Annelieke's Analytics:

The power of the landing page in Google Analytics

The landing page, perhaps a dimension you take for granted. That you look at, but don’t actually look at. Just like looking at what time it is without actually knowing or understanding what time it is. In my opinion, the landing page is a powerful dimension in Google Analytics. Let me explain why I think that.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is the first page of a session. Let’s say Sarah is visiting your site. She starts her session on your site on blog post X and then reads blog post Y. In this case, blog post X is the landing page. You can translate that to the first page people land on when visiting your site. Google Analytics offers you a landing page report. You can find it in the Behavior section, Site Content, Landing Pages:

Landing pages report in Google Analytics

What do landing pages tell you?

A landing page is the first page people land on from a particular source. It’s the page they start their session with. Now let that sink in for a minute. What can landing pages tell you about people who come from a search engine (organic)? It tells you something about how your SEO is doing. What can landing pages tell you about people who come from your newsletter? It tells you something about what they’re interested in. And what to think of people who come from Facebook or any other kind of social medium? The landing page says something about what made them click. How awesome is that? In that sense, landing pages give you insight in your audience. Think about that, think about it in the shower. And think about what it means for each and every one of your sources.

Landing page metrics

Sessions tell you more about how many sessions started with page X. You can use this metric to see how popular and important the landing page is. But it gets more interesting. Bounce Rate which in this case also means Exit page because this is the percentage of people that didn’t do anything after landing on page X.

Landing pages vs. pages

Landing pages and pages aren’t the same. In fact, they’re measured differently. Ever noticed that the data table you see in the ‘All pages’ report differs from the data table you see in the ‘Landing pages’ report?

All pages metrics in Google Analytics

All pages report

Landing pages metrics in Google Analytics

Landing pages report

The all pages report contains information about page views, time on page, metrics that contain information about the page itself. It’s about interactions with the page itself, this data is collected at ‘hit’ level. If you compare the All pages metrics with the metrics in the landing pages report, you notice that the metrics in the landing page report are session based.

Perhaps you’ve added Source or Campaign as a second dimension in the All pages report. But you might be looking at data that’s not what you think the data is. You see, if you add a session based dimension, like source, it sees Page as a landing page because that’s the first page of the session.

Source as secondary dimension in all pages report in Google Analytics

So you might as well add Source as a secondary dimension in the Landing pages report.


The landing page report is an audience insights report if you ask me. It contains information about what kind of pages make people click. Information about what made them decide to visit your website. And if you discover differences per source, you can adjust your marketing campaigns per source. Customizing the content of the newsletter based on what worked before. Optimizing your SEO because you know what kind of keywords your page fits best in search results. Awesome stuff!

Read more: How to create and use dashboards in Google Analytics »

Annelieke's Analytics series

Annelieke's Analytics series

Annelieke posts about her experiences with Google Analytics and helps you along the way.

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5 Responses to The power of the landing page in Google Analytics

  1. HKR Supports
    HKR Supports  • 10 months ago

    Thanks to providing the information on analytics

  2. Trekking Team Nepal
    Trekking Team Nepal  • 10 months ago

    Landing pages actually makes a lot difference .

  3. Robert Quinton
    Robert Quinton  • 10 months ago

    That’s really helpful info, we will now try to focus on our landing pages first and on the other pages second thanks!

  4. Cammi
    Cammi  • 10 months ago

    I have a question for you. When I try to configure my google analytics and authenticate my google account, everytime I try to get the google code it says this:
    “401. That’s an error.
    Error: deleted_client
    The OAuth client was deleted.
    Request Details
    That’s all we know.”

    I have tried to research how to fix it but have no idea?? Wondering if you would know by chance?

  5. The Berkat
    The Berkat  • 11 months ago

    In my personal opinion, landing page is extremely useful for the non-media website such as e-commerce site. This is where people sell products or specifically working on the funnels to convert the traffic into paid customers.