You’ve spent weeks creating great content for your website.
Visitors are landing on the right pages, but they get stuck.
They don’t convert.
You want to increase the number of pages they visit, but you don’t know where to start.
This guide will explain different tactics you can use to move visitors around your website, moving them down the sales funnel and towards a conversion.
What Are Views per User in Google Analytics 4?
Views per user is a metric in Google Analytics 4 that tells you the average number of web pages or mobile app screens viewed per user.
If your average views per user is three, that means that visitors are visiting three pages, on average, when they visit your website.
Why Increase Your Website’s Views per User?
You might be wondering, “What’s the point of this?”. There are multiple reasons why increasing the pages your visitors visit is a positive move to make:
- Build brand connection. The more time visitors spend on your website, consuming different content, the more affinity they’ll have for your brand.
- Search engine optimisation. Google uses many signals to decide where your pages will rank in search results. One of these signals is how much time visitors spend on your website. If Google sees that visitors are reading multiple pages on your website, this is a sign it is of high quality.
Ultimately, you want to take your user on a journey around your website. External factors can make it difficult to get the user to stay on the journey you want them to, but there are several tactics you can use to move them around your site with the least amount of friction.
Where to Find Your Website’s Average Views per User
You can find your website’s views per user data in the “Pages and Screens” report in Google Analytics 4. If you haven’t yet made the move to Google Analytics 4, you can check out our beginner’s guide, which talks you through the Google Analytics 4 setup step-by-step.
To find the “Pages and Screens” report, head to reports, then open the “Life cycle” drop down. Open the “Engagement” drop-down and select “Pages and Screens”.
Scroll to the bottom of the “Pages and Screens” report, where there is a table. Here you can see the average views per user across your entire website, as well as individual pages.
Knowing the average views per user for a specific page can be useful, as it shows you which content users are revisiting on your website. If you have one blog post that users are visiting often, you may want to replicate the format for other blogs in the future.
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How to Increase Website Views per User
There are three main strategies you can use to increase your website’s views per user.
- Identify sticking points
- Improve the user experience
- Create pillar content.
We suggest you work through these in order, as identifying the areas users get “stuck” on your website will help you improve your design and user experience, which will inform the format of your content.
1. Identify Sticking Points
If you’re getting traffic to your website but struggling to get visitors to move to other pages, it could be there are areas of your website where they are getting “stuck“.
This could be due to weak calls-to-action or difficult-to-understand navigation.
It could be that you have really strong CTAs, but they’re too far down the page.
Let’s look at an example of a bad website. We created this mock-up, so there’s no shade towards any website in particular.
Why might a user get stuck on this homepage?
- There’s no call to action.
- It’s not clear what the business is selling.
- The products take a back seat on the menu.
- The menu is difficult to read and doesn’t make much sense.
If it looks like a bunch of random elements thrown together, that’s because it is. We come across websites like this every day — no clear next step, no clear product or service offering and no benefits to choosing this brand over competitors.
So, what does a good site look like?
What on this website would make visitors move to another page?
- The H1 heading tells them exactly what the business does, so they don’t leave immediately.
- An easy-to-read menu, ordered by importance.
- Clear calls-to-action for those ready to buy and those unsure which product is right for them.
Each of these makes it easier for visitors to take a next step, whether that’s navigating to another page via the menu or following a call-to-action.
The same rules apply to every page on your website, from product pages to blog posts.
Make sure your menu is visible and consistent on each page and that all your content includes internal links and calls to action where relevant. We’ll cover the power of internal links and calls to action further down this guide.
There are several ways you can identify the places visitors are getting stuck on your site.
You can install heat mapping software on your website, such as Hotjar, to see how users interact with your site.
Image Source: Hotjar
You can pay people to visit your site and review their experience. It’s good to get an outside perspective, as they often see things differently from those who are close to or immersed in the brand.
You can also use custom reports in Google Analytics 4 to follow user journeys.
How to View a User’s Journey in Google Analytics 4
To follow user journeys in Google Analytics 4, head to the “Explore” section and create a new path exploration.
By dragging and dropping the “page title and screen” node type into the starting point box, you’ll be able to see where people go after your homepage or any other page on your site.
If the Google Merchandise Store was trying to get more visitors from the home page to visit products on the Men’s/Unisex category page, they could expand this path and see the behaviour after they visit the Men’s/Unisex category page.
We can see that a majority of visitors (102) head back to the homepage after visiting the Men’s/Unisex page, which could indicate that the category page needs optimising and many visitors are not finding what they need on that page, so don’t move onto a product page.
Understanding the order in which your users visit your pages and where they are heading, or not heading, instead of converting, can help you understand the areas of your website that need improving.
If you want to increase conversions and your average view per user, you can do this by adding a search box to your website. You can then use the search box to not only track what people are searching for but also to help them find what they’re looking for if they didn’t find it on the page they’re currently on.
Adding a search box to the bottom of your category pages allows people to search for an item they’ve not found. This means instead of thinking you don’t sell it and leaving your website, the visitor will find the product they’re looking for and become a customer.
You can also use Google Analytics to track what visitors are searching for and make sure those products are visible on product pages. It could be that visitors are searching for a product often but are having trouble finding it, so it isn’t making the sales needed for you to identify it as a popular product.
2. Improve the User Experience
If visitors are getting “stuck” on certain pages of your site, it’s likely that you need to make some changes. This could be the overall design of your website, the navigation or pages within your site.
If your website is difficult to look at, users will find it difficult to identify where to go next or may even leave right away.
This could be due to a lack of calls to action, too many calls to action, bad design when it comes to colours and images or an overcrowded website.
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It can be tempting to “innovate” with your menu bar, but this is one of the key ways that users travel from page to page on your website. Your menu should list the most important product or service first so users can find what they need right away.
Let’s say you’re a law firm. Which of these menus would make more sense?
A. Home – Our History – Customer Login – Law Guides – Legal Services
B. Home – Legal Services – Law Guides – Our History – Customer Login.
Menu B is far more effective. The services are at the forefront, followed by blog content. The customer login ends up on the far right where users often expect it to be.
Your website’s menu isn’t the only way users get around your site. Internal linking can help increase your website’s views per user by directing visitors to places on your site where they can learn more about a specific topic.
Internal linking helps your visitors navigate your website from within your content.
If you’re writing a product page and mention other products, link to them.
If you’re writing a guide and mention another topic you’ve written about previously, link to it.
This is a great way to promote old content and give your audience more information about a topic without needing to include everything in one giant, impossible-to-read guide.
You can also create a piece of pillar content and use internal links to direct users towards more detailed, specific pieces of content.
3. Create Pillar Content
Pillar content is a fleshed-out piece of content that links to smaller, more specific content.
An example of pillar content for a mortgage broker could be “How to Buy Your First House”. This blog post would include all the steps you need to go through to buy your first house.
Some of these steps need more explanation and detail than others, so you can create individual blog posts going into greater detail about those steps.
Examples could be:
- “How to Find a Mortgage Broker”
- “How to Calculate Your Deposit”
- “Best Savings Accounts for First Time Buyers”.
You then link to this content in the pillar piece, allowing readers to learn more about that step or topic if they want to or continue reading.
Because of this, pillar content can result in multiple page views across your site, as some readers will visit these other pages to learn more.
Pillar content isn’t an excuse to give half the advice just so you can link to another page — keep in mind that the time spent on a page also helps boost that page in search rankings. You also want to give your visitors a good user experience — if they realise they need to keep moving to a new page to get more information, they’ll lose interest fast.
This guide you’re reading right now is a piece of pillar content for our blog, “Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics 4”. The original guide is very detailed, but being a beginner’s guide, it wasn’t right to include this much information in that one guide.
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How to Create Pillar Content
Writing pillar content is similar to writing any other blog but with a bit more detail. Think of pillar content as the ultimate guide to a topic, with links to more detailed content on your site for those who want to take their knowledge to the next level.
There are a few ways to ensure your pillar content is the best it can be.
Conduct keyword research to ensure there is an audience out there for your piece of pillar content, then use this keyword in your title. Put the keyword as close to the start of the title as you can, but ensure it makes sense.
It’s better to have a title that makes sense, that people will actually click on, than one that is only written to appeal to Google robots.
Writing out your headings before writing your pillar content will give you a structure to work to. We recommend typing your keyword or title into a search engine and then using the Skyscraper Method to find inspiration for your headings. You may see a topic you didn’t think to cover or realise that a topic you were going to cover is outdated.
Once you’ve decided on your heading titles, use the H2 tag to identify headings and the H3 tag to identify subheadings.
Using different heading sizes throughout your blog post will help keep your reader engaged. This also helps keep the attention of readers who scan the content for the section they are looking for.
Here’s an example of how a user scans a page on the Apple website, from a study into how people read online by the Nielsen Norman Group.
Image Source: NN Group
This is especially helpful when it comes to pillar content with sections that link to more detailed blog posts — the visitors who scan will find the section they want, see they can get even more information on another page and head there, increasing the number of pages they view.
Mix up the Format
Pillar content is often long, and mixing up the format of your post can help keep your reader’s attention.
- Use bold or italic text sparingly to emphasise to certain words or phrases.
- If you’re making a list, use bullets or numbers to set it apart from the rest of the text and create visual interest.
- Include pop-out quotes from experts and professionals to add credibility and break up the text.
Here’s an example of a pop-out quote. It brings attention to the quote itself by making the text larger and adding more defined quotation marks”.
Another visual element you can add to your pillar content is a Johnson Box.
Johnson Boxes are used to highlight a paragraph of information. They not only break up the rest of the copy but also make the reader aware that this is an important section.
They are often seen as a box behind the text on a webpage, which is a different colour from the background. The text written here is inside a Johnson Box. You can also see an example in the screenshot below.
Johnson Boxes work well in pillar content, as you can use them to direct readers to another piece of content. As with other visual elements, use them sparingly.
Pillar content benefits hugely from multimedia elements. Pillar content often goes into a lot of detail, and some ideas will be better explained with a video or infographic.
Images also help keep your readers engaged, adding visual interest to your blog post. When creating offshoots of your pillar content to explain some aspects in more detail, you can potentially reuse the multimedia elements from your pillar content, saving you time.
Calls to Action
Adding relevant calls to action (CTAs) can help convert customers, which often includes moving to another page on the site, increasing your average pageviews per user.
It’s important that these CTAs are relevant. If they don’t fit with your content or ask something of the reader that doesn’t match the stage of the funnel they are at, they’ll tune it out and won’t see why it’s relevant to them.
Depending on the topic of your pillar content, it’s likely you won’t be promoting CTAs that try to get a sale out of your customer, but you may want to offer a downloadable guide, checklist or use the CTA to direct them to another detailed guide that relates to your pillar content.
Internal linking is an important part of your pillar content. Throughout the guide, you want to link to more detailed guides about the different aspects of this topic. It’s likely you’ll write the pillar content first, then work on adding more detailed guides later, linking to them once they’re finished.
Pillar content is also “evergreen”, meaning it will keep working for you long after it’s posted. It’s worth revisiting your pillar content every six to 12 months to ensure it is still relevant.
Summary — How to Increase Your Website’s Views per User
There are many benefits to increasing your website’s views per user, including boosts to search rankings and building a relationship with your existing or future customers.
The main ways you can improve your views per user are:
Don’t forget to move over to Google Analytics 4 before July 2023.
If you leave it until the last minute you’ll lose all your historical data. It’s better to set it up now and have a year’s worth of data, even if you don’t want to make the move right away. Learn how to set up Google Analytics 4 in our beginner’s guide.
What to Read Next
- Learn how to keep visitors on your website for longer to increase your website’s average engagement time.
- Keep your visitors coming back to your website by learning how to increase engaged sessions per user on your site.
- Create content that visitors actually want to read, and that gets you to the top of Google.