Google Analytics Tip: Learn How They Found That 1 Page.

Ian Lurie

You can use Google Analytics to figure out how folks found one specific page on your site. That kind of data is extremely helpful if, say, your traffic abruptly spikes on a Saturday morning and you’re trying to figure out why.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Log into Google Analytics. If you don’t have it set up, use my somewhat dated but still useful setup tutorial.
  2. Assuming the traffic surge happened on a single day, use the date range selector to limit your data to that one day:
    date range limit
  3. Then click ‘Content’ and the ‘Top Content’ sub-menu on the left:
    content menu in Google Analytics
  4. Google Analytics now shows you the busiest pages on your site for that day. Click the page you’re wondering about.
  5. Then (this is the critical step) select ‘Entrance Sources’ under ‘Content Detail’.
    Google Analytics content detail entrance
  6. Just like that, you can see all the web sites that sent traffic to this one page:
    Google Analytics - entrance sources page

You can use the content detail function to see which keywords sent traffic to a specific page, too.

This kind of data is invaluable: If you know which site generated a burst of traffic, then you know your audience – they’re on that site. For example, if I sell sneakers, and I just sold 4,000 pairs of my new bright green leather hi-top, and I know that 75% of those customers came from a single web site, then I’ll probably want to buy a few ads there. And learn more about that site’s typical visitors.

Any time you see traffic rise, you should check your top pages, and then the sites that sent traffic to those pages.

Or, you can think how lucky you were, and hope it happens again. Your choice…

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. A good post, just remember that there isn’t always a correlation between the number of visits sent from a given URL and the number of conversions. I would typically look first at the number of visitors I got from article marketing or search engine results due to the quality of traffic.
    P.S. It looks like I should start using bloglines, I have heard of it but if you are getting a few hits a day from it is worth a shot.

  2. This post made me to think much deeply about using Google Analytics. Not only for the number of visitors, but also for finding out from where traffic is coming from and which key words were used in Google search to point traffic to my site.
    @James Spinosa: Traffic from Bloglines is mostly coming from people, who are subscribed (RSS) to your blog and read it in Bloglines reader.

  3. Additionally, on Step 5, in the “Dimension” drop down (to the right of the one you highlighted), you can choose “Source/Medium” to get differentiation between Organic and Paid Traffic from each Search Engine.
    That can come in really handy too!

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