How to use content reports?

Content Overview

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The Content section contains reports designed to help you improve the content on your site to meet the needs and expectations of visitors.

The Site Content > Pages report shows how frequently each page on your site was viewed. Look for high bounce rates on the Landing Pages report to identify landing pages that need to be rewritten or redesigned to be more effective.

If you provide a search box on your site, use the Site Search reports to find out how successful your visitors are when they search your site.

If you incorporate Flash, Ajax, or other kinds of interactive elements on your site, you may wish to know how your visitors use them. The Events reports provide a non-pageview based approach to tracking interactivity.

WHAT IT IS

In-Page Analytics is available under the Content section on the Standard Reporting tab. It lets you make a visual assessment of how users interact with your web pages, and helps you answer questions like:

  • Is the layout optimal for what I want users to accomplish on the page?
  • Are my users seeing the content I want them to see?
  • Are my users finding what they're looking for on the page?
  • Are my calls to action motivating or visible enough?
  • What links are users clicking?

Beginning with your site's homepage, you see what links users clicked. You can navigate In-Page Analytics the way you navigate your site: click any link on your homepage, and when the new page is loaded, the corresponding data are shown for that page.

Additional benefits of this report include:

  • Support for image maps, so you can create a separate tag for each linkable part within a single image
  • Support for advanced segments and date comparisons
  • Availability of page-level information
  • Complete list of incoming and outgoing links

HOW TO USE IT


Before you can use the report, you have to enter the URL for the page on which you want the report to launch. You enter that URL when you edit the settings for a profile. See theTroubleshooting section below to learn more about how to enter that URL.

Once you identify the page on which you want the report to launch, you can access the report from the list in the Content section: click the In-Page Analytics link. Your homepage is displayed with the In-Page Analytics data.

Here are the main components of the report:

CONTROL BAR The control bar across the top of the report includes:

  • The Viewing menu that you use to select the metric you want to see in the report, and to set a threshold for visualizations of that metric. For example, Clicks with more than 5%.

  • The buttons to show and hide bubbles, and to expand and shrink the site view.

BUBBLES These indicate the links users clicked. The numbers inside represent the percentage for the metric you chose in the Viewing menu. When you hover over a bubble, you see the information about the metric you selected. If you have any advanced segments applied, you see metric values for those segments.

Note: Bubbles for different links that lead to the same destination URL currently contain the same percentages. The percentages may total more than 100%.

To see information for the different pages in your site, simply navigate through your site as it appears in the report. When you click a link to go from one page to the next, you see the metric bubbles for links on the new page.


TROUBLESHOOTING


Trouble viewing the report:

  • Condensed view: The minimum recommended horizontal resolution is 1280 pixels. If you still can't see enough of your site, maximize the site view (click the full-screen icon in the top left of your site page).
  • Site in new window: If your site appears in a new window, it's likely that your site is using a mechanism to prevent a third-party site from putting your content in an iframe. In this case, certain features of In-Page Analytics (including the ability to apply filters, set advanced segments, or change the date range) may be unavailable. You may want to consider disabling the mechanism in order for In-Page Analytics to operate to its full potential.

Data unavailable:

You may not see data in a bubble where you expect it if you are viewing an advanced segment that doesn't have data for a link.

The site is loaded, but no data overlay appears:

When you open In-Page Analytics, the initial page is derived from the Website URL and Default page fields, as specified in the web property and profile settings. Check your settings to make sure those values point to a valid page in your site.

Website URL: In your Web Property Settings, enter the exact URL for the web page on which you want the In-Page Analytics report to launch. For example, if you want the report to launch on the landing page for http://www.example.com and you enter http://example.com (omitting www), your page may not open properly in the report. You can enter the domain name (http://www.example.com), you can identify a specific directory within that domain (http://www.example.com/toystore/), or you can enter the path to a specific page (http://www.example.com/toystore/index.html).

To enter the URL, select http or https, and enter the URL as described above.

  • You can use only UTF-8 characters when you enter the URL. You cannot use the following UTF-8 characters: & = . $ %20 ? ^ #

  • If you enter a URL that is not formed correctly, Google Analytics prevents you from proceeding until you resolve the error.

Default page: In your profile settings, enter the name of the default page for any URL on your site that ends with a slash (for example, http://www.example.com/toystore/). The page name varies depending on your web server configuration, but the common names are index.html anddefault.htm. If you do not know the name of this page, leave the field blank. It's important to accurately identify this page so that the click information for the report is counted correctly.



High Bounce Rate

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Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that see only one page during a visit to your site.  There are a number of reasons why you might have a high bounce rate.  For example, visitors might leave your site from the entrance page in response to site design or usability issues. Or, it might be that just certain pages on your site have a high bounce rate for very valid reasons. The following items cover some issues that can contribute to a high bounce rate. 

Single-Page Sites

If you have only one page on your site (a blog, for example), Google Analytics doesn't register multiple pageviews unless visitors reload that page. As a result, single-page sites tend to have high bounce rates.

Verifying Your Tracking Code

If you're seeing a high bounce rate from a multiple-page site, check to see that you've added the tracking code to all your pages. See Verifying Your Setup for more information.

Site Design

If all your pages contain the tracking code but you're still seeing a high bounce rate, consider:

  • Redesigning the entrance (or landing) pages
  • Optimizing those pages so they correlate better with the search terms that bring users to your site, with ads you're running, or with keywords you've purchased
  • Changing the ads or keywords to better reflect page content
Learn how to experiment with site-wide changes to optimize your site with Website Optimizer.

User Behavior

Other factors may be solely attributed to the visitor's behavior. For example, if a user bookmarks a page on your site, visits it, and leaves, then that's considered a bounce.

Learn More

Learn more about bounce rate in this entertaining and informative segment from Avinash Kaushik. (available in English, 4:45 minutes)

YouTube Video



Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate

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To understand the difference between exit and bounce rates for a particular page in your site, keep in mind three things:

  1. For all pageviews to the page, the exit rate is the percentage that were the last in the session.
  2. For all sessions that start with the page, bounce rate is the percentage that were the onlyone of the session.
  3. The bounce rate calculation for a page is based only on visits that start with that page.  

Let's clarify this last point with a simple example. Your site has pages A through C, and only one session per day  exists, with the following pageview order:

  • Monday: Page A > Page B > Page C
  • Tuesday: Page B > Page A > Page C
  • Wednesday: Page A > exit

The content report for Page A would show 3 pageviews and a 50% bounce rate.  You might have guessed that the bounce rate would be 33%, but the Tuesday pageview granted to Page A is not considered in its bounce rate calculation. Consider that a bounce is the notion of a session with only one interaction from the visitor, and the session-centric analysis answers a simple yes/no question:  "Did this session contain more than one pageview?" If the answer to that question is "no," then it's important to consider which page was involved in the bounce.  If the answer is "yes," then it only matters that the initial page in the session lead to other pageviews.  For that reason, bounce rate for a page is only meaningful when it initiates the session.  

Now let's extend this example to explore the Exit rate and Bounce rate metrics for a series of single-session days on your site. 

  • Monday: Page B > Page A > Page C
  • Tuesday:  Page B > Exit
  • Wednesday:  Page A > Page C > Page B
  • Thursday:  Page C > Exit
  • Friday: Page B > Page C > Page A

The % Exit and Bounce rate calculations are:

Exit Rate

  • Page A: 33% (only 3 of 5 sessions included Page A)
  • Page B: 50% (only 4 of 5 sessions included Page B)
  • Page C: 50% (only 4 of 5 sessions included Page C)

Bounce Rate:

  • Page A: 0% (no sessions began with Page A, so it has no bounce rate)
  • Page B: 33% (bounce rate is higher than exit rate, because 3 sessions started with Page B, with one leading to a bounce)
  • Page C: 100% (one session started with Page C, and it lead to a bounce)


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