Sources Panel Questions (Google Ads, Direct Traffic)

Hey, I’m using the DEV-Version of Plausible Self-Hosted and really like it so far! I was able to get GeoLocation working as well as the Google Console integration. Great work!

I don’t fully understand the Sources panel, though. Two questions:

  1. My top source is simply “Google”. That seems reasonable, but the numbers seem kinda high (roughly 60% of our traffic) so I think it must include organic search as well as our Google Ads. Currently we are not using UTM-Parameters, but I guess the only chance is to get started with these?
  2. The Plausible documentation mentions that I should have traffic from “Direct / None”, which makes sense. But I’m not seeing anything like that in me Sources Panel. Was this removed or something?

Edit: I just realized that the “Direct / None” entry appears once I switch to “Real-time”, but disappears again, when I select any other time frame. I guess that’s a bug?

Thanks!
Björn

Hi!

  1. We basically look at the referrer header to figure out the source of traffic. If the referrer header says Google, we list it as Google. There’s no ads / organic difference in the referrer header. If you’d like to better segment the traffic you should definitely use UTM tags for your advertising campaigns. For instance as long as your utm source is Google (capital G) we will still list these visitors combined with the organic Google but you’ll be able to dig deeper into the UTM report and analyze those coming from the advertising campaigns alone. See more here: https://plausible.io/blog/utm-tracking-tags

  2. Direct / none is shown if you click on the “more” button in Top Sources. We discussed this with the community and majority didn’t want direct / none to be shown in the main report as it would skew the comparison with the other sources. So we list it only in the realtime dashboard or if you click on the more button.

Yeah, I figured there’s no way around UTM tags. Your blog entry is one of the best succinct summaries on how to use UTM tags, btw.!

Thanks for clarifying the “Direct / none” issue. I had visited the discussion on this on GitHub but could have sworn that I also didn’t see it in the “more” view – but it’s there now! So I probably missed it for some reason…

Thanks!

1 Like

good to hear! and thanks for the kind words! :grinning: