The behavior section of Google Analytics helps us understand whether our website matches user expectations and also gauge the performance of website content. The section consists of many metric reports which can help us to optimize site content. The 2 aspects of content optimization we will delve on –
- Improve content quality by analyzing user behavior on different pages
- Find keyword themes to assist in keyword analysis.
Let’s have a look at the behavior reports which will help us optimize our content better.
I. Site Content section
This section tracks how users interact and engage with content on the site. The set of data insights derived from Site Content can be classified as –
a) All Pages:
- This report gives an overview of the ‘top performing pages’ having high viewership and duration on site.
- We can obtain the ‘top keyword themes’ for a particular website by going through its blogs with highest unique page views.
- This metric helps to accurately gauge the ‘popularity of pages’.
A screenshot of top 5 blogs of a network enterprise website with highest unique page views is displayed below.
From the above list it can be observed that ‘wireless lan’ is a very popular keyword theme that can be targeted. This keyword theme selection method can greatly assist us in keyword analysis and the themes list can be further improved by observing similarly for different sections of the website, example: products, solutions.
b) Content Drill down:
- This report gives similar metrics to the ‘All Pages’ report but instead of specifying the metrics for separate pages it specifies for complete sub folders. It can also be used to track different sub folders. This enables us to track top and poor content sections of the website.
- This report in combination with ‘All Pages’ report helps us analyze how a page and section it belongs to fares. If a particular section performs poorly but one of its pages performs well, it gives us indications on what type of content users find interesting in the section and similar content should be included in the poor performing pages of the section.
c) Landing Page:
- Landing page report enables us to see various metrics for pages from where users enter the website.
- The landing page report is primarily used to select important pages that should be optimized on the basis of sessions and new users. It also helps us analyze how the main product/solution pages are performing compared to highest session pages.
- Additionally, we will make use of the bounce rate % to understand the type of content in pages that users find engaging. To explain this report I will use a case study on a network solutions company.
Below I have posted screenshots of landing page metrics of 2 products for reference
Access Points product page
Switches products page
From the Bounce rate% we can see that the access points page has a bounce rate of 60% whereas switches page has a bounce rate of just 37.70%.
- On analyzing the content in these pages, I found that although the access point page did mention features of its products, most of its above-the-fold content was emphasizing on the need of an access point which obviously the user knows about or he would not visit the products page in the first place.
- The switches page on other hand gives a detailed description of its product features with a clear selling point and target audience in mind contributing to less bounces.
- This observation gives us indications about type of relevant content that should be included in our pages. We should consider the type of audience that will visit the website and also the level of domain knowledge we can expect from them.
d) Exit Pages:
- This report shows the list of pages which were recently visited by users before they exit the website and the total number of exits from that page.
To reduce the high exit rate of certain pages, internal links to pages with related content and having low exit rate should be incorporated.
II. Behavior Flow
- Once a user is on the landing page, the behavior flow helps analyze the subsequent user interactions till the last page where the user leaves the site. It helps to explain in pictorial form how engaging a user found a particular page and at which pages many drop off.
- Looking at the large drop-off number for some pages, we can ascertain that the user found the content undesirable or was not able to find what they were looking for.
- Using this data over time and comparing different time periods can help us understand what pages need modification.
III. Site Search
This section keeps a tab on how people interact with the search functionality on our website. This is particularly important to acquire keyword themes as it actually shows what users have typed. To track this report we can navigate to site search settings under Admin section.
We can optimize content by using couple of reports under this section.
a) Site Search Overview:
- It gives us percentage of total website visitors who used the search functionality feature of the website.
- This report gives an overall average of several metrics listed separately and studied at granular level in the reports mentioned below.
- This report compares the number of visits which used site search to number of visits which did not. It also compares bounce rates, average duration on website and pages visited in each session to understand whether site search feature actually helped user engagement or not.
- The takeaway from this can be whether we should optimize our pages with a search bar or not.
c) Search Terms:
- This report displays the keywords entered in the website’s search box. It helps us understand what people are looking for on our website.
- The most common queries users type can help us decide possible keyword themes that can be covered in the content.
- The report also has a ‘time after search’ option which can help us identify the search terms that led to prolonged user engagement on site. This feature can aid in streamlining the keyword themes derived from the common queries.
- If large numbers of users are searching the same new keyword it can help us identify latest user trends.
d) Pages Report:
- The report gives a list of pages the users were on when they used the site’s search bar. This report can be useful if from a particular page there is high number of searches.
- This shows that the page should be optimized with relevant internal links and user friendly content.Also if from the particular page, high number of searches for the same keyword theme is found it can help us optimize content of that page better using that keyword theme.
The Events section helps us track interactions on our website. These interactions can be clicks to register, downloads, links and even audio/video sections. To use events, event tracking code needs to be placed on the desired buttons on our website. Once code is set up, events reporting can be accomplished.
a) Events Overview:
- This report gives a summary of all the events of our website. It specifies events into three parts such as category, action and label which are also available in Top Events report in more detail
b) Top Events:
- This section gives the list of events with highest interactions and the number of times event buttons are clicked by users. From this we can observe patterns for buttons that have high number of clicks and are placed in similar positions or not.
- This will give us an indication about which portion of the pages users are most likely to click/engage with and will help us optimize the pages such that the most important revenue generating buttons are positioned properly.
- External links having high number of clicks can also help in analyzing the type of content external links have and whether we can incorporate it in our own website pages.
- Event tracking gives us flexibility about what conversion elements we want to track.
V. In-Page Analytics
- This section gives us visual assessment of webpages with the help of analytics metrics.
- It creates a mockup of our website and helps us get click metrics for each and every link/button on the page such as number of clicks and percentages of the clicks as part of all the clicks the page receives.
- It help us address the portions of the website receiving the most attention and devise a strategy to place our most important content links and conversion elements such as call to action buttons in those regions.
- A screenshot of the in-page analytics for a mock website is shown below:
- Experiments can test which version of our landing page garners most conversions. Ten such variations can be conducted that can help us assess which of the versions is the best for the website
- This feature is especially useful if we would like to try some new website features but do not want to take risk involved in actual implementation
- With experiments we can do testing of content quality, placement of important call to action buttons and links. By testing different landing pages we can decide which landing page suits our business best
Google Analytics provides a lot of data about how users interact with the website’s content. The article gives a brief overview of the behavior report which can enable us rectify content issues that we may come across in our campaigns.Hope this article throws some light on the behavior report and the pivotal role it can play to optimize content.