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Identifying low-traffic pages

So I want to find all low traffic pages in analytics...

     
8:41 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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However. When I try to do this, the report is filled with 404s, spelling errors that people have put in to our search functionality.

Is there a report I can run which is strictly for actual pages?

Cheers!
8:56 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hello rhys12345 and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

One way to do it is to glean that info from your server's raw access logs. Just download the log to your local machine and process the data with Analog [mirror.reverse.net] which is free, accurate & highly customizable web log analysis software
9:43 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hey,

Thanks for your response. So, would this be server log analysis? That sounds like a job for our development team!

Can it not be accessed through analytics?
9:57 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's all called "analytics."

If you are referring to Google Analytics (GA) that is just more software, set up by Google and restricted to the reports they allow; not sure you can do what you're asking.

GA gives you a lot of information, but not as much as you can customize using raw data and Analog.

Besides, having all that GA code on all your pages making trips to the Google servers slows the load time and function of your page... the very thing Google warns about affecting your ranking.

Analog runs on your local machine. No code on your pages. Nothing to weigh them down.
10:05 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Your raw logs will provide more information that can be obtained via GA .... Use a package like keyplry suggested, or dump the logs into a database and write your own reports ... that way you get exactly what you are looking for.
11:07 am on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, both!
1:31 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Don't listen to the Analytics haters! While it is true that there is lot of information that can be mined from your logs that you can get from GA. GA still works really well and simplifies the process a lot. So for something like this you can definitely use GA.

My question is your definition of "Low Traffic"? Are you referring to landing pages specifically, or all pages? Over what time period, per day, week or month? Finally, what is your threshold for low traffic 1 page view, less than 10 etc..., or bottom 10%?

One must assume the possibilities that there are pages that are not being viewed at all, these pages will not show up in Analytics or in your logs, so you will need to have the list of all your sites pages to compare.

So really quickly, pick your time frame. go to (assuming landing pages) Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Source/Medium. Then for primary dimension select Other -> Landing Pages. Then go to "advanced" filters top right above the table, below the chart. Select for the first tab "include", next tab "summary" -> "sessions", next tab select less than and enter the your low traffic threshold value, say "5" page views. If you want to see all pages not just landings, you can repeat this in the Behavior tab.

Note that generally dealing with the low traffic side of things can be problematic because you will have many pages with few visits, whereas high traffic pages will typically be few pages with many visits. If you have a large site with many pages and a lot of traffic, this may become problematic as you will surpass the maximum number of pages that the report can provide. But you can always do the inverse. Find all the high traffic pages then remove those from the list of all pages on your site and the result will be all low traffic pages. Come to think of it, you need to use this approach if you want to capture pages not visited. What I proposed in the paragraph above will show you all the pages that received between 1 and 5 landings.

I hope this helps!
3:07 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi NickMSN,

Really helpful, thanks. I'd already run a report in the 'All Pages' view and filtered down, but unfortunately, this included 404s such as people entering spelling mistakes while entering the domain. For example, there are loads of examples of people typing www.domain.ac.uk/internitional.........(misspelt international). That still shows up in the report. Is there a way of only showing actual pages with this report? Ideally it would be all pages not just landing pages.

Cheers,
4:12 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You can add a secondary dimension "Behavior" -> "Page Title". Then filter out your 404 page title.

Also if you have a list of all pages you can cross reference the list filter out all pages that are in the "GA List of pages" but not in the "All Pages List".
6:31 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ahem. “Analytics” != Google Analytics. (Or <> depending on your linguistic preference.) There also exist packages such as piwik that live on your own server. That way, there's no side trip to another server--and anything recorded in analytics has already been subjected to your ordinary access controls.

Raw logs give information that is not available through javascript-based analytics.
Analytics gives information that is not available through server access logs.

Use both.
8:10 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ahem. “Analytics” != Google Analytics.

Agreed, but given the pervasiveness of Google Analytics, I think it is pretty safe to assume that most will understand that Analytics == Google Analytics.
1:31 am on Nov 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Don't listen to the Analytics haters!
I don't "hate" Google Analytics. It's just bloated, slow and inefficient. There are too many better ways to grep site data. Lucy24 mentioned one alternative. I mentioned the one I like; there are many others.

I used GA for a couple years on client's sites. I removed it and load time was almost cut in half. With speed being so important with the Mobile-First Index [webmasterworld.com] I would expect that to be a decisive factor for most site owners.

I would never bog down my own site with GA.

[fix typo]

[edited by: keyplyr at 1:57 am (utc) on Nov 15, 2017]

1:55 am on Nov 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I process raw logs as a check against GA, this gives me greater confidence in the results FROM EITHER METHOD, so no GA hate here. Just like to double check my information.