How to identify your sites worst pages

  • 0
  • February 19, 2010

The worst page on a website is the last page that a visitor looks at before they leave and unless that’s the final page in your checkout process you need to be looking at ways to improve it.

An easy method to identify pages that are causing your visitors to leave is to order your Google Analytics content report by “% Exit” but this doesn’t really help because you get loads of pages with 2 visitors and one left straight away giving a 50% Exit Rate.

What we do is to add a filter to only include pages with more than 50 page views which results in a nice list of your worst performing pages. The next step is to identify the problems with them which we will address in another post.

Patrick Altoft

About Patrick Altoft

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events.

  • Fabio Ricotta

    This is a good tip! Thanks for sharing.

    I would like to add an extra tip: you can create a second filter to show pages with 50+ page views that created at least 1 conversion. Of course, you must have a Goal or Ecommerce active.

  • Manuel Lemos

    I do not agree with your that high bounce rate means that the page is bad.

    First, the title “bounce rate” is misleading. The problem is that most tracking systems do not measure exactly when the visitor leaves. They just measure when the visitor arrives and whether he visited another page in the same site during a following period of time (often 30 minutes).

    If the person does not visit a second page in the site, those tracking systems consider that the visitor bounced. That may be a totally wrong conclusion. The visitor may have come to the page, read an article for a long time and closed the browser tab. This happens very often because most browsers support tabs.

    The visitor may even have left the tab open for many days until he has time to read the article carefully. Most tracking systems only track visits in the same day.

    What is worst about your conclusion, is that the user may have visited the page, found an interesting ad, clicked on it, thus leaving the site. If you eliminate that page from the site because you assumed it was bad due to high bounce rate, you will be mistakenly loosing revenue.

    Bottom line, bounce rate is not a reliable metric. Do not give so much weight in your decisions.

    • Patrick Altoft

      Manuel, good point. I was mainly thinking about ecommerce style sites rather than ones with ads.

  • Chase Sagum

    I like! Although I would say that it really isn’t this black and white. Everybody has to eventually leave your website, so basing a bad page just on Exit rate isn’t entirely accurate.

    I think Bounce Rate is a better metric to follow because it calculates one page visits on all entry pages. This in my opinion gives you a better idea of what pages on your site are struggling more than others.

    Great article though! If I can have one request it’s to have you keep the Google Analytics posts coming. Can never get enough of those :)

  • Free WP Templates

    I don’t agree with you. There are two reasons if a visitor leaves our site. one would be we fulfilled his expectation and the other would be we haven’t fulfilled his expectation. For example, I have a theme site. people will download wp themes from my site. if a visitor searches a keyword and choose the best one and the visitor is happy and downloads the theme. In this case the last page he visits should be a best page in my site. in other case, the visitor searches a keyword and he didn’t find his favorite wp theme. so he leaves my site and continue searching on other sites. In this case, the last page he visited might be the worst page.


  • Rinaldi Syahran

    A good article and helpful for many people. The contents of your writing it will make many people realize and see that it is an important thing.

  • Simon

    Let me first say I think this is a nice little tip.

    But…what about if the visitor has phoned up to buy something / make an enquiry on a product page and then closes the page after the call.

    If your best priced item was 75% reduced for example, and was generating lots of phone calls, it could also appear to have a high exit rate as it would be here where many people would appear to be leaving, even though they have converted?

    Maybe an extreme example as e-commerce is designed for people to buy online of course?

  • iSamith

    Patrick is right on the money! This is a good way to identify potential pages that needs a bit of optimization. So rather than bagging him on the topic, think of ways to use. Analysis is never black or white and every website is unique, so you can look at your data and workout why those pages have a high exit rate, it could be for a good reason like a theme download or a bad reason, if it’s bad, then you can think of improving it. Good post Patrick thanks!

  • SysComm

    I don’t agree with your statement that the exit page has to be the worst page of your website! It depends on many other factors.However, it was interesting to read.

  • Tomek

    We have one of the highest bounce rate on “thank you” page after placing an order.
    I don’t get it: does it really take more than 30minutes to buy a plush toy? Or the GA misinterpret referrer..

    Great tip – I’ve found few easy removable bugs thanks to this!

  • Tom – marketing tips blog

    Excellent tips.I check my stats at Google Analytics regularly but have never really understood all the stats.I know I could improve some of my pages to keep visitors longer at my blog.

  • Sophie

    Some good tips here, great ways to improve pages. Not sure i agree with all of it, but an interesting read. Thanks for posting.

  • SysComm

    Although I admit the importance of bounce rate, I think it is too much to say it is the worst page of your site if it’s the exit page …There are a number of other factors to be considered as well

  • web design barnsley

    Very good tips here, most of it I would agree with it and may start putting some into practice.

    Thanks for the post

  • Questão de Pele

    That was a great tip. I use the analytics, but I´didnt realize the importance of the % Exit. Thank you so much.

  • Comunicação Visual

    A good article and helpful for many people. The contents of your writing it will make many people realize and see that it is an important thing.

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