This article is part 2 in a 3 part series about understanding & customizing your Attribution app model, please be sure to check out part 1 prior to reading and see part 3 after.

To begin, not all companies are created equal and for this reason you may not want to attribute certain touches in your model. 

Here we will discuss how you can account for direct traffic to suit your business needs. 

One of the first things you'll want to know is what type of business you're in, SaaS, eCommerce, or SaaS with a trial period. 

Direct vs indirect traffic: 

There are two primary types of traffic to be aware of, direct and indirect.  

Indirect traffic comes from your advertising campaigns or search channels like Google, Bing, or Yahoo while direct relies on the visitor making an effort to visit your site.  

To be more specific, in Attribution app direct traffic is considered any of the following

  1. Type-In Traffic - when someone simply types in your URL from memory and visits your site. It is truly the only real "direct" way for them to get there.
  2. Bookmark Traffic -If a user has your site bookmarked, no referrer information will be provided in the request.
  3. Email Traffic - Emails with links to your site will not be tracked back to the email if you do not include tracking parameters. You should always provide tracking parameters in the links you include in your emails. Learn how to create filters for these campaigns here
  4. Document Link Traffic - If you have links to your site embedded in a document such as Microsoft Word, or a PDF, there will be no referrer and therefore the visit will be segmented into Direct Traffic unless you include tracking parameters.
  5. Secure to Non-Secure Site Linking - If your site is insecure (http) and the visit is from a secure site (https) the referrer will not be passed from the secure site and the visit will look like Direct Traffic.
  6. Links from Native Mobile Apps (like Facebook) - If a visitor clicks a web link in a mobile app, such as the news feed in the Facebook native mobile app, the app will not pass along referrer information and it will appear that it is Direct Traffic.

Model customizations: 

Now let's talk about how you can manage direct and indirect traffic with model customizations. 

There are four types of customizations to consider:

  1. Include all traffic
  2. Include all traffic until a cutoff event 
  3. Exclude all traffic 
  4. Exclude all traffic after a cutoff event

1. Include all traffic:

This is the default setting and will allow attribution app to consider all touch points within a date range to calculate credit for a conversion regardless of indirect or direct traffic. This is often best for eCommerce companies with disconnected transactions. 

In the example above we can see how this would work in reality. Here a visitor has come to your site seven times from both direct and indirect channels. In this case the revenue provided to your ad touches would be diluted by the direct traffic in a 1/7 ratio, since the direct traffic had an influence in driving the conversion and should be rewarded for that. This would then factor into how return on ad spend is calculated for your channels like Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Quora. 

2. Include all direct traffic until a cutoff event: 

This modification adds a slight variation to the 'all traffic included' setting where it will include all direct traffic until a specific cutoff event.  This customization is often used by SaaS companies who only want to attribute credit to their ad channels before the customer has signed up or subscribed. SaaS companies would do this because the direct traffic may dilute the credit for their advertising channels after the visitor has subscribed since the visitor will rack up direct traffic as they visit the site to use their tool. 

Now the primary difference from 'all traffic included' in this scenario comes after the 'cutoff event.' Although there are 6 total touches (not including the conversion & cutoff event) your ad channels would only split credit with the one direct touch prior to the 'cutoff event.' 

Here your ad channels would split credit on a 1/4 basis since after the 'cutoff event' direct traffic won't be considered. Finally, you are welcome to make any conversion event a cutoff event in your model. 

3. Exclude all direct traffic: 

With this customization Attribution app will never consider direct traffic. This is beneficial for companies that have customers visit their site regularly.

In the example above your ad channels would split credit amongst each other on a 1/3 basis for the conversion and direct traffic would be given no credit ever.

4. Exclude all traffic after a cutoff event: 

With this customization Attribution app will stop attributing credit for any channel either direct or indirect after a specific cutoff event. This is best for companies that have a subscription service with a free trial where after the customer is sold you don't want to consider attribution for them. 

In the example above only the first three touches would get credit for the conversion that happens prior to January 31st and all conversions thereafter. 

If anything in here is unclear please always remember that you are welcome to reach out to at any time or begin a chat with our reps by clicking the chat icon to the top right corner of your dashboard. 

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