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Customizing Megalytic To Show Traffic to Specific Pages: Page Traffic Widget

Published September 23, 2015
You understand that good reports tell a story. The more relevant details you can pull into your reports, the stronger the story you’re going to provide your boss or client. That means getting as granular as you can with the right data.
Your boss or client doesn’t just want to know how much traffic is coming into the site, they want to know where it’s going and what’s happening on those pages. By breaking down data by the pages people visited, you can show what topics visitors were most interested in, where they spent the most time, and where they were likely to enter or exit the site.
That’s a much stronger story than looking at overall traffic alone.
Megalytic offers a Page Traffic widget that allows you to show performance by page. In this article, we’ll review how to set up this widget, tweaking it for your reporting needs.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget

 

Setting up the Page Traffic Widget

When you first add the Page Traffic widget, you’ll see a list of the top viewed pages on your site, along with pageviews, average time on page, entrances, exits, and bounce rate for the past 13 weeks. As with any widget in Megalytic, this is highly customizable to show the specific stats you want to portray for pages on your site.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Default Settings

 

To begin customizing the data, select the gear symbol in the upper left. Here, you’ll see several options to configure the widget for your data needs.

 

Customize the Megalytic Page Traffic Widget

 

First, you can choose from among six different chart types, including a line graph, time series bar chart, standard bar chart, pie chart, table view, and table graph. Learn more about when to use each chart type in our article series on Deciding How to Represent Website Data.

Next, you can choose how to show your pages in the report using the Dimension dropdown, selecting between Page Path (URL) and Page Title (the “title” element of the page that shows up in the browser). Your choice here depends on your website’s setup and the technical level of the people reviewing your reports. Some people may be comfortable looking at URLs, while others may prefer to see page titles.

To remove extraneous analytics data, such as from bots and fake referrers, you can use the “Exclude Traffic” dropdown. This will let you exclude visits that make up less than a select percentage of your traffic (anywhere from 0.1% to 2%).

Next, you can use the “Filter” dropdown to quickly select from a traffic source: Referral, Direct, Search (both paid and organic), Paid Search, or Organic Search. This option will let you see how pages perform for specific audiences, as an individual who typed your URL directly into his or her search bar will behave differently than someone who stumbled across your site from a paid search ad. For more complex combinations of traffic, you can use Google Analytics Segments or Megalytic’s built-in filtering option.

Depending on how many pages you wish to show in a report, use the “Number of Rows” to show anywhere from 10 to 300. This option allows you to show either a quick, high-level overview of top pages or provide a much more in-depth report outlining performance for many pages across a large site.

You may also want to customize the columns in the table, which you can do using the “Columns” dropdown. For instance, you may want to focus on unique pageviews over total pageviews or include conversion data for each page.

Simply click any metric in the list to select it; conversely, click any metric already checked to unselect it. Underneath that dropdown, select and drag any metrics in the “Selected Columns” section to rearrange their order. “Apply selection” will update the columns in the report to reflect your selection.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Customize Columns

 

Showing Page Trends Over Time

If you want to show interest in specific pages to your site over a period of time, you can switch to a time series bar chart. You’ll then be able to choose the pages you want to show.

First, choose the time series bar chart symbol from the widget options. Next, use the “Series” dropdown to select the pages you’d like to represent on the chart. Note that you can use the search function to locate specific pages of concern by URL (you’ll see the top ten pages listed by default but can search any pages that show data in Google Analytics).

In this example, we’re comparing pages from an HVAC company’s site to show how interest in various services has changed over the course of the summer. Each page represents a service/product (air conditioning, duct cleaning, hot water heaters).

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Showing Time Series

 

You can see that the final chart shows a bar chart representing your chosen pages, providing a straightforward way to see change over time. Here, you can pinpoint select weeks that saw an increase or decrease in traffic to particular pages, expounding on reasons for traffic changes in a Notes widget.

A line chart would also help you to easily show trends for select pages over a long timeframe. You just need to select the line chart icon under Chart Type and can choose your desired pages as we just showed for the previous chart.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Line Chart

 

Here, we can see the same pages over this timeframe, allowing us to better see general upward or downward trends than in the table or bar chart.

Showing a Specific Subset of Pages

If you’d like to show traffic to a particular category of pages within your site, you can filter the widget based on your URL structure. For instance, within our HVAC site, we may want to break down traffic to all traffic for products or services.

To create a filter, select “Add Filter” from the widget options. In the field that appears, you can choose to filter Page Path by URL. In our example site, all of our desired pages include /products/ in the URLs, so we’ll use that text in our filter. Select “Apply” to update the report with your filter.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Editing a Page Path Filter

 

Note that we’ve chosen the table graph chart, which offers an effective way to compare performance of one major metric between two date ranges. We’ve also used the date selector to choose our date range and compare to the previous period, in this case looking at last month against the previous month. Now, we can see the final widget, breaking down unique pageviews for pages in our selected category.

[screenshot: page-path-filtered-final]

 

Megalytic Page Widget Showing Data Filtered by Page Path

 

This type of filtering could be useful for sites in many industries. For instance, an ecommerce site could break down product pages from a select category, or a college could break down pages specific to academic programs.

Conclusion

Whether breaking down page performance for a 10-page law firm site or a 10,000-page ecommerce site, the Page Traffic widget offers a highly customizable way to break down data per page to tell a greater story. You can list pages in a table or show trends over time, while selecting the most relevant metrics for your report. Start experimenting with the Page Traffic widget to improve reporting and better show your work to your clients or boss.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.