Landing Pages: Part 1

Landing Pages: Part 1

Part 1: Why You Need to be Familiar with Google Analytics’ Landing Page Report

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Overview: a key metric for monitoring user satisfaction with your site is the Google Analytics’ Landing Page report. You should be familiar with this basic report and some of the additional metrics you can view in relation to it.

One of our recent projects has involved upgrading a client from Magento 1 to Magento 2, in combination with a major site redesign. The problem, from a user’s perspective, was that the Magento 1 site was no longer meeting their needs. That problem, when viewed from a business perspective, is that the site’s revenue and incoming leads were low. While site revenue and leads are a clear indication of the problem, the problem was also visible via the site’s Landing Page performance.

What is a landing page? A landing page is the very first page a visitor sees on a web site. While this is commonly the home page (especially for visitors who type in your website’s URL), it is common for other pages to be nearly as popular as the home page or perhaps even more popular than the home page.

For example, while this site’s home page is the most popular landing page by session count (yet, even then, just barely), the number of new users landing on the home page is actually MUCH lower (593) than the number of new users landing on page #2 (762). In addition, you’ll note that the number of sessions where a user first lands on the home page represents only 19.72% of all landing page sessions, indicating that the vast majority of new users landing on this site are landing on pages other than the home page.

How many new users are landing on the home page?

Not only does landing page URL #2 have more new users to the site, but you’ll notice the bounce rate (number of users who view only one page on the site and then exit), pages per session, and average session duration are MUCH worse for landing page 2. And not only page 2, but pages #3, #4, #5, and #7 are all performing very poorly.

People are landing on pages other than the home page and then immediately leaving.

Actually, performing poorly may be a bit of an understatement. The numbers above indicate an ecommerce website crisis. What’s interesting is that the data was very different for this Magento 1 site when it first launched a number of years ago—but has been steadily sliding in the years since then as the site fell behind competitors in relation to design, UX, and content.

How do you view Landing Pages in Google Analytics?

  • Behavior
  • Landing Pages
  • Optional: date range
How to view landing pages in Google Analytics

While much can be learned from the basic report, we encourage you to also explore adding a “secondary dimension.” Secondary dimensions provide additional segmentation for how your landing pages are performing. Some helpful secondary dimensions includes:

  • Acquisition -> Source
    • “Direct” (type in), “Google,” “Bing,” etc.
  • Acquisition -> Source / Medium
    • “Direct” (type in), “Google / organic,” “Google / cpc” (Adwords), “Bing / organic,” etc.
  • Users -> Browser
    • Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari
  • Users -> Device Category
    • Desktop, mobile, tablet

Landing pages on your site with a higher bounce rate should be reviewed and optimized. A high bounce rate + low number of pages / session + short average session duration indicates the page is not meeting users’ needs, and they are quickly leaving the site after viewing the page.

In future technical reports and/or in our projects’ section, we look forward to sharing some of the results of this client’s conversion to Magento 2.


Summary:

The Google Analytics Landing Page report provides key insight to how your site is performing when first viewed by a visitor. While your site in general may be performing well, look for popular landing pages with an unusually high bounce rate and update/overhaul those pages. In addition, review secondary dimensions to see if your landing pages are not performing well for specific devices or traffic sources.

SwiftOtter, Inc.
It relates to Marketing.
Christopher Maxwell - Project Manager / Quality Assurance

Project Manager: keeping things running smoothly; Quality Assurance: ensuring that everything we do is top-quality.