17 min read
Growing an online business is easier said than done.
We all have an idea in our heads of how our landing pages should look, what copy we should include, and how best to entice visitors to subscribe. After all, it's our business—we should know best, right?
Most of these ideas, though, are based on our gut feel. They're guesses. Hunches. And as much as we'd like to believe otherwise, hunches are notoriously unreliable.
As you're working to create a living online with your products or services, you can't rely on gut feel. Making the most of everything you do means tracking what's going on in your business.
Monitoring your landing page metrics helps you create a more attractive, engaging, and effective landing page. By tracking the right metrics, you can double down on what's working (and get rid of what isn't).
I know what you're thinking—this all sounds super complicated. Luckily, tracking your landing page metrics doesn't have to be difficult.
In fact, most of you will never need anything other than Google Analytics to understand what’s going on with your business. And now that you can set up a custom thank you page right in ConvertKit, it's easy to start tracking your landing page metrics in Google Analytics.
Before we dive into how you can get started, though, let's take a quick refresher on why it's so important to track your landing page metrics.
Even the most simple landing pages have dozens of different images, headings, copy, and forms—each of which is a chance to improve your signup rate. Tracking your landing page metrics lets you improve your landing pages over time, aligning your messaging with your audiences' needs, and patching the holes in your signup funnel. And, of course, getting more bang for your marketing buck.
A few reasons you should be tracking your landing page metrics:
When a visitor hits your landing page, you only have about 15 seconds to convince them to stay. If you haven't captured their interest within 15 seconds, there's a good chance they'll leave, never to return.
That means you have to really get to know your ideal customers—their pain points, fears, and motivations—to uncover the right combination of positioning, copywriting, and usability that best speaks to their needs.
Measuring your landing page metrics helps you pinpoint your landing page positioning to best meet the needs of your audience. By measuring what's working (and what isn't), you'll be able to adapt your landing pages to speak directly to your best customers and their needs.
Think of your landing pages like a leaky bucket. Pouring more water in might keep things topped off for a while, but eventually, you'll end up losing most of it out the holes.
There are a thousand different reasons a visitor might abandon your landing page without signing up:
Tracking your landing page metrics gives you a window into why your landing pages might be underperforming, and the specific page elements you can improve to create a better experience for your users.
I'll bet my hat it's the former.
Running a lean and mean online business means making the most of every piece of work you do. Improving your landing page conversion rate by even a small percentage can lead to considerable increases in revenue down the line—without needing to find more visitors. And that's great news for time-strapped online business owners like yourself.
Tracking landing page metrics helps you get the most bang for your marketing buck, reducing how much work (and money) you need to put into finding new customers and letting you spend more time growing your business.
As great as it would be, there's no landing page crystal ball that can tell you exactly how to improve your landing page. Instead, you have to rely on data, measuring how visitors are responding to your messaging and how many of them are taking the desired action.
Here are the five essential landing page metrics you should track and monitor on every landing page.
The first thing you should start tracking on every landing page is the number of times people have viewed your landing page. It's the basis of all the other landing page metrics we'll be measuring, so it's important you set this up first.
You should also track how many of those people are taking the desired action on your landing page. This gives you your conversion rate. That action could be signing up for your email list, downloading your lead magnets, signing up for your webinar, buying a digital product, requesting a free trial, or any number of other activities.
Landing page conversion rates vary widely. According to WordStream, the average landing page conversion rate across all industries is around 2.35%. However, the top 25% of landing pages (in terms of performance) convert at almost twice that rate—about 5.3%.
You can measure your conversion rate in a few different ways. The easiest way to measure conversions is to set up a dedicated “thank you” page for each landing page campaign. By dividing the total number of landing page visits by the number of thank you page visits, you'll get your conversion rate. I'll go over how to calculate this automatically in a minute.
While most online creators measure the overall bounce rate of their site—but it's important to track this metric for individual landing pages as well.
Your bounce rate measures how many visitors leave your site before doing anything else, like clicking a link or completing a form. In the context of a single landing page, your bounce rate is effectively the inverse of your conversion rate.
A high bounce rate could mean that your landing page offer isn't clear, your user experience is confusing, or your offer is misleading or doesn't match the ad or email where they clicked on your landing page link.
Time on page, or session duration, measures how long visitors are spending on each page of your site.
For most pages on your site, like blog posts, you'd want to maximize how long visitors spend on the page.
For landing pages, though, it's easy to misinterpret the data. Visitors spending too much time on your landing page could mean your copy or layout is confusing, which could reduce your conversion rates.
On the flip side, visitors spending too little time on your landing page could mean your copy isn't compelling enough to stick around.
To make things even worse, Google Analytics doesn't record data for sessions when users visit only one page on your site—at least not without some tweaking.
Instead of tracking exact session duration times for your landing pages, it's helpful to track variations in the overall average session time—which I'll explain how to do shortly.
Last but not least, you should track where visitors are coming from when they hit your landing page. Visitors could be coming from your email campaigns (which you can track using UTM tags), social media posts, paid advertising, organic search, or referrals from other sites.
Let's say your landing page gets a ton of visitors from Facebook, but almost none of them sign up for your offer. Instead of posting more frequently on Facebook, you might choose to improve your email marketing funnels instead, where the conversion rates are often much higher.
Knowing where your visitors are coming from helps you understand which marketing channels are working best, so you can make the most of your marketing time and effort.
Phew, that was a lot to handle. Luckily, it's now time to get into the fun part—setting up Google Analytics on your landing page!
If you haven't spent time using Google Analytics in the past, it can seem pretty overwhelming. Not to worry–I'll walk you through how to get it set up right, and it only takes a few minutes.
Oh, and if you already have an account on Google Analytics, feel free to jump ahead to step #2.
The first thing you'll need to do (if you haven't already) is to sign up for a free Google Analytics account. Here's a link to Google's instructions on how to install Google Analytics on your site, but I'll go over specific instructions to get things set up on your ConvertKit landing page.
Head over to google.com/analytics, and click “Start for free” to sign up for a new Google account, or “Sign in to Analytics” if you already have a Google account.
Follow the prompts to create or sign into your Google account, then click Sign up to create your Google Analytics account.
Follow the prompts to add a name for your Google Analytics account, and leave all the Recommended checkboxes checked. Be sure to click “Web” when asked what you want to measure.
Next, enter the name of your website, your website URL, which industry you're in, and your timezone. If you'll be hosting your landing page on your own domain, enter your site URL. Otherwise, enter the URL for your landing page.
Finally, click Create to finish setting up your account, accept Google's Terms of Service, and you're done!
Next, you'll need to grab your Tracking ID from Google Analytics, so you can add it to ConvertKit. Your Tracking ID is a short code beginning with “UA”—the code tells ConvertKit which Google Analytics account it should send your data to.
After creating your account, your Tracking ID should be on the first page that comes up. If not, click “Admin” in the menu on the left side, then in the center column labeled “Property,” click “Tracking Info,” then click “Tracking Code.”
Copy this Tracking ID and paste it somewhere handy—you'll need it for the next step.
Once you have your Tracking ID, you'll need to add it to your landing page in ConvertKit (and if you haven't already created your landing page, you can find out how to create your first landing page right here).
Open up ConvertKit, click on Landing Pages & Forms in the top menu, and click the link for your landing page. After the landing page editor opens, click the SEO & Analytics button in the right-hand menu—the button looks like a little code symbol. Find the box labeled Google Analytics, and paste in your Tracking ID.
Click Save to update your landing page with your new tracking details. There's one more thing you'll need to set up in ConvertKit—and that's a custom “thank you” page.
For each new landing page you create, you can also create a custom thank you page right in ConvertKit. New subscribers will automatically be redirected to your thank you page after they sign up. Thank you pages are great—they give you a chance to up-sell to a full course, ask subscribers to follow you on social media, write a review (particularly for a podcast), or just say thanks for joining!
To create your thank you page, click the + icon next to your landing page name.
Your thank you page will inherit the styles from your main page—you can also customize each page separately with new images, text, and colors.
Two more steps. First, you'll need to “switch on” your thank you page by enabling this option in the sidebar:
Lastly, you'll need to grab the share URL for your thank you page, so we can add it to Google Analytics. Click the share button in the top menu, then click the Copy button to grab your landing page URL. You'll need to add “/thanks” (without the quotes) to the end of this URL. It should look something like https://myname.ck.page/fb81c22d39/thanks.
Save this link somewhere handy—you'll need it in just a minute!
Next, you'll need to set up a Goal in Google Analytics. Goals in Google Analytics measure how well your site is meeting your objectives—in this case, how many visitors are subscribing to your landing page.
A quick note: these instructions were up-to-date as of January 2020. We'll be sure to update them if Google Analytics' user interface changes.
Here's how you can set up a Goal. Open up Google Analytics, click Admin in the left-hand menu, then in the right-hand column labeled View, click Goals.
Click on the red button labeled “+ New Goal” to begin setting up your first goal.
On the next screen, you'll enter a name for your goal, and see a list of goal types to choose from. Enter a name you'll remember, like “My Awesome Landing Page Signups,” then select a goal type of “Destination.”
Click Continue, then go find your thank you page URL you saved earlier. Copy and paste the code and the “thanks” parts into the Destination box, like this:
Click Save, and your new Goal is set up and ready to rumble! Before you start sharing your page with your audience, though, it's a good idea to make sure everything's working as it should, so let's run a quick test.
In Google Analytics, click “Realtime” then “Overview” in the left-hand menu. Open your landing page in a second tab. You should see “1 active users on site” listed in Google Analytics.
Go ahead and sign up on your landing page—you should be redirected to the thank you page automatically. Jump back to Google Analytics, click on “Conversions” in the left-hand menu, and you should see one goal hit listed at the bottom of the page:
Congratulations—the hard work is over! Go share your landing page with your audience and collect a few subscribers, then come back here to find out how to use your new metrics to skyrocket your audience growth.
Squeezing more conversions out of your landing page means taking a systematic approach instead of just guessing. You need to understand the right questions to ask, use your metrics to measure whether your questions are true, then test your assumptions and measure the results.
It sounds complicated, but I promise it's not that hard to start pulling actionable insights from your analytics data to help you improve your landing pages. Let's walk through each step of the process.
The key to improving your landing page conversions is to approach your metrics with a problem you're trying to solve.
You need to know what you want to learn—and you need to decide what you're going to change based on the answer.
Take the first question above, for example. Headlines are one of the most crucial elements when it comes to landing page conversions. Let's say you have a hunch that visitors aren't signing up because they don't understand the problem you're solving.
Before trying out a bunch of different headlines, let's look at the metrics to find out if that's actually the case.
To diagnose a headline problem, you might look for things like:
To answer some of these questions, open Google Analytics, and in the left-hand menu, click Behavior, then Site Content, then finally click Landing Pages. This will open the Landing Pages report, showing metrics about which pages visitors are hitting first on your site.
Find your landing page in the list, and look at the columns for Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, and Conversion Rate. Remember, these numbers are just a snapshot at a single point in time. By themselves, they're not really helpful—but they'll act as your baseline numbers to compare after changing your headline.
Now it's time to test your changes. Update the headline on your landing page, and relax for a few days while Google Analytics collects visitor data.
Once you've collected, say, a week's worth of data with the new headline, go back to the Landing Page report in Google Analytics and adjust the date range in the top right-hand corner to show the period since you made the change. You can also check the box to compare the data to the previous period before you made the change.
Head back down to the report data, and compare your conversion rate, session duration, and bounce rate over the two time periods. Google Analytics even shows you handy red or green arrows to quickly see whether your change was successful or not.
By tracking the results of your landing page changes over time, you'll be able to identify what's working, what isn't, and slowly improve the conversions on your landing page. Pretty cool.
Tracking what's going on in your business isn't just for big brands and established online businesses. Even if you're only just starting to grow your audience, landing page metrics are useful for creating more effective landing pages and growing your list.
Ready to get started?