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One common misconception many website owners have is that people enter their site via the front door.
The homepage is probably your main entry point by design and may have some welcome message outlining what the site is about and what users may find if they navigate a little further. But as mentioned in a previous post on measuring online success, visitors to your site do not always enter or exit your pages in an orderly fashion, although the majority may navigate to the homepage via their browser or have it bookmarked in their favourites.
A good chunk of your potential customers however, will enter straight onto your products pages and won't leave necessarily where you think they should.
They'll come from multiple sources:
adCenter Analytics can help you identify where people enter and where people leave your site.
When we refreshed the beta back in July, we added the Top Entry & Exit Pages Report
By navigating to the Pages & Content section of the Reports tab you'll see the different options to analyse the top entry and exit points of your site.
The Top Entry Page report will show you all the URLs and their associated number of visits, average page views and average length of visit, which will help you build up a picture of where users are landing, how long they are staying on your site and how deep they're navigating.
The Top Exit Page report will do the same but concentrates on those URLs that people tend to leave the most.
Why is this data important?
Well we've established that users on your website don't all behave in the same way. But these reports can help to build up a pattern that can help you to optimise your content.
If a particular page is proving a popular entry point then you should did a little deeper to find out why? Is it ranking well in the search engines for that product query? Has someone written a favourable review? Have you checked your PPC account recently to make sure you're not bidding too much? If a product's popular for some reason, then it might be a good idea to, say, showcase it on your homepage to drive even more traffic and hopefully more sales.
Knowing how many pages people view is also a good indicator as to whether they're finding what they want from your site. If they're leaving pretty much immediately then maybe a good strategy would be to reassess the content or navigation on the page to make it more "sticky".
Having a good idea which pages people leave your site from is crucial too success too. Obviously in an ideal world it would be the "Thank You Page" after check out. But that's not always the case unfortunately, so having the data on where visits may be ending prematurely is an important consideration too.
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