Available with Observe or plans.
Learning more about traffic sources can help you improve your marketing campaigns and specific user journeys. You can use the Traffic channel filter to find sessions that were initiated from certain referring domains or build funnels to compare the performance of your marketing campaigns.
In this article, you'll find out:
- What is Referrer URL?
- What does 'Has no value' mean for the referrer URL?
- What are UTMs?
- How to use the Traffic channel filter
- How to track other types of URL parameters
- Use cases for the Traffic channel filter
What is Referrer URL?
Referrer URL shows you the domain that the user visited before they entered your website. Using this filter, you can identify traffic from social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Google, or other common organic traffic sources.
Whether or not the Referrer URL can be captured by Hotjar depends on the setup of the referring domain. Adding UTMs to your URLs is the most reliable and accurate way to track the referring domains.
What does 'Has no value' mean for the Referrer URL?
There are several reasons why the referrer URL may not have any value, including when the visitor:
- entered the site URL in the browser address bar itself.
- visited the site from a bookmark in their browser.
- visited the site as the first page in a new window/tab/session.
- clicked on a link with a restrictive 'referrer-policy' header.
- clicked on a link with rel="no-referrer" in the URL.
- clicked on a link in an external application.
- visited the site programmatically without setting the referrer header (this is common with bots).
What are UTMs?
UTMs are parameters you can add to your URLs to track and analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns and website traffic sources. When you add UTMs to your links, you'll be able to unlock new filtering options in Hotjar. URL Builder is a useful tool that helps you create links with UTMs.
You can use the following UTM parameters with Hotjar:
- Source (utm_source) is typically used to indicate the specific platform or website where the traffic originates. If you add utm_source=facebook at the end of your link, you'll be able to identify traffic that originates from this platform.
- Medium (utm_medium) can be used to indicate the category of the traffic source. For example, you can use utm_medium=social_organic or utm_medium=social_paid.
- Campaign name (utm_campaign) can help you identify a specific marketing campaign. For example, you can use utm_campaign=summer_2023.
- Campaign ID (utm_id) will help you find campaigns by their assigned ID.
- Content (utm_content) is useful for A/B testing. You can differentiate between variants of the ad or website by adding utm_content=variant_A or utm_content=variant_B.
- Term (utm_term) is commonly used in PPC marketing to identify keywords used for search campaigns.
How to use the Traffic channel filter
You can use the Traffic channel filter for Recordings, Heatmaps, Funnels, Trends, and Dashboard. If you want to learn more about filtering options, you'll find detailed explanations of all available filters in How Do I Filter Session Data?
Click Add filter and choose Traffic channel.
Choose Referrer URL or one of the UTM filters.
You can use the names of domains and UTMs or include regular expressions. You can add more conditions by clicking where.
How to track other types of URL parameters
If you're using alternative URL parameters to track your campaigns, such as acme, you can display them by using the Landing page filter.
For example, to display sessions that originate from CPC campaigns, type in acme_source=cpc in the contains condition under the Landing page filter.
Use cases for the Traffic channel filter
Tracking multi-channel campaigns
Your marketing team is launching a multi-channel seasonal campaign and wants to find out which channel converts best. They can create the conversion funnel at Hotjar, compare different channels, such as email vs. paid social, and see which channel performs better. They jump into Recordings directly from their funnels to understand how users coming from each source behave and where they get confused.
Running an A/B test for your newsletter
Your team is running an A/B test with two different emails and wants to see how each variant performs. They can build a trend using the UTM campaign parameter and compare the session trends coming from each email. They then add this trend to their dashboard to keep an eye on it and dig deeper into the Recordings at any moment.
Testing new copy on your homepage
Your team is testing a homepage variant with new messaging. They run ads on certain keywords, try to drive traffic to this page, and investigate how each user segment behaves on the homepage. They filter their heatmaps with the UTM term parameter for different keywords and save those heatmaps to refer back to them.