Chapter 08

View Action Reports

By Anna Tomalik

Once you’ve learned about the visitor reports and know a few things about how people behave on your website, it’s time to find out how they interact with your site. The action reports will tell you what content people read, which pages are most popular, how people navigate between pages, and what they look for using the search bar. With this data, you’ll know how to structure information on your site for easy navigation.

There are several action reports and we’ll show you a few of the most useful to give you a good start.

To access the action reports, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click Actions and pick the report you’d like to see.

First, we’ll look at the page report.

Page report

The page report shows you all visited pages on your website defined by page URL. For each page, you can view several metrics like pageviews, unique pageviews, bounce rate, average time on page, exit rate, and average generation time. All these metrics will help you understand how popular and useful the pages are.

By default, the report will show you pages grouped by hierarchical order. For example, if your page hierarchy is https://clearbank.com/product/benefits/, the report will show the “benefits” page under the “product” category.

If you’d like to change the table layout, you can switch to a flat view.

To switch to a flat view, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the bottom of the Page report.
  2. Hover over the left corner until you see the icons for various tools.
  3. Click on the setting tool icon, and click on Make it flat.
  4. View your report.

Depending on how you want to analyze your pages you can switch between the hierarchical and flat table view.

For every page or group of pages, you will see several metrics. To better understand these metrics, let’s take a closer look.

  • Pageviews will tell you how many times people viewed a particular page. With this metric, you can discover popular pages or see the content that is rarely viewed. That will help you decide how to structure pages and trim content on your website.
  • Unique pageviews will strip multiple visits from the Pageviews metric. If a person views the same page several times during one visit, the Unique Pageviews metric will show only one view for that page. It will give you a more accurate look at the amount of traffic on your pages.
  • Bounce rate for a page shows you the percentage of people who viewed this one page and left (single-page visits divided by all visits to the page). If the bounce rate is high for a page it means that visitors have no interest in seeing other pages, or that the page has met all their needs.
  • Average time on page tells you for how long, on average, people are on the page. However, the time will not account for people who viewed a single page and left, since the counting mechanism can collect data only if a visitor opens another page on your website. So take this metric with a pinch of salt and keep in mind its limitations.
  • Exit rate is the percentage of people who viewed this page as the last one during a session. A high exit rate indicates pages that make people leave your website. A low exit rate indicates pages that people view on their way to other pages on your website.
  • Average generation time is the average time visitors need to wait to view a page. This metric can help you diagnose the loading speed of your website, and spot pages that take too long too load.

If you wish to delve into the page report, you can sort each metric in ascending and descending order by clicking the column header for the metric. And if you want to see statistically significant data, you can exclude low population pages.

To exclude low population pages, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the bottom of the Page report.
  2. Hover over the left corner until you see the icons for various tools.
  3. Click on the setting tool icon, and click on Exclude low population.

Tip: If you’d like to see the same report with page titles instead of page URLs, use the page title report. Additionally, you can use the entry page report to see pages that people viewed first during their sessions, and exit page reports to see the pages that people viewed last.

Site search report

The site search report is designed to show keywords and pages people land on after clicking a keyword. This report is the best place to inquire into user’s needs and wants regarding your website. Keywords will tell you what people are typing in your search bar (if you have one). By looking at the following pages in the report you will know where keywords results are directing people to.

By default, the site search tracking is turned on for every website. Piwik PRO tracks the most popular search query parameters like q, query, s, search, searchword, and keyword. However, if your website uses different queries, you’ll need to add them to website’s settings (Menu > Website > Settings > Site search tracking).

The outlink report is all about the links on your website that send people to other websites. These could be domains that you own, for example, a domain that you have for a help center, or blog. Or these could be other domains that you don’t own but are linking to on your site, for example, facebook.com, youtube.com, medium.com.

The report will show you the clicked URL and two metrics: unique clicks and clicks. So you will learn if people are using links, and where they usually go by clicking on them.

Other reports

Within action reports, you’ll also find the download report showing information about all files that people downloaded from your website, and the event report that helps you analyze events that happened on your site. Yet, the event report will work once you set it up. We will explain more about the event report in the next course.

For every page that you see in the following reports: pages, entry pages, exit pages, and page titles, you can also open a transition report. This report will show you where people came from and where they left. It combines data about internal and external traffic sources, and internal and external outlinks, exits, and downloads.

To view the transition report, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Page report.
  2. Hover over the page URL in the reports until you spot the transitions icon.
  3. View the transition report.

Using the transition report you can observe the traffic flow on your website and see how people browse. Along with other reports from the actions section, it can help improve your site’s organization and ease of navigation.