Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools available for marketers, providing a wealth of insights into how your websites are performing.
One important feature of Google Analytics is landing pages. So what is a landing page in Google Analytics? In Google Analytics, any page can be a landing page. It’s simply the first page a visitor goes to on your site, essentially their point of arrival. They might get there from clicking a Google search result, following a link in an email, or following a recommendation from another site.
We can learn a lot from studying our landing pages, about sources of traffic, the behaviour of our customers, and how to grow the business.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how landing pages work in Google Analytics and how to make the most of this valuable feature.
Let’s start by looking at the kind of metrics Google Analytics tracks for landing pages.
Landing Page Metrics
Landing pages in Google Analytics are measured differently to other pages in a number of important ways. Here are some important landing page metrics to pay attention to.
While ordinary pages keep track of ‘pageviews’ (the number of visitors to the page), landing pages keep track of ‘sessions’.
This metric refers to the overall visit to the website, instead of just that one page. For example, a visitor might click from your landing page to five or six other pages, but it would still count as just one session.
A related metric that landing pages track is average session duration — the average amount of time a user spends on the site after landing on that particular page.
Pages Per Visit
Keeping track of sessions, and distinguishing them from pageviews, is important. It allows us to see how well a visitor is moving through your website. If there are lots of pageviews to just one session, we can assume your site is doing its job at engaging customers and keeping them around. We call this metric pages per visit.
% New Sessions
Another useful metric for landing pages is % new sessions. This is a measure of how many of your landing page visitors are there for the first time on a certain device, as opposed to returning visitors.
This is a helpful way of understanding your site and tweaking it to be more effective. For example, if new visitors are spending more time on your site than returning ones, it may be worth focusing your energy more on getting this group to return.
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your landing page without venturing further into your site. It tells us, simply, whether your landing page is doing its job in engaging visitors and encouraging them to stick around.
How to Use This Information for Best Results
By carefully studying the metrics in Google Analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of how your landing pages are performing and how to improve them.
Some of the things we can learn are:
- What’s bringing people to your site, and where they’re clicking from. You can do this by adding ‘Source’ as a secondary dimension in your landing pages report. For example, you might be getting a lot of visitors from social media, which is a signal to intensify your efforts in this area.
- Which landing pages are drawing visitors deeper into the site, and which ones are pushing them away. Landing pages with a low bounce rate are doing a good job of keeping your visitors on board. Try to find out what factors are responsible and apply them to other pages.
- How well each landing page is converting. Google Analytics allows you to view the conversion rate for each landing page. This shows you which pages are achieving their goals, and which are failing, allowing you to make the right changes.
Google Analytics can give us a clear view of what is making your visitors click and stick around. These are insights that can be broadly applied to your entire audience, helping you understand your customers’ behaviour and serve their needs more effectively.
Some Tips on How to Improve Landing Page Performance in Google Analytics
- Evaluate stats like bounce rate and conversion rate on a page-by-page basis. Performance in these metrics can vary significantly between pages for all sorts of reasons, so it’s always best to only compare to the past performance of the same landing page, not other pages.
- When linking to landing pages from ads, make sure the text of the ad matches the destination page. In other words, don’t create misleading ads — make sure your ad links to relevant content.
- Optimize the design of your landing page and test it for best results. If something is working well on one landing page, apply it to others.
- Export your data if needed. While Google Analytics is a powerful tool for analyzing your pages, it can help to use other platforms to get an even deeper understanding of your landing page data.
An Ongoing Process
Google Analytics should not be treated as a one-off job. Analyzing your landing pages this way is something you have to do on an ongoing basis to see real results. It’s important to constantly measure progress and always try to understand why certain approaches are working or failing.
Tweak your approach to do more of what’s successful and minimize the unsuccessful, while keeping an open mind about what does and doesn’t work.
To find out how 93x can help your business with marketing in all areas, get in touch with us today.