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123 LinkedIn Visits in November Does Not Mean 123 LinkedIn Clickthroughs in November

Referral Trafficview at full size

The 123 LinkedIn referrals that appear for November likely include some direct return visits.

However plain it may seem that the 123 LinkedIn-referred visits in your Referral Traffic report for November would correspond to 123 clickthroughs from LinkedIn for that month, there were probably fewer actual clickthroughs than visits during that time period.

Very significantly, a direct visit does not overwrite the previous medium and source recorded in Google Analytics for that visitor. If a visitor first clicked through from LinkedIn in October and then returned in November by entering your URL directly into the same browser (withough deleting cookies in the interim), the November visit would still count as a LinkedIn referral.

In addition to referral visits, Google Analytics also preserves organic search engine clickthroughs and campaign clickthroughs (such as pay-per-click or tagged links in emails) as the medium/source when a more recent direct visit occurs.

This is a useful feature, since the original clickthrough is, very arguably, more significant than a more recent direct visit for analyzing traffic sources.

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