The reading level for this article is Novice

Note: for an introduction to basic use of ClickTracks, see Part 1: Getting Started.

Landing Pages

It’s important to know the exact pages of your site that the various search engines link to for each of your major keywords and phrases. These are called “landing pages”, and are the first pages that visitors see when they click on search results.

Landing pages are critical for initial impressions and credibility, especially for people who are not familiar with your business. It’s also important to ensure that these pages fulfill the visitors’ expectations based on their search terms.

Use the ClickTracks “Create Labels” tool, and select “used a certain search engine query” combined with the keyword or phrase as your criteria to track people who came to your site with that search.

Now you can investigate:

What are the Top Entry Pages (i.e. “Landing Pages”) for this search term:

  • Is the search term included in the page content? Often, visitors will be looking for their keywords to confirm that they’re in the right place. If your page doesn’t seem relevant to them, they’ll leave.

Combine the landing page information with Top Exit Pages or Short Visits for this term for clues as to whether your landing page is sufficiently engaging.

Does the Landing Page drive visitors into the rest of your site:

  • If you do have relevant content on the page, but visitors still leave, could there be other reasons for their lack of engagement?

Landing pages are also those that you link to in your e-mail marketing messages – and again, are the first thing that the reader sees when they click through from one of your campaigns.

Often, site owners assume that every visitor sees their home page, which is the primary means of navigation. Your landing pages are the first that visitors will see, so they need to act as mini-home pages too.

Use this information about what visitors are seeking when they arrive at your site and what their expectations may be to direct them to other pages that will meet their needs.

Goal or “Must-See” Pages

The key pages on your site where people make decisions to buy a product, download a sample, subscribe to your newsletter, etc are known as “goal” or “must-see” pages. These are the places to which you drive your traffic to in order to achieve your site objectives.

Use the ClickTracks “Create Labels” tool, and select “visited a certain page” combined with your goal page name as your criteria to track people who visited that page.

Now you can investigate:

Is this page hard to find?

  • Do visitors take a long time to reach this page? (check the average time to the page from the Navigation report)
  • Are there other “must-see” pages that are critical on the path to this page? (check the “Previous Page” information in the Navigation report)

    These findings can give you ideas for improving the navigation to, and positioning of your “Goal Page”.

Does how the visitor found your site affect the success of the “Goal Page”?

  • Are there critical keyword searches or referring URL’s that generate better traffic in reaching your goal?

    Combine this information with your most effective keywords data to ensure that you’re paying for the best return on investment in generating quality traffic.

For further help in creating specific ClickTracks reports, see Part 2: Labeling Options.

© Philippa Gamse. All rights reserved.

This Web Marketing article was written by Ryan P Allis on 2/28/2005

Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.