Parameters to gauge the success of your landing pages

When you are keen to find out poorly performing landing pages that are proving to be a drag on your SEO efforts, some of the metrics to take into account are bounce rate, navigation summary, and of course, conversion rates. Before we discuss each of the above metrics more specifically, let us know a bit more about the power of employing filters in your web analytics exercise.

If you see that similar pages do have bounce rates that have higher than average, for instance, you can utilize filters to check whether or not this particular trend holds for the whole page type. Say, for example:

  • You can use /product/ as a filter so as to check the product pages.
  • You can use /2010/ to check pervious articles if dates are there in your URLs.
  • Regular expressions help make this process more flexible. So /200[0-9]/ would display articles for that time period.
  • Use regex or statements such as (ipad|iphone) to group words, which you feel might be related.
  • Use an expression like ^/([^/]+/){3}[^/]*$ to incorporate only deep URLs (3 slashes).

There are a whole lot of possibilities while filtering with regular expressions. Now let us talk about bounce rate.

For getting an overview of landing pages that have a rather poor bounce rate, you will need to:

  • Visit Content > Site Content > Landing Pages.
  • Then select ‘Comparison View’ from the icons at your data table’s top right.
  • Select Bounce Rate from the drop down denoting ‘compared to site average’.

Before you begin scanning your list, expand the total number of rows displayed to 500. Look for individual pages with higher bounce rates. Take it this way; high traffic suggests there is a greater opportunity for improvement. Look for running themes. Think of ways to test those themes employing filters as explained above.

However, keep in mind the fact that bounce rate does not necessarily have to seen solely as a negative metric. If the website includes information pages like ‘How to fix a bug?’, a visitor might check that page and access the information, feeling satisfied after visiting that page even if he or she is not able to check any further pages. Conversely, if there is a clear next action like a ‘Buy Now’ button, higher bounce rate is a bad occurrence. It depends on the kind of information a page delivers and fulfills the users’ needs, driving the action to a logical end or forcing them to abandon the action, midway before conversion takes place.

We are in no way suggesting that bounce rate is a defining parameter that will tell you everything. Say what if, users are regularly hitting your landing page and then moving to the Help section instead of purchasing a product? Or may be that they are using the search box instead of clicking an article? In such a scenario, the bounce rate will be a low, but that will be deceptive. Why so? We shall find out in the next post.