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