How do you measure the performance of your web pages in Google Analytics?
Google Analytics gives us all sorts of ways to evaluate our websites. Usually, when we want to look at the monetary value of our website, we look at conversions.
But Google Analytics doesn't show us conversions at a page level.
To figure out the value of your content (your pages, posts, or product listing) you have to use a different metric…
…One of my favorite metrics! – Page Value.
Page Value is how you measure the monetary performance of your web pages in Google Analytics.
And, in this post, we are going to do a full tutorial on Page Value. I'll also show you why you should focus on Page Value, and stop looking at bounce rate!
So, if you want to get better at measuring the dollar value of your website content, then follow along with this video and post.
Why can't I see the conversion rate for my pages?
If you look at your Site Content reports in Google Analytics, you'll see all sorts of metrics. You can look at pageviews, bounce rate, exits %, etc.
But, (with the exception of the landing page report) you can't see conversion rate. That’s weird, right? All this emphasis on content, but no conversion rate!
The reason you can't see conversions in your All Pages report has to do with the scope of the metrics.
Conversions are a session related metric, not a pageview related metric.
In Google Analytics, pageviews are the action taken by a user to load a page in their browser. Users are unique devices (more accurately, cookies) that access your website.
And sessions represent all the activity a user performs on your website during a 30-minute window of time.
A user can reach a goal (convert) once, or more than once, during a session. So, a user's conversion is not associated with any one unique pageview, aside from the first page they visit – their landing page.
Landing Page conversion rates
The landing page is the first page of your visitor's session. Simply put, a landing page is the entry point on your site for a user's session. Every session has one landing page hit. So landing pages are a session related dimension. And they can have a conversion rate.
Let's take a quick look at the Landing Pages report.
In the Landing Page report below, you can see the e-commerce conversion rate for each landing page.
Like we discussed, each session has a landing page. And the landing page dimensions work with the conversion metrics in your reports.
If you want to learn more about landing pages, you can read our full tutorial on the Landing Page report – How to Maximize the Google Analytics Landing Page Report.
The bottom line is that you can see page level conversions on the Landing Page report, but not in the All Pages report.
For standard page views, we don't have any conversion metrics. Instead, we have Page Value.
The Page Value metric is designed to help answer the question –“How much is a web page worth?”
How Does Google Analytics Define Page Value?
But what is Page Value? How is it defined and how is it calculated?
Let's start with Google's definition of Page Value:
The average value of this page or set of pages. Page Value is ((Transaction Revenue + Total Goal Value) divided by Unique Pageviews for the page or set of pages))
Google's explanation is a good one. But it's a bit complicated. Words are not always the best way to understand an equation.
Google also offers us this a graphic to help us better understand how to calculate Page Value.
In this depiction, there's one unique pageview, a goal conversion worth $10, and transaction that's worth $100.
So, the page value assigned is equal to $110.
The calculation is:
(Revenue + Goals) ÷ Unique Pageviews = Page Vale
If you had multiple page views associated with a goal and purchase, your page value calculation might look like this:
(Revenue $100 + Goal $10)/ 5 Unique Pageviews = $22.00 Page value.
In this scenario, every page associated with the goal and purchase is assigned a $22.00 value.
Page Value distributes equal value across all the unique pageviews that lead to a conversion. It's not perfect – but it's straightforward, and it works.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at your Page Value
1. Page Value is always higher for cart pages
As you can see below in the Google Merchandise Store account, the Page Values are much higher for the cart pages.
There are a couple of obvious reasons why cart pages have a higher value. Cart pages are almost always associated with a conversion. A visitor on a shopping cart page is more likely to result in a conversion being reached than someone reading a blog post.
Also, some of your cart pages must be associated with every transaction. So those pages will accrue a higher value than your other page since every conversion runs through them.
2. If your Page Value is $0 across the board, you need goals
Without Goals, you won't have useful page values. So set up your Goals!
If you need help figuring out how to set up Goals check out these tutorials:
Google Analytics Conversion Tracking and Retroactive Goals
How do you Choose a Google Analytics Goal Value?
And… Sign up for Google Analytics Mastery Course. Goals are a super important part of Google Analytics! In Analytics Course, we will help you understand Goal Funnels, Goal tracking, e-commerce conversions, etc.
3. If individual pages have low value, UPGRADE THEM
One way to improve a low-value page is to offer a content upgrade. Using lead magnets or email opt-ins can help you increase the value of your most popular content.
You can check out my full tutorial on creating content upgrades here – Content Upgrades and Lead Magnets: How to Create and Deploy.
Page Value is an easy self-test
If you see an exorbitantly high Page Value, either something you're doing is working or you are looking at false positive. Remember, your cart pages will naturally have an inflated value.
Pages that have low value represent a chance to make improvements. Your content on low-value pages may not be optimized. Or you may not have enabled any goals associated with the content on your pages.
Page Value is a great way to understand the performance of your content. It's also a reminder to put goals in place, and give your visitors a chance to convert on your best content.
And Page Value is a much better metric than Bounce Rate!! To learn more about why your bounce rate is a useless metric, check out this great article by my friends at ThinkSEM. You might see a few more of my critical thoughts about bounce rate in this post.
To summarize, Bounce Rate sucks!
Look at Page Value to assess the performance of your content instead of bounce rate.
What do you think of Page Value?
Do you use Page Value in Google Analytics? Page Value is a great way to figure out how much your content is worth to your marketing. But, even though this metric is pretty straightforward, it can still be confusing. Leave a comment below with your questions or thoughts about Page Value.