This Daily Golden Nugget is part of my Practical SEO Guide series with the goal of giving you quick, actionable information to make the search engine optimization of your website a little better.
Today we're looking at the Landing Page Report in Google Analytics. Log in to your Google Analytics account and navigate your way over to Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing pages as shown in this animated screen grab:
Here's a sample Landing Page report:
The home page is the first item in the report, represented by a "/". It's normal for your home page to be the first item in the report. Something might be very wrong with your website if it's not first.
The second item in this sample report shows the Error Page (/error.html), which is a problem. The Error Page should not be within the top 10 landing pages of your website; in fact, I would panic if I saw it within the top 20 landing pages. Seeing the Error Page here means there's a serious problem with this website.
What might that problem be? In this particular case, this is happening because this particular website was redesigned using a completely new URL structure for all the pages. For some reason they never set up 301 redirects from all the old pages to the new pages. Anyone clicking on those old pages from the Google SERP is being redirected to the Error Page.
This Error Page represents a lot of lost customers, and it doesn't make sense that a jeweler would set up a new website without the 301 redirects in place. When analyzing sites like this, I offer here a number of excuses of why these 301s were not implemented:
* The SEO agency didn't recommend it
* The website programmer didn't recommend it
* It was recommended but the jeweler didn't believe it was needed
The above report proves the need for 301 redirects. I explained this in detail here.
Another potential reason for the Error Page is that you frequently remove products from your online catalog without redirecting their now-defunct URLs to a different place.
Fixing a problem like this is very tricky and time consuming. Ask your SEO professional for help with it.
Popular Product Category
The Estate page is shown as the 3rd landing page in the above report. It turns out that estate jewelry is the most popular product category that this jeweler sells. They set up a dedicated landing page to explain how they choose their estate collection and what customers can expect. They then link that landing page to their estate product catalog pages.
Google seems to send more people to this dedicated landing page than to any individual estate product. You should emulate this model on your own website.
The 4th page in the above landing page report happens to be a specific product they sell. It's a very popular product that comes in various colors and sizes, and they constantly restock it. Because of its popularity, they have spent a lot of time to write out an in-depth description.
All their detailed work pays off month after month since the page always appears in their top ten landing pages.
The appraisals page is their 5th most popular landing page, and it represents their most popular service. Just like the popular product explained above, they spent a lot of time writing out specific details of how they do their appraisals. All that work continues to pay off as this page attracts new customers for them every month.
The Landing Page Report will always show you the most popular pages through which people enter your website. As you can see, people don't always enter your website through the home page.
This report also provides a glimpse into the most popular pages that appear on the search engine results pages, which means they are ranking pretty high on the first page of results.
What makes a page rank high? It's usually a combination of the effort you put forth to include a lot of written content on your page, but the page also needs to be on a topic of high interest for customers.
Carefully review the pages on your own Landing Page Report and try to figure out why they are there. Do they all make sense? Is anything missing that you wish would appear in the top 10 but isn't? You can attempt to fix that by rewriting the information on those pages.
Remember that even the best written landing pages won't appear on this report if your customers simply don't care about that particular product or service.