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Great website content, hidden away

It might well be the case that certain website sections which are important to you are hidden away down in complex menu systems. For example, one client of ours has been spending quite a lot of money over the past two years writing some really excellent case studies, but despite spending a few minutes on the website, I couldn’t find this content at all. And I was specifically searching for them! What chance did the casual visitor have?

It turned out that the case studies were hidden under a label called “Industries”, which in turn could only be found under a parent menu item which itself wasn’t very revealing.

We decided to take a look at how many people had been reading these articles. In Google Analytics, we used the “Content Drilldown” report to look at all the pages in the category as a group, and saw that the views were OK, if unspectacular. However, when we looked at the same pages in the “Landing Pages” report, we found almost the same numbers. In other words, nearly everyone reading the articles was arriving on the site on those pages.

We combined this with a “Source” secondary dimension, and found that the vast majority of the visits were “(direct)”. It’s almost certain that this meant “an untagged click from an email” – in other words, almost the only people reading the case studies were those who’d followed the link from the company’s email newsletter. This was confirmed by the pattern of visits: often, 90% of all visits to any case study had been on a single day. Hardly a single person browsing the website was finding their way through to the pages.

It’s worth investigating whether you have this problem. Tomorrow I’ll look at what we might do about unloved pages, and how you might get them found.

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