Which pages on your site keep visitors interested?

Here’s a nice report from your website visitor analytics which you might like to set up. It highlights the pages on the site which might have a problem in terms of user interest. First, let’s look at the finished report (in the example below, it’s from our own website):

Google Analytics report

What we’ve got here is a list of the pages on the site ordered by the shortest average time spent on the page. This highlights any pages which people really aren’t spending much time on, perhaps because they take one look and leave, or possibly because there’s a technical problem.

If you’re using Google Analytics, sign in and then click on this link to get the report. Alternatively (but you can ignore this if you’ve just imported the report through that link), if you’re comfortable with creating your own custom reports and want to do so, here’s the report to create:

Google Analytics custom report

Once the report has been set up, covering a fair period (a year or two), I like to click “advanced” next to search, and exclude pages which haven’t had a certain number of sessions (e.g. 20). The resulting report can be sorted on “Average Time on Page”, shortest to longest. Here’s the search:

Google Analytics Search

Then consider the numbers in conjunction with the bounce rate. If the time on page is low and the bounce rate high, maybe lots of people were sent to the page by mistake – or maybe the page really isn’t of interest to anyone. If the time is low and the bounce rate low, presumably it’s a page which is efficiently sending visitors on to other pages.

Some of the results may be inexplicable, such as the 99% bounce rate on the top result in the table above. But others may give you an interesting insight into what visitors are doing on your website.

Discussion

  1. Chris Rand Post author

    They will exclude spiders (Google Analytics does that inherently) but they won’t exclude the spambots, you’ll need to have a spambot-excluding segment set up for that.

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