Web Analytics Tools & Tips: How to Audit Your Top Pages

September 9, 2015 Clint Eagar

image of a cracked concrete foundation

(This post takes 2 minutes to read)

The first post in this series, How to Audit Your Marketing Campaign Landing Pages, discussed the ways that organizations are using sophisticated web analytics tools to build significant marketing infrastructures. Such architecture though, requires careful planning, thorough vetting and regular inspection to guarantee soundness.  Without a strategy in place to guarantee the strength of your data foundation, cracks can occur, tags can break and data will be skewed.  

The only way to ensure your business decisions are informed by good data is to perform regular inspections that assess the integrity of your data quality.

This is the second of several web analytics audit posts discussing the recommended auditing plan that should be part of any data quality governance program. Remember, at a minimum, ObservePoint recommends these scans:

  • Daily Difference Scans:
    • Daily audit crawl from the home page – 1,000 pages
    • Daily “top pages” audit – No more than 1,000 pages, based on your business requirements
    • Daily campaigns audit of each landing page – typically no more than 1,000 URLs
  • Quarterly Discovery Scans:
    • 100-200k pages, based on your business requirements

This post will cover setting up and analyzing the daily top pages audit within the framework of the ObservePoint Data Quality Assurance Platform.

What are your top pages?

First, decide what top pages means for your business. Some may focus on their most visited pages, others may want to audit their most important pages – those that lead directly to conversions.

You will also want to define how many pages constitute your top pages. Depending on your business and the size of your site index, top pages may be 50 or it may be 500, you decide.

Download your URLs

Getting a list from Google or Adobe Analytics is not directly obvious, however, if you maintain a list of top pages based on importance you will likely maintain a spreadsheet with the URLs.

To get a list of top trafficked pages from Google Analytics: Go to Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages Report, then change “show rows” to whatever number of URLs is meaningful for you.

Next, choose Export to Excel to download the list of URLs. In Excel, you’ll need to add your domain name to the URL using the join function, like =”https://www.observepoint.com”&a1

If Adobe Analytics is your platform: You’ll need to use Data Warehouse to generate the list of URLs.

Create a new audit

Next, using your ObservePoint platform, create a new audit. It’s best to call it something descriptive like “XYZ Daily Top Pages Audit.”

Copy the list of URLs from Excel and simply paste them into the starting pages box within the audit setup. If the list is longer than 20 URLs, the audit setup form will automatically assume that only those exact URLs should be audited.

The resulting audit setup will look like this:

a screenshot of ObservePoint audit setup

It is also recommended to implement business compliance rules to ensure that the data is properly sent to your web analytics platform. You could also configure specific rules for certain pages as needed.

If using Google Analytics, the business rule could look like this:

A screenshot of Google Analytics settings

If the business compliance rule was configured with an email address, the ObservePoint system will automatically send alerts when tags are not loading correctly.

Many customers will find it useful to configure Adobe Data Warehouse to email a list of top URLs on a weekly or monthly basis as a reminder to update the ObservePoint audit. You may also schedule Google Analytics to deliver a report.

Trust your foundational data

Top pages audits can help verify the metrics pulled from your web analytics implementations, leading to more complete page measurement. When you can trust the foundational data driving your business decisions, you can make better decisions that map to the infrastructure of your goals and objectives.
Don’t miss the next post in this series, where the Daily Crawl Audit will be examined.

Image Credit: realize_photo

 

About the Author

Clint Eagar

Clint gets things done. He has been building websites, marketing and optimizing them for 15 years. He claims to know a little bit about a lot of things and is relied on to execute anything quickly. Clint has been with ObservePoint since the early days and has helped support, test, and promote the product. Before coming to ObservePoint he was at OrangeSoda, running the enterprise SEO team, and before that he was a business consultant at Omniture.

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