GA Series: Landing pages and why you should care

Understand and use your landing page data to convert more traffic into conversions.

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A landing page is exactly what it sounds like – the page a visitor lands on after clicking through to your site. Here’s what you should consider when analysing landing pages in Google Analytics.

As the entry point for visitors, a good landing page will be designed to fulfil the users needs and drive further engagement with the site. Ultimately, a well designed landing page will guide the user towards a business goal – for example, data capture or a transaction.

Landing pages are important because they can help convert traffic, and are especially useful now that Google offers a whopping percentage of keyword information under ‘not provided’. As the first point of contact following a click on an ad, organic listing, email link or similar, landing pages must directly meet the needs of the visitor. For example, if someone has clicked on a specific product in a promotional email they should be directed towards that product or promotion page. Sending them to the homepage would be risky as it is likely the user will lose interest whilst they suss out how to navigate around your site to the page they actually wanted.

Landing pages are particularly useful when running PPC campaigns. By targeting specific search terms and directing users through to the most relevant landing page you can ease the customer journey and drive higher conversion rates.

After discovering which landing pages have the highest proportion of traffic you can assess the visit source against the page content and work towards turning those pages into high converters. It helps to test one landing page design against another, allowing you to figure out which elements of your page are encouraging the desired conversion.

Landing page data can be found in the Standard Reports menu on the left hand side of your screen, under Behaviour, and then under Site Content.

The landing page report shows a number of important statistics split into three categories: Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions.

The first section is Acquisitions, which holds the following data:

  • Visits (the number of visits to your site)
  • % New Visits (an estimate of the percentage of first time visits)
  • New Visits (the number of first-time visits)

Behaviour shows:

  • Bounce Rate (the percentage of single page visits)
  • Pages / Visit (average number of pages viewed during a visit)
  • Average Visit Duration (the average duration of a session, see Time on Site for more info)

Conversions has a drop down menu for you to choose whichever metrics you want (e.g. Ecommerce, all goals or a specific goal). It shows the following for the Ecommerce option:

  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate

And the following for the All Goals option:

  • Goal Conversion Rate
  • Goal Completions
  • Goal Value

Note: your specific goals may have different values attributed to them dependent on what the goals have been defined as.

Plus and minus points?

A big plus point is that as soon as you open the report you get to see the most popular landing pages on your site – no complicated numbers, no hidden values, no questions asked! The landing page urls will be arranged by the number of visitors that landed on each page over the time period you have specified and what percentage of overall visits that page accounts for.

One downside to these figures is the bounce rate. Although typically you’ll be aiming for a low bounce rate (showing the visitor went on to view further pages on your site) if all you want is a visitors email address and all they want is your white paper, they most likely won’t visit any additional pages. In this scenario if your landing page is doing it’s job, the bounce rate will be high. However, a visitor interacting with other pages is always welcome, so it can be hard to judge exactly what figure you should be aiming for.

Things to consider

One thing to be aware of is advanced filters. By applying an advanced filter, you can find out which of your blog posts are sending the most traffic to your site, and which posts then encourage visitors to go on and interact with the rest of your site. When you set up your filter just enter the criteria you’d like to filter by (for example, ‘blog’), click apply and your data will be automatically filtered.

Setting up advanced segments in Google Analytics is another ‘thing to consider’. This can show you how different groups of people arrive on your website. For example, you can filter the traffic to show only visits from social media, giving you an overview of how the traffic from social media is behaving – which pages were visited and how each page compares for that particular source of traffic.

Setting up goals allows you to see the conversion rate for each of your landing pages, as mentioned in the bullet points above. For those who aren’t familiar with goals, these aren’t just for ecommerce transactions. Goals can be set to track how many people view certain pages – such as a thank you page, letting you know how many people signed up for an email or newsletter, downloaded your brochure or filled out a contact form. By choosing which goal you want to view from the drop down menu, you can see which landing pages are driving people towards completing that particular goal.


The landing page report on Google Analytics is an incredibly helpful tool. By tracking the amount of time spent on a landing page, and most importantly, the goal conversions you set up, you can make informed decisions about the content and appearance of your site, for example, about the particular content you should be posting on your blog. Increasing your site engagement, and ultimately the goal conversions on your site, will help you maximise the success of your business online.

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