How to Leverage Piwik PRO Pages Report for Conversion Optimization

Published: November 21, 2016 Updated: August 3, 2018 Author Category Conversion Optimization, Product Best Practices

Web analytics tools do a great job delivering insights to support the conversion optimization process. Quantitative analysis and research are crucial elements of the CRO process.

In a series of articles focusing on CRO we will explain what web analytics is and how it can optimize conversion rates on a website. We will show how to use Piwik PRO reports to create meaningful insights and hypotheses to support A/B testing and CRO processes.

In this article we will dive deep into Action Reports to identify parts of our website that underperform.

What insights can we get from the Pages report?

You can find the Pages report in the Actions Report section of the Piwik PRO left sidebar menu. By default, it groups all the subpages on your website based on the number of page views recorded over a given period of time. The subpages are grouped into directories and can be further expanded.

How to Leverage Piwik PRO Pages Report for Conversion Optimization

Now that we’ve got this, let’s see what data we can find in those reports and how to interpret it for our purposes.

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Look for pages which:

  • record a lot of pageviews and visits
  • have both an above-average bounce rate and high exit rate at the same time.

You can look at individual metrics and try to work with just that. Still, without the context provided by other metrics they remain useless.

What we need to do is to place at least 2-3 metrics side by side before we draw any conclusions. If we spot a page that is receiving a significant number of visits on a monthly basis, we’re on the right track. If it generates high bounce rates and exit rates… ding ding ding! This is where you should be focusing your conversion optimization efforts.

Here is an example of how this might look in your Piwik PRO reports:

High exit rate

This is a good example of an underperforming page. Each month it is visited by around 400 to 500 visitors, and we get absolutely no value from these visits. Around 96% of visitors bounce off in the first few seconds, and 99% leave the page even after they have performed an action. Moreover, if you are paying to attract visitors to this page, this is the place where your website is leaking money.

What could be the cause?

  • Poor ad copy – when your ad promises users the moon but what they actually find on your landing page doesn’t even come close.
  • Inadequate labels – the labels (links on your menu) used in your internal website navigation are misleading, people expect to find something different on your page.
  • Usability issues – this particular page has some serious usability issues that should be investigated and fixed.
  • Content update – during recreation of a page you generally replace old content with new content. Google robots haven’t indexed it properly and on time, so people entering your website feel disappointed and leave.
  • The traffic received by this page is purely accidental – it may be the result of spam or some unusual referral you are unaware of.

Of course, this particular page may underperform for many other reasons. Here is what we recommend doing:

  • Perform a usability and functionality test that involve at least 5 testers. You can do it in-house by hiring a tester or using software, like User Testing.
  • Perform qualitative research using heatmaps (ie. CrazyEgg, HotJar) or online surveys (HotJar, Qualaroo).
  • Analyze traffic sources and messages used to drive traffic to this page

Of course, there are always exceptions. In some cases a high bounce rate and exit rate does not mean a given page is an underperformer. Here is a real-life example:

Pages report

As you can see, the bounce and exit rates are rather high for most of the pages in this report. Yet, there is nothing wrong with this blog. People who enter a blog via Google search results typically visit one page only.

Visitors use Google to get some specific information. (Duh!) They often end up on your website by clicking one of the search results leading to a blog post (because Google loves blog-style content). They find the desired information, read through the whole article and leave, not generating more than one page view. This may result in a high bounce rate even if the user spends a significant amount of time absorbing your content.

What insights we can get from Average Generation Time report?

Average generation time is the only metric that gives you insights that are not correlated with any other ones. It can reveal some usability issues with individual pages caused by long loading times.

To understand the problem, check this great infographic on the Kissmetrics blog summarizing the impact of loading time on user experience and behavior. As you can see, every second spend on a page increases significantly the page bounce rate and reduces conversion rates. This is even more true in the case of mobile users who tend to have much less patience than desktop users.

So what should you look at when analyzing this metric?

Basically, we should look for pages with significant traffic volume and above-average generation time. We should also pay special attention to the average generation time of the most valuable pages like lead capture pages, contact pages, shopping cart pages and other important steps in the conversion funnel.

In the example below we have marked the pages that seems to load slower than others on our website. They will definitely need closer attention.

Page speed

What can we do with this data? You can start by investigating troublesome pages with one of the following speed inspection tools:

The aim of those tools is to uncover page loading time issues. They will also suggest fixes and improvements for your website. A complete list of fixes can be passed along to your site’s developers so they can do the job based on those suggestions.

What insights can we get from Open Transitions

The Transitions feature can be accessed in the Pages report at the individual page level.

Transitions

The Open Transitions feature presents the flow of visitors to and from a given page. This is the right place to analyze navigation around a particular page. Personally, I think this is one of the most useful reports for getting a better understanding of your visitors. Here’s an example:

Page transitions

There are countless use cases where this report can be applied. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Analyzing user flow for the most important conversion funnel steps
  • Analyzing user flow for the most important bottleneck pages in your funnel
  • Analyzing and improving navigation on your home page
  • Analyzing and improving navigation on the key category pages of ecommerce websites

What insights can you get from the Piwik PRO Open Transitions report?

  • Take a look at the transitions for a page that result in a lot of drop offs. Where do the users go after they leave the conversion funnel? Maybe they lack some information that is vital to accomplish their goal. Maybe they have to look for it elsewhere on your website.
  • Take a look at the funnel steps transition report. Do the users enter the funnel they way you wanted them and predicted they would? If not, how did they enter the funnel? Which pages did they visit before? Shouldn’t you move the funnel entrance and make your CTA more prominent there?
  • Now, take a look at the transition report for the home page or a category page. How do users navigate our website? What pages do they visit after landing on these pages? What content categories / menu links / CTAs attract the most attention on your homepage and category pages? Do they move towards the pages you want them to visit? Maybe there is something you should improve about navigation or CTAs on your home page.

Transition reports have so many powerful use cases that we plan to prepare a separate article on this topic.

So stay tuned! In the meantime, I hope I have shed some light on how you can leverage the Piwik PRO Pages report when optimizing conversion.

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Author:

Marek Juszczyński,

Marek Juszczynski is the Head of Marketing at Piwik PRO. His areas of expertise include Conversion Optimization and B2B marketing. Apart from his every day duties he publishes web analytics and conversion optimization related articles on Piwik PRO blog.

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