A few weeks ago Google Analytics announced a new measurement (metric) called Page Value. Actually, it is an old metric, that had disappeared for a while, and was now reappearing, in a new and improved condition, but that really isn’t the point. What is Page Value? What does it mean? Does it tell innkeepers anything useful?
The Google Analytics blog post on Page Value (linked above) details the history and calculations of Page Value, for those who are interested.
For our purposes, let’s just say that Page Value is the relationship between (a) the values you set for things that users do on your website, and (b) the number of unique pageviews of a page.
First, to be clear, Page Value doesn’t consider the total number of pageviews – only unique page views. If a visitor visits page 1, then page 2, then page 1 again, page 1 has 2 total pageviews, but only one unique pageview (one user has viewed the page, even though they may have viewed it more than once).
Second, the values include both the value of any Ecommerce transactions (so these only show up if you have ecommerce properly enabled on your site) plus any goal values (which means you must have Goals set up, and you must give them a value).
To summarize the set up, then, for Page Value to work, you need to have:
- Ecommerce set up properly on your website
- Goals set up properly for your website
- Value assigned to your Goals
If you have that, Page Value will measure the total “value” of a page. That is, it will notice that, on the way to an ecommerce transaction (which we usually call a booking), the visitor also clicked on links that you had defined as goals in your Google Analytics setup. It adds the number of transactions and the value of each goal for a page that was part of that path, and divides it by the number of unique pageviews for that page. The result is the Page Value.
While putting a monetary value on the page seems a bit odd, you can think of Page Value as a measurement of a page’s contribution to the overall goals (whether ecommerce transactions or other Goals for your site) of the site.
You can see the Page Value statistics in Google Analytics by going to Content -> Site Content -> All Pages. The column on the right will show the Page Value of each page. You may want to filter out your checkout pages, as they will have the highest page value, but the information is less useful, as you know these pages are visited by customers.
Like most statistical information, the value of the information increases with higher numbers of samples, and should be viewed as highly suspect for very small samplings. It stands to reason, then, that Page Value scores for pages that have only a tiny number of unique visits should be viewed with extreme caution. On the other hand, assuming there are realistic numbers used for the “value” of goal completions, if there is a reasonable number of unique visits, the information can be quite helpful in showing how well the page contributes to goal conversions.
In these cases, then, as the Google blog post above notes, if a page has a lot of unique visitors, but a low page value, it may be an indication that the page is attracting searchers who are not your customers. Why? Check the bounce rate for those pages. Also check the time on page value. If these are low, your page may be ranking well for terms that don’t bring you customers. You may want to consider re-writing the text to use terms that your customers are using in their searches.
If you find that some pages have relatively few unique visits, but a fairly high Page Value, you may want to see if you can influence more people to come to these pages, to see if it increases bookings. One way to do that would be to feature that page in a blog post. Another would be to use it as a landing page in a Pay Per Click campaign. Yet another would be to link to that page from other pages on your site that get more unique pageviews.