Google Analytics in and out

Entry to a room by another means image

I really enjoy having Google Analytics as a Search Engine Optimizer (SEO). It helps track what is happening on a website with some apparent and intuitive reports and features.

The volume of data can be a little daunting, and the plethora of options to formulate, collate, aggregate, and filter.  I hope to break down several datasets available that are quick and easy to read, interpret, and use to make positive changes to your website.

Google Analytics Landing Pages and Exit Pages

Google Analytics Landing and Exit Page Bar

Screenshot from Google Analytics

What is a Landing Page in Google Analytics?

A landing page is a page that a web visitor first hits through whichever means they came to the site.

If a website visitor searched on Google and clicked on a result in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), that page would be displayed.

If they were sent there from a referring site, the page the referring website had linked.

Why is this important to which pages people are landing on?

There is an adage that first impressions are vital. These pages are the first impressions people are getting of your website and, subsequently, your business. If your website is like most websites, people are landing on pages that may not have been ready to receive visitors.

Imagine having someone come over to your house by entering through your bedroom window a few minutes after you wake up. Generally, people are not ready to receive guests in such a fashion.

Landing Pages are ideally the first pages web visitors see as the initial step in a customer journey. Customer journey is an intentional mapping out the experience you have for targetted visitors through visiting website pages in a particular order. If the pages listed on your landing pages report are not the top end of a customer journey, you may want to address these pages.

At the least, consider the list of pages, review the pages, and ask the question, "How does this page address new visitors?"

What to do with Landing Pages

Here is a short checklist:

  1. If someone enters the site through the page, what page should they go to next?
  2. Is there a call to action?
  3. Is there something that leads the visitor to more pages?
  4. What is the mindset of the person that finds this page as a first impression?
  5. What are they suppose to do next?

In Google Analytics, the landing pages show you which pages are making this first impression. Make sure they are ready to receive the visitors and make a great first impression.

What is an Exit Page in Google Analytics?

This is the page on your website where someone disconnects from the site. This can happen because they;

  1. Click a link that takes them offsite
  2. Close the browser
  3. Are inactive for a significant period of time.

These are the pages that are the final impression of the website visitor. Ideally, these pages are pages that you want people to leave because you met some needs.

Some examples of ideal exit pages:

  1. Thank you page:  After someone filled out a contact form, they close out the browser.
  2. Resources page: There are offsite resources that better address needs you don't support. I.e., Redirect visitors to help better.
  3. FAQ Page: A page that answers common questions.
  4. Contact Page:  If there is no thank you message, this page suffices
  5. Payment Confirmation Page (E-commerce): A page that shows up after someone makes a purchase.

If there are other pages you identified as part of the customer journey that is exit points; then these pages should be on the list.

What to do with Exit Pages

By looking at the list of exit pages, you may want to understand why people are leaving this page. If the page is not a planned exit point, you may need to reevaluate these pages or your customer journey.

If the pages listed are part of your exit plan, ask yourself if there is any other value you can provide or any other engagement you can get from this visitor.

This step could be beneficial for businesses with long sales cycles, higher ticket items, or a complicated process requiring prospects to be a little more informed.

Putting this together Landing and Exit Pages

Last point. Suppose your Landing page is your Exit page. Then you may need to reevaluate your website structure unless, of course, you have a one-page site!

Need some help?

If you have a question about Analytics or what to do with your Landing Page and Exit Page data, please schedule a time to chat.

About Joshua Monge

Senior-level SEO consultant that enjoys helping businesses learn how to SEO their website since 2007. I have over 20 years of experience helping business owners realize their goals through process development, data-driven decision-making, and simplifying complex processes.

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