Donita Fowler Blog

What does (none) user medium mean in Google Analytics?

Making sure that you understand where your website traffic comes from allows you to make data-driven marketing decisions. Learn more about what the (none) user medium encompasses.

Setting aside some ‘non-negotiable’ time weekly or monthly to really dig into (and start to understand) your website traffic is so important for long term sustainable growth.

One of the first things I get my clients to read is where their traffic is coming from. As in, the actual source.

Google Analytics (circa 2021)
Go to acquisition and then overview.
This will give you new users by medium. This information is basically going to tell us the source of the new traffic coming to our website.

Now, the one that we are going to highlight today is the (none) user medium, which you most likely will find a fair number of users come from. A lot of my clients that have websites under 5 years old find that (none) is at least 50% of traffic sourced.

(None) refers to a few things.

  • The user came from a link inside of an email / document / app.
  • Your website has been bookmarked with this user. So make sure to exclude your office URL’s, read more about there here.
  • Bots crawling your website, although there is a filter that allows you to get rid of that. Read more about that here.

CPC refers to paid advertising, Google Ads.

Referral refers to a ‘referral’ from another website. So, if you have reputable websites sharing your content via links on their website, you can really start to increase that organic traffic.

Organic refers to search engine traffic. That encompasses google, and social (including paid advertising).

Knowing where the majority of your traffic comes from allows you to tailor your content to that user.

Here’s an example:

Referral traffic is over 42% of the new user traffic coming to Bob’s website. That must mean that Bob is well known in the industry, and so reputable websites are sharing Bob’s content on their websites. All we have to do is find more sources.
Bob knows that he converts 4/10 of those “other websites” readers to click on his link and visit his website. Now Bob can measure how much his referral traffic grows with 5 more sources, and then 10. And so on.

You get the idea. If you want more organic traffic, increase the different ways that traffic is finding your website today. This really highlights the need for your website to go deep rather than long. A deep website will get this new user following the rabbit hole, and subconsciously build trust with you before they even know it!

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