Use Google Analytics to Find the Most Visited Pages on Your Website
Whether you run a small website with just a few pages or practice content marketing and have 1,000 blog posts, it’s valuable to understand how people interact with your website.
One piece of information any website owner should pay attention to is which of your webpages are getting the most traffic. Luckily, that’s a pretty simple metric to access.
Find Your Most Popular Pages in Google Analytics
First, you need to login to your Google Analytics account.
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics for your website yet, then get that done ASAP. You can find instructions on how to do so here (or here for WordPress websites). The rest of these steps will only benefit you once you have Google Analytics tracking set up on your website for a while, so if you just set it up today, bookmark this post and make a note in your calendar to revisit it in a few weeks once you have some data to work with.
Once you’re in, choose Behavior in the left hand menu. Under that, select Site Content and then All Pages.
And that’s it, you should now be seeing a list of the pages in your website ordered by how much traffic they receive. Google Analytics usually defaults to showing you just the last week’s worth of information, but you can expand that by changing the date range in the top right corner.
How to Use This Information
Now that you have the information, what are you supposed to do with it? Well, your most popular pages have something to tell you about what’s working best for your website. And they provide you with opportunities to do more to capture the attention of the people who navigate to your website so you can (hopefully) turn one-off visits into ongoing relationships.
Here are a few steps you can take to get more out of your most popular pages.
1. Add CTAs to keep the relationship going.
What happens when people land on these pages? If most of them leave again without visiting any other pages on your website or signing up for your email list or taking any of the other actions you’d ideally like them to, then you’re missing opportunities.
Figure out what you’d most like people to do after they visit each popular page, and craft a call to action to help guide them in that direction.
2. Add relevant internal links to other pages on your site.
Internal links both encourage your visitors to check out other pages on your website and contribute to improving the SEO of the pages you link to. Make sure the links you include fit in naturally on the page, and don’t try to force a link in there that doesn’t make sense. Be sure to include relevant anchor text for the links you create (those are the words that are linked, the ones that show up in blue). It’s one little step you can take to give those pages some extra SEO power.
3. Analyze what’s working for your most popular pages.
There’s some reason that your most popular pages are outperforming the others. Try to figure out what that is. Start by looking at how people found the page. You can see this in Google Analytics under the Acquisition section. If a lot of that traffic is coming through organic search, then your SEO is working for you. If it’s coming from referral links on social media or other pages, then that tells you something about how well your promotion efforts are working.
Look for things your most popular pages have in common. If most of the top pages are longform blog posts over 1,500 words and they’re handily outperforming your 500-word posts, then you know that a focus on longform is a good strategy. Maybe your popular pages are formatted differently than others, or maybe they tend to focus on particular topics your audience is especially interested. Do your best to work out what makes these pages special.
4. Revisit low-traffic pages to implement improvements.
Your insights from step three will likely provide you some useful information in how to make the other pages on your site stronger. Work out a plan to re-visit your older pages and posts and make updates to them based on what you learned in your analysis.
5. Incorporate your insights into your plan for future pages.
In addition to improving your current pages, use those insights to help you plan your future content. Figure out related or similar topics that you can cover on your blog. If your most popular pages tend to be tutorials, make more of those. Whatever this project has shown you is working, figure out a plan to do more of that.
6. Use A/B testing to confirm your insights.
It’s possible to draw the wrong assumptions from an analysis like the one you did in step three. To avoid committing long term to a strategy based on a mistaken assumption about why your popular content is working, do some A/B testing. Create two pieces of content that are similar in every way but one – maybe they have a different CTA, different title format, or different lengths. By seeing the comparison in how they perform, you can either confirm or correct your assumptions about what made those popular posts work.
Your analytics have a lot to tell you about what your website visitors like. To make use of that information, you have to get into the habit of paying attention to the metrics that matter and creating an action plan to turn those insights into improvements.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.