SEO Glossary / Direct Traffic

Direct Traffic

What is Direct Traffic?

Direct traffic refers to visitors who arrive at your site by typing your URL directly into their browser. However, in Google Analytics, direct traffic also encompasses other types of traffic collectively known as dark traffic.

Sources of Direct Traffic

Direct traffic primarily includes:

  • Typed URLs: Visitors manually entering your website address into their browser's address bar.

Sources of Dark Traffic

Google Analytics categorizes the following as direct traffic, even though they are technically dark traffic:

  • Bookmarks: Visitors accessing your site via saved bookmarks.
  • Documents: Visitors arriving from documents containing your URL, such as PDFs or ebooks.
  • Messaging Apps: Traffic from messaging apps like Slack, WhatsApp, or email clients.
  • Broken UTM Parameter Tracking: Visits resulting from broken UTM tracking codes.
  • Improper or Broken Redirections: Traffic from URLs with too many redirections or improper redirection configurations.
  • HTTPS to HTTP Redirections: Traffic redirected from HTTPS to HTTP versions of your site.

Implications of Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is a valuable metric for measuring brand recognition and trust. High levels of direct traffic suggest that:

  • Brand Familiarity: More people are familiar with your brand and website.
  • User Trust: Visitors have confidence in your site and are actively seeking it out.
  • Engaged Audience: Your audience is engaged enough to remember your URL and visit it directly.


Direct traffic in Google Analytics includes both manually typed URLs and dark traffic from various sources like bookmarks, documents, and messaging apps. By understanding the components of direct traffic, you can better gauge your brand's recognition and the trust visitors have in your site.