Landing Pages & Exit Pages
Last Updated: July 28, 2021
When optimizing pages, for conversions or search rankings, the hardest question to answer is what pages should you update? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by your website, as if you have to update everything right now to see an increase in conversions or rankings. Instead, the better results come when you focus on key pages. A good place to start gaining that focus and knowing what pages will have the biggest impact on conversions and rankings is with your website’s landing pages and exit pages.
A landing page, or entrance page, is the first page people see when entering your website. Rarely is the homepage the first page people see your website. Instead, people locate a deeper page on your website through a search. Or, people may have found a blog post or resource on your website, shared it on social media, and now a large number of people enter your website on that page. The home page is still important, but it isn’t your only entrance page.
Focusing on landing pages can help your SEO efforts because these are the pages Google is already sending traffic to. If you further optimize these pages, update outdated content on the page and correct any errors present on these pages, you can typically move the page up higher in rankings and drive more traffic to your website. As you consider how to optimize these pages, be sure to check what terms this page is already ranking for and make sure you are appropriately incorporating those terms (and the topics related to those terms) into the landing page’s content.
Landing pages are also a great area to focus on for improving conversions, as these are the very first page people see during their visit to your website. Some landing pages will perform quite well for your company resulting in people spending a lot of time on your website, clicking to several pages, and eventually converting. However, if people don’t spend enough time on a landing page or if they leave without clicking to another page on your website, you have lost that visitor and also lost a chance at a conversion.
To locate the Landing Pages report in Google Analytics, you’ll want to start by clicking on Behavior, and then click on Site Content, and then Landing Pages. Within the Landing Pages report, you’re able to compare the various entrance pages across, not just total traffic volume, but also traffic behavior. Pay special attention to the bounce rate. A higher the bounce rate usually indicates this is a lower performing landing page.
Learn how to locate the landing pages report in Google Analytics:
Along with looking at landing pages, you can also focus on optimizing exit pages. These are the pages people were on before they chose to leave your website. Obviously, 100% of the people visiting your website are eventually going to leave your website, but what we want to find and what we want to optimize are the pages that make people more likely to leave than others. Some pages are intentionally designed as exit pages, like a confirmation page somebody reaches after submitting a contact form or placing an order. However, other pages shouldn’t be exit pages as they were intended to draw people more deeply into your website.
For pages where more people leave more often than you’d expect, these present an opportunity to adjust calls to action to increase conversions and/or increase engagement. In some cases, people may want to convert but aren’t sure how so adding some type of call to action or links to other pages on your website can reduce the exit rate while increasing conversion and engagement rates. Alternatively, you may drive many people away from a page because the call to action is too aggressive. In that case, you would want to adjust the page to have a different type of call to action that takes a different tone.
For SEO, focusing on pages that cause more people to leave than expected can help you clean up poorer performing pages on your website. If people are exiting from that page, it means they aren’t finding that page as helpful as you thought it was. Chances are if people aren’t finding that page helpful, Google’s bots won’t find the page worth ranking in search results. In some cases, this is because the page is outdated, contains thin content, or has an error. By focusing on updating these pages, you can make the page more useful for your visitors and, hopefully, those updates encourage Google to reconsider the page so that it can rank higher in search results.
To access the Exit Pages report in Google Analytics, click on Behavior, then Site Content, then Exit Pages. On this report, you can see which pages people are leaving your website from. The percentage of exits column tells you the percent of people who were on a particular page who chose to leave after viewing that page. One helpful addition to this report is to apply a segment of visitors who didn’t convert. This segment will help us identify which pages people who didn’t convert left from—these pages present an opportunity to alter calls to action to get more people converting from those pages.
Learn how to locate the exit page report in Google Analytics: