Tracking the performance of your landing pages is essential for optimizing your conversions. Google Analytics provides a number of useful metrics that are meant to help us understand visitor behaviour on our landing pages but sometimes these metrics aren’t painting the clearest picture for us.
What if I told you that the metrics you are using in Google Analytics don’t actually tell you what you need to know? Let’s take a look at how you can enhance three metrics to better measure and optimize your landing pages.
Bounce rate is a crucial metric for measuring your landing page’s success. If a vast majority of users who visit your landing page leave without going to other pages on your site, you analytics will show a high bounce right. Logically, you’d conclude that the high bounce rate indicates that your landing page is ineffective. This is not quite the full picture.
Someone who truly bounces off a website spends a few seconds before deciding that this is not the site, or page, that they were looking for. This is what is meant by bounce rate, but the metric does not make a distinction between the user who spent seconds on the page and the user who actually spent several minutes on the page.
We can assume that the user who spent several minutes on a site before bouncing will have found something useful to them, therefore they should not be considered as a bounce.
How can you correct this? Determine the minimum amount of time a visitor spends on your landing page before converting (See below on how to measure time on page properly). If the majority of your conversions occur after two minutes, these visits should not be considered a bounce.
There is an official tweak that you can insert in your Google Analytics code to correct the situation. It will trigger an event after a user has spent a defined amount of time on your page. Once the event is executed, visitors will no longer be considered bounces if they leave the site. This should provide a clearer understanding of the number of true bounces and conversions.
Related to bounce rate issues is the way that time on page is measured. By default, Google Analytics can record the time spent on a page only when a visitor navigates to another page on the same web site. We cannot know the time spent on a page by a visitor who has visited only one page of a site.
For example, a visitor arrives on your landing page, stays 10 minutes, completes a goal on the page, and then leaves the site. Google will record the time spent on that page as 0:00. This calculation method easily distorts your engagement data for your landing page.
The conversion rate is the most important metric to measure for landing pages. In Google Analytics, the conversion rate is calculated based on the number of visits and not on the number of unique visitors, this can skew your conversion rate data.
Conversion rate should be calculated based upon the number of unique visitors. Why? Not every visit on your landing page concludes with a conversion. A customer’s consideration phase may include several visits to your landing page. Customers may read reviews about your business on another site, or compare your site with competitors before returning to convert on your landing page. This can result in several visits to your landing page (from the same visitor) with only a single conversion.
Using unique visitors to calculate the conversion rate will provide a more accurate representation of your customers’ purchasing cycle and provide better measurement of your landing page’s success.
In short, these relatively easy to implement changes can drastically transform your data to provide a more accurate and clear understanding of your landing page’s performance.