Welcoming back an old friend can be a great feeling. Many analytics practitioners using GA4 are experiencing just that since Google announced it was adding a landing page report to GA4 last month.
News regarding something as mundane as a report may seem a bit anticlimactic compared with other headlines and what’s floating around on social media these days. But for analytics practitioners this is a bright spot because of the familiarity marketers have with landing pages and from their use in Universal Analytics.
So how can marketers leverage an old favorite in their new GA4 environment? To answer that question, marketers need to consider what role landing pages and their consequential reports play in planning customer experience.
Landing Pages Basics
Landing pages seem simple, just one HTML page with some information. But they play an important part in converting people who casually discover your company online into customers or clients. A landing page is a dedicated page used to provide people with basic information before they move more deeply into your website. People often land on these pages after clicking on a digital ad. But the scope of their use has grown, and marketers also often use them for social media ads, QR codes, email newsletters or even digital display billboards.
The landing page copy has also changed. The page was originally meant to avoid sending people to a website page with an overwhelming amount of information, such as lots of product descriptions and links. Too many landing page elements can swamp the visitor rather than allowing the person to consider a conversion action.
I suspect marketers this year will be measuring a lot of landing page performance against registrations. People use landing pages for subscriptions to email newsletters, webinars, podcasts and the like. This means an opt-in/opt-out behavior will be more of a norm, encouraging marketers to turn to a trusted format to manage data governance concerns.
What the Google Landing Page Report Provides
The landing page report has a brief, straightforward history in the Google Analytics environment. It was available in the previous version of Universal Analytics, but Google did not initially offer it and other reports in GA4. This was a temporary move as Google has restored them as featured function in the events-driven architecture of GA4.
In Google Analytics 4 the Landing Page report appears in the Life Cycle segment in the left navigation menu of the analytics account. After you click on the segment, you click on Engagement. You will then see a report among the other Engagement reports. Google provided a snapshot of what the new landing page report will look like, a similar layout to its other Engagement reports.
The landing page report will compare each page according to five metrics very familiar to analytics practitioners — average engagement time per session, conversions, new users, views and total revenue.
A timeline graph appears at the top, revealing how each landing page compares by metric over a given period. The five metrics appear as columns below the time graph, so you can compare by each metric.
The Reports Are Reminiscent of the Familiar UA Reports
One nice aspect of the report is that the chart appears reminiscent of the UA reports of old, albeit still with the navigational layout of GA4. For example, you can select filters on the timeline graph the same way you would in other Engagement reports.
Keep in mind landing page reports are not a unique Google Analytics feature. Many clickstream analytics solutions offer a landing page report. Even Mailchimp has begun to offer a landing page report as it also provides hosting landing pages as a platform feature.
What makes the GA4 landing page helpful is its ability to quickly assess landing page performance against metrics that are needed for quick decisions. For example, it can be important to compare landing page ad campaigns against the revenue generated or the number of conversions that occurred during the time. This information can help marketers make faster decisions to improve ad and landing page coordination. Other comparisons, such as comparing landing page copy that attracts new potential customers (visits) or segmented campaigns according to generated revenue, are possible.
Segmenting campaigns by revenue is particularly compelling because of the simplicity of being able to glance at conversion activity. Landing pages can be set by geography, allowing users to compare if revenue exceeding a target amount is associated with a particular region consistently drawing an audience.
Related Article: The Value of Site Search to Your Customer Experience Analytics
Final Thoughts on the Return of Google Landing Pages Reports
Landing pages are an expected basic part of a digital marketing campaign. But with so many campaign medium choices and combinations available now, marketers will be turning to landing pages as a baseline to better control campaigns and highlight opportunities. The new landing page report in Google Analytics will be part of that back-to-basics analysis.