Google Analytics is a beast of a tool. It’s so robust it can be tough to get a grasp of, especially if you don’t spend a lot of your day geeking out over website data. As opening Google Analytics quickly reveals, there are a wide variety of reports available with the simple click of your mouse.
Some reports are easy to find, easy to understand and easy to feel good about. Other reports are a bit more buried, are tougher to interpret and require some manipulation to make them very meaningful. The Landing Pages report falls more into this second camp.
But oftentimes it’s these more difficult reports that can yield some very interesting data. Below we’ll dive into the Landing Pages report and offer some tips on gleaning valuable insights from what it reveals.
Where is the Landing Pages Report?
First thing’s first, where can you find the report? You can access the Landing Pages report by clicking the following:
[Updated on 11/8/2013 to reflect recent changes in Google Analytics.]
Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
What Does the Landing Pages Report Show?
As soon as you open the report, you’ll see the most popular landing pages on your website, arranged by number of visitors that have landed on each page over the specified time period. It’ll look like this:
Using the above example, you can see that 807 visitors entered our website through a blog post about water damage to a cellphone (which is clearly not a great fit for what we’re targeting on our blog, but that’s the topic of another post altogether).
In addition to visits, the Landing Pages report shows us a bunch of useful data, including:
- Pages/Visit: The number of pages that a user visits after landing on the initial page. The higher the number, the more engagement your landing page is promoting.
- Avg. Visit Duration: The average length of time a visitor stays on your website. This number isn’t entirely accurate for a few reasons, but can be useful as a way of comparing page performance relative to other pages.
- % New Visits: The percentage of visitors that have not previously visited your website.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of users that arrive on your landing page and leave your website without viewing any additional pages. A lower bounce rate is generally the goal.
Why Use the Landing Pages Report?
You can use the Landing Pages report to help your organization answer a variety of questions about the performance of your website.
What pages are serving as an introduction to your website?
The Landing Pages report shows you which pages are greeting your website visitors. These landing pages are oftentimes the first experience a visitor has with your website.
Maybe you have a great homepage, but if most of your visitors are landing on your site by way of your blog, you may want to be more strategic about what they see when they arrive. It may be helpful to include easily accessible information about your organization since many blog readers won’t know who you are or what you do.
How well is each landing page performing?
Which pages are prompting your visitors to explore further? And which pages are causing visitors to bounce? The Landing Pages report can show you which of your pages are effectively drawing visitors into your site, allowing you to take best practices from a page that’s working well and apply them to other pages.
Which blog posts are driving the most traffic to my website?
Many organizations create a blog to drive traffic. By applying an advanced filter, you can see which of your blog posts are driving the most traffic to your website. You can also see which posts are driving visitors that end up viewing more pages on your website.
What pages are different segments of traffic landing on?
If you’ve set up advanced segments in Google Analytics, use them to see how different groups of people arrive on your website. If you haven’t set up advanced segments, use this guide from SEOmoz to do so.
For instance, we can filter our total traffic to only show visitors coming from social media.
From here we can see the same metrics as before, but only for this subset of our overall website traffic. We can see what pages on our website are most appealing to our social media connections and which ones perform well relative to one another.
How well is each landing page converting?
If you’ve set up goals in Google Analytics, you can see the conversion rate for each of your landing pages. For a nonprofit, some goals may include people that ultimately donate to your organization, sign up for your email newsletter or register to volunteer.
By selecting the appropriate Goal Set (pictured below) that contains the relevant goals you’ve set up, you can see which pages are leading visitors to take the actions you’ve deemed a successful conversion on your website.
Using Advanced Filters to Get More Information
If you want to get even more specific with the Landing Page reports you run, you can apply Advanced Filters. Doing so is pretty straightforward:
- Click “advanced” above the data tables.
- Enter the criteria you’d like to use to create your filter.
- Click the “Apply” button underneath your filter criteria.
Your data will now be filtered by whatever criteria you’ve specified.
Advanced Filter Example: Compare Blog Posts as Landing Pages
As an example, let’s say you want to know how well your blog posts are performing as landing pages. If the URL for your blog posts contains the word “blog,” you’re pretty much all set. If not, start by figuring out some sort of criteria that will show only traffic that lands on your blog.
To set up your advanced filter, enter the following information:
You’ll then see only those landing pages that match your filter criteria:
Have you ever used the Landing Pages report in Google Analytics? Or do you have another report you’d like us to cover? I’d love to hear what you think.