Gain insight into which channels drive the most visits, orders, and revenue.
The Traffic sources panel in Squarespace analytics shows where visitors are coming from and which referrers are the most valuable to your site or online store. With this panel, you have insight into which channels—like search engines, blogs, social media, email, and ads—are driving the most visits, orders, and revenue, to help you make decisions about your marketing strategy.
The Traffic sources panel is available in all plans, but the data you see depends on your plan.
Traffic sources by plan
What appears in the Traffic sources panel depends on your plan or the type of trial site you started.
- Website trials and sites on the Personal and Business plans have traffic sources by visit.
- Commerce trials and sites on the Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans have traffic sources by multiple KPIs (key performance indicators), including revenue, orders, and conversion.
- Commerce trials and sites on the Business, Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans can track individual campaigns created from the URL builder.
- On all plans, the Direct, Email, Referral, Social, and Search channels display.
Website trials and sites on the Personal plan have a Paid channel, which includes traffic from display ads, paid search, and paid social.
- Commerce trials and sites on the Business, Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans have separate Display ads, Paid search, and Paid social channels.
What determines a traffic source?
For Commerce-related KPIs like revenue and conversion, traffic sources are based on a visitor’s “last click,” or the exact link a visitor came from before placing an order. This means that if a visitor came to your site from two different sources and made a purchase on the second visit, we’ll attribute their order to the second source.
Recurring revenue from subscription product renewals is filtered out of the Traffic sources panel, as these purchases happen automatically, independently of a visitor's behavior on your site. The data from an initial subscription purchase, however, appears in Traffic sources.
Review the Traffic sources panel
- Open the Analytics panel, click Traffic, then click Traffic sources.
- Click the date range drop-down menu at the top of the panel to filter results by time frame. Data is available starting from January 2014.
Tip: Use menu shortcuts to add a link to this panel to your Home menu.
Filter by KPI
Click the tabs to filter results by different KPIs, including:
- Visits - All plans
- Revenue - Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans only
- Orders - Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans only
- Conversion Rate - Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans only
- Average order value (AOV) - Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans only
- Revenue per visit (RPV) - Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans only
These tabs are only available in the Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans. To learn about these terms, visit Sales analytics.
Traffic sources and channels
When someone visits your site, the traffic source is where that visitor came from, like a link on another site, an email campaign, or a search engine results page. We group these sources into general channels–like Direct, Social, and Email–to help you understand how different channels are performing.
If you don’t have traffic from a channel, it won’t show. For example, if no visits came from sources we categorize as Display ads, Display ads won’t show in the panel.
Note: SSL settings can impact traffic source data. Learn more.
Direct represents when someone typed your URL directly into their browser, rather than coming to your site from another page. Links opened in a new window also count as Direct.
If this number appears inflated, it could be because some of those visits are from you visiting your site without logging in. When you're logged in, your activity doesn’t count toward visits. However, when you're logged out, we have no way to identify that the visit is you, so those visits can count as Direct, or as a different source if you clicked to your site from somewhere else without logging in, like your Facebook page. You can read about how to avoid this in Hiding your activity from Squarespace analytics.
On Business, Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, Display ads represents traffic coming from display ads on other sites.
On Personal plans, traffic from display ads is included in the Paid channel.
Email represents traffic from email marketing campaigns.
For Squarespace Email Campaigns, if your website is on a Commerce, Professional, and Premium plan, you can review detailed sales information in your site's analytics, such as revenue generated by each campaign. More analytics information displays in the Email Campaigns dashboard.
For Mailchimp, you can compare traffic from forms and campaigns. Traffic from forms represents visitors who followed a link to your site at the end of a mailing list signup form. Traffic from campaigns represents visitors who followed a link to your site from an email. To review specific campaign names, connect Mailchimp to a form or newsletter block. To learn more, visit Using Mailchimp with Squarespace.
Note: To attribute traffic from a Mailchimp campaign to the Email channel, check E-commerce link tracking when you set up the campaign in Mailchimp. Otherwise, traffic from the campaign is considered Direct.
The Search channel represents organic traffic from Google and other search engines.
Social represents traffic to your site from social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and X, formerly known as Twitter.
Tip: Squarespace has tools to help you drive traffic to your site from social media. Use built-in tools like pushing content, share buttons, and Pinterest save buttons to promote share content and products on social.
On Personal plans, this channel represents traffic from display ads on other sites or social media platforms, and paid searches in Google and other search engines.
On Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, the Paid search channel represents paid searches in Google and other search engines.
On Personal plans, traffic from paid searches is included in the Paid channel.
On Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, the Paid social channel represents paid advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X.
Referral represents websites and blogs that link to your content that don’t fit under other channels.
Tor exit nodes
The Tor_exit_nodes source represents traffic from an anonymous source, such as a VPN or an anonymous browser.
The graph appears differently depending on where you're reviewing your analytics.
The line graph at the top of the panel shows trends over time. Each line on the graph represents a different channel like Direct, Social, or Email. Hover over any point to review data per channel for a time frame.
Click the Daily drop-down menu to change the time scale. Time scale options depend on the number of available data points.
The top half of the card shows a bar graph representing all traffic sources in the time frame you've set. By default, the graph shows traffic sources ranked by total number of visits. On Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, you can view sources by Commerce KPIs:
- Conv. Rate
Traffic breakdown table
The table below the graph displays a breakdown of each channel and how it’s performing. This is a great way to quickly compare different channels and review your most valuable referrers at a glance.
On Personal and Business plans, you can view and sort sources by visits.
On Commerce, Professional, and Premium plans, you can view and sort sources by more Commerce KPIs:
- Conv. Rate
Click a column name to sort the table.
To review all sources grouped into a channel, (for example, specific social media platforms under Social or websites under Referral), click the arrow next to the channel name for an expanded view.
You can click further to review specific paths under each source. This is useful for identifying the exact source of a visit, like a specific page from a referral website or Pin on Pinterest.
Tip: When looking at Google data, you'll see a list of local Google domains where visitors are coming from, like Google.com, Google.co.uk, or Google.de. You can use this view to get a general sense of search engine traffic to your site by country.
How SSL settings affect referral traffic
When a visitor accesses your site from a link on a third-party site, that third-party should appear as a traffic source in the Referral channel. If the third-party site and your site have different SSL settings, however, the visit may not be recorded as expected.
For example, if you choose the Insecure SSL setting for your site, referral traffic from Secure sites will appear in the Direct channel.
Similarly, if your site is Secure and uses HTTPS URLs, ensure that third-party sites link to the HTTPS version of your site. If they use HTTP links, referral traffic from these sites will also appear in the Direct channel.
Data for these KPIs might not 100% match what’s in Sales:
- Conversion Rate
If you notice discrepancies between the KPIs in Traffic sources vs. Sales, it’s because:
- Traffic sources is based on visits–specifically, the revenue from any visits from the selected date range.
- Sales is based on revenue from the selected date range, regardless of when the visit happened.
For example, if a customer visits your site one day, but leaves their browser window open on your site and doesn't place an order until the next day, Traffic sources displays the order and revenue on the day the visit occurred. Meanwhile, Sales displays the order and revenue on the day the order was placed.
The larger the timeframe, the higher this discrepancy may be.
Traffic from ad campaigns
The channel that shows the traffic from an ad campaign depends on the type of link used and where the campaign is run:
- Google Ads campaigns - Traffic always appears in the Paid search channel, regardless of whether or not you create trackable links using the URL builder tool. Please note, prior to April 2021, some Google Ads campaigns traffic was incorrectly attributed to the Search channel.
- Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, X, and Youtube Ads - If you create trackable links, traffic appears in the Paid social channel. Otherwise, these links are untracked and traffic shows in the Social channel.
- Squarespace Email Campaigns - These ads have automatically tracked links and the traffic they generate appears in the Email channel.
- Instagram Shopping - These ads have automatically tracked links and the traffic they generate appears in the Social channel.
Tip: Tracked ads display the campaign name.