Where did my visitors come from?
Referrers are "where visitors came from", or more specifically, it is the URL of the previous webpage where a link was selected. For instance, if a visitor first does a search on Google and then clicks on your entry in the search results then, when that visitor arrives at your site, the referrer is Google for that session and Sawmill will report Google as the referring web site in the Referrers view.
If you select the drop down arrow, you will see a list of reports that have to do with referrers. One of the most useful is the search phrases report, you can see what people word or word combinations people used to get to your site.
My site is the highest referrer, why?
Sawmill reports every referrer for every hit on your site. So the Referrers table typically shows your web site as the highest referrer. For example, if someone had arrived at your site after clicking on the search results in Google, a Google page will be the referrer (the last page you are on is the referrer for the current page you are on). So, if your current page is a page on your site and the previous page is also a page on your site, then your site will be the referrer. As your visitors will visit more than one page on your site, your site will be the referrer far more than any other site.
Sawmill can be set up to remove your site as the referrer by categorizing your site as an "internal referrer", contact your Sawmill Administrator to do this.
How many people come directly to my site, rather than being referred?
When visitors arrive at your site and do not have a referring page, Sawmill will categorize these as having "no referrer" and remove them from the reports, but this is quite a useful metric. If someone arrives without any referrer then it means they either clicked on a bookmark/email link or that they typed in your site address into the address bar of their browser directly; it suggests how many visitors to your site "know" about you.
It is not always possible to get referrer information from the browser (some browsers can be configured to block this information) but the majority of browsers do allow it.
NOTE: Each referrer can be a link to an active site, click the link to visit the site.