In today's Daily Golden Nugget, I'll show you how to look at your Google Analytics Exit Page report and explain what it is, and steps you can take to analyze it.
This 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.
Get started by logging into your Google Analytics account and navigate your way over to Behavior -> Site Content -> Exit Pages as shown in this animated screen grab:
Here's what the report looks like with my top 10 sample pages:
I've added the commentary in green to show the pages I expected to see there, and the comments in red for the pages that I think need investigation.
Let's go through them one at a time...
Your home page will usually show the highest exit count simply because this is usually the page people are on when they bounce off your website. This number will be very high if your bounce rate is very high.
A way to lower this number would be to apply some type of user tracking, like mouse recording or heatmapping.
Store Hours Page
It warms my heart to see the Store Hours Page at the top of this exit report. This tells me that people are using the website and that they've been convinced to visit your store. Before walking out the door, the last thing they usually need is to know when you are open.
Assuming you don't have an e-commerce site, then this should be a close estimation of exactly how many people your website led to your store over the last 30 days.
Contact Us Page
Similar to the Store Hours Page, the Contact Us page gives you a hint of the number of people who called, sent you an email, or looked for your store address.
You can count up your telephone calls from the last month and emails from the website then subtract that from the number you see there. The remainder is probably related to the number of people who visited your store in person.
Seeing the Error Page in the report is never good, especially in the top 4 like you see it above. This is a clear indication that something is broken somewhere. There's probably several pages on the website that were deleted, or are somehow malfunctioning.
It's time to call your website programmer to find out what's wrong. Figuring it out will take a little digging.
Engagement Rings Page
The Engagement Rings page you see here is the main category page of their product catalog. Elsewhere in Google Analytics you can look at how many unique engagement rings were looked at. This page is your hint that the entire engagement ring section of your website is getting attention.
Applying heatmapping or user tracking to pages like this will help you understand how to make this a little bit better.
Gold Karat Info Page
So many jewelers often ask me why educational information is necessary on a website. The answer is simply because your customers will have a natural curiosity about some things, and it's better to have the details on your website rather than leading them to sites like Wikipedia to read about it.
This page provides a lot of details about gold colors metal purities. When you have many education pages on a website I would expect to see at least one in the top 10 exit list like this.
Mobile Home Page
This particular site uses responsive content which allows us to clearly measure the mobile usage of the site. It's no surprise to see the mobile home page in the top 10 exit list, just like we saw the desktop home page at the top of the list.
With the advent of GPS technology built into every smartphone, the need for a directions page is quickly waning. Although, now that desktop browsers have the ability to sync with mobile devices, users can now look up directions quickly on pages like this and transfer the details to the GPS on their phone.
I believe brick and mortar stores will always have a need for a specific directions page.
On this site, the Pandora page gives the user details about the Pandora product line. What's interesting about this page is that people are probably leaving it in disgust. You see, Pandora limits the number of items a retail jeweler is allowed to post to their website. I usually see these Pandora pages in the top 10 exit pages, and my continued assumption is that users want to browse a website for the availability of the latest Pandora charms.
Instead of being the overbearing and controlling company that Pandora is, they should be paying attention to situations like this that are undoubtedly happening across all retailer sites.
If you have the Pandora line in your store, try to get permission to include a catalog of in-stock items on your website. Your customers will love you for it.
Want to confirm these theories on your own website? Try adding heatmapping and user tracking to this page just and study your user's actions. You might be able to discern their intent.
Designers We Carry Page
The Designers We Carry page provides a brief overview of all the designers a retail store carries. In this example, the site has a logo, a brief write-up of each line, and a few product photos. It's a boring page to read.
Even though it's on the exit page report within the top 10, we need to look a little closer to how it's being used. In this case, it turns out that the page was viewed hundreds of times more in the last 30 days. The number of pageviews shown on the report (I cropped it out of the above screen grab) probably reflects how the page is being used, which is a springboard for deeper content.
The above report shows 121 actual exits, which probably represents 121 people who either didn't find the designer they were looking for or they didn't find the right product after drilling to other designer pages.
Heatmapping, user tracking, and page flow reports would reveal a lot more happening with this page.
The Exit Page report will help you discover exactly which pages people don't like while also providing insights into how people use your site. Give them a reason to stay on your site longer. Track your users and do what it takes to extend the time they stay on your site.