In most web sites there are strong landing pages that pull people to your site, and there are highly-viewed pages that visitors only find because of your site navigation. These ‘hidden gems’ point to an opportunity unfulfilled – the content of these pages is inconsistent with the promise of your site navigation. It may be that you assumed that visitors would always navigate to the page, and you left out the preface information that puts the page into context, but what you did was to hide the page behind your site links and lose out on direct search and referral traffic. In this article, we’ll use NEXT Analytics to identify your hidden gems.
Web site visitors land somewhere on your site because of something they saw elsewhere. Maybe it was a referral link, maybe a search result, or even a paid ad. Once on your site, they usually navigate around looking at things of interest, so to gauge the interest level in a particular page (the content-> page path dimension in Google Analytics) we should look at both the number of times the page was a landing page (the visitor->entrances metric), as well as how often the page was viewed during any visit (the visitor->unique pageviews metric).
Of particular interest are the pages with a high number of views since those are the pages that your site visitors had some reason to go to. Sorting by the unique pageviews metric gets us a quick list of these pages. If those pages also had a high entrance count, then they are probably strong topic-of-interest pages all by themselves, showing up in search engines or having good external referrals.
But what if they have a low entrance count? Then people are looking at them because of your site navigation more than because of the page contents. These pages warrant a review – are they intermediate navigation pages, or are they actually topic pages with poor content?
What would help at this point is to have a column showing the ratio of entrances to pageviews, so you don’t have to do the comparison in your head. With NEXT, pop over to the Analyze tab and add the calculation to get the percent of entrances to unique pageviews.
Now you can quickly scan down the list and identify the pages that warrant an SEO review. If you need to report to your stakeholders on the opportunities, a little conditional formatting and you have presentation-ready material.