Entry And Exit Pages
Another useful piece of analytics is working out where people entered the website and where they left the website, and there are natural places for that to take place. When somebody exits your website, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a natural thing. It’s only a bad thing if they didn’t spend enough time with you or if they didn’t visit the right pages. So, you want to try and make sure that people enter and exit at the right place.
Let’s start with the entry points. Remember, especially with Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Campaigns, you’re not going to send everybody to the front door. They’re not all coming to the Home Page. What that means is that every page on your website potentially becomes the first impression a website visitor has of your company.
When you send somebody straight to your Emergency Plumber Call-Out page for example, then that becomes the Home Page for that particular visit. It’s really important to understand that and how it could affect your Bounce Rate. If your information isn’t relevant or if the visitor can’t find what they need on the Landing Page, they’re going to disappear off again. You might be thinking, “If they had gone to my Home Page they would have seen that I have all of the information there” but there is too much choice on the internet, so people don’t do that. The best advice is to treat every page as if it was the first impression anyone would have of your company, because to some people it will be.
Google Analytics is going to tell you what the most popular entry pages are. It’s your job to look at them and be critical, how could they be improved to make them more effective entry pages? They may be fine, or simply need a couple of amends, or it could be a bigger project. When you’ve got the right content on those pages, then I suggest that you improve the Search Engine Optimisation and consider setting up some Pay-Per-Click advertising that goes straight to those pages.
If Google has told you that it is a good entry page, it is worth spending time enhancing it further to make sure people not only stay on this page, but also explore the other pages of your website. Keeping visitors engaged and interested will lower your Bounce Rate and increase the Time on the Site, both of which improve the likelihood of the visitor purchasing from you.
What about exit pages? As I said, not all exit pages are a problem. If your top exit page is the Contact Page and your primary goal is to get people to make contact, then that’s a good thing. In fact, you want your Contact Page to potentially be a really high performing exit page. It suggests that somebody has done exactly what you want them to do, which is to reach the right page and make contact with you.
As we look at entry pages and exit pages, we also need to look at the flow of visitors. We’re going to talk in another section about setting up goals and within that section we look at how people flow through your website. For now, I want to throw something at you if you’re going to be doing E-Commerce. In most cases you have a flow and the natural exit page is the Thank You page that comes after the Checkout. If you start seeing lots of exit pages taking place at the Checkouts, then you really need to address it. People have spent the time to go through the shopping process. They’ve got onto your Checkout page and they’ve found a problem. If you’re selling online, you need to find out and address the problems quickly so that you don’t lose people at that point. There will be a reason why people have come this far but failed to complete the purchase. Address the problem on these pages, whatever they may be.
I hope that’s really helped you understand entry and exit pages. Remember, any page is a landing page when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. You’ve got to improve those entry Pages. Any page could be an exit page, but there are certain pages that you don’t want to become exit pages. So, as you start seeing them coming up in the list, you need to do something to stop them from becoming frequent exit pages.