marketing agency winchester

Why am I getting a spike in direct traffic to my website in Google Analytics?

14 July 2015

Adam Richards

Managing Director
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If, like us, you have seen a big increase in direct traffic to your website on Google Analytics, you could be a victim of Ghost spam. The problem is compounded because it does not come alone – it also comes with a bogus referral visit.

This spam appears harmless, but it is best to get rid of it as soon as possible in order not to delude yourself that you are suddenly receiving a lot more traffic to your website.

The first thing to do is check whether the visits you are concerned with are spam – in Google Analytics, check the hostname the direct traffic is using. You can do this by looking at Acquisition in the Reporting tab, select All Channels within Traffic, then in ‘secondary dimension’, type in hostname.

Although there is very little information available on Ghost spam direct traffic, they do use invalid hostnames which you can identify because they are either ‘fake’ or not set.

The best way to filter out these direct visits is to create a hostname filter. We found a good blog that can help you do this – click here to read.

Waypoint is a Winchester marketing company specialising in delivering marketing strategy, content development and lead generation.

If you are looking for help with managing your website or with your broader digital marketing strategy please call Waypoint on 01962 862760 or email

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