besides, it means they don't bounce right back to the SERP, so that's good all around.
* Unless you've got one of those interactive sites that people keep open all the time in one tab, so they never "leave" unless they turn off the computer. That would apply to some forums.