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David Lee King

Website Statistics – Top Exit Pages



Yesterday, I discussed our top Entry pages – what it is exactly, what you find there, and what those stats mean. Today, I’m going to focus on the other part of that area, Exit Pages.

Top Exit Pages are just the opposite of Entry Pages – Exit Pages are the last page a customer sees before they leave your website. When leaving, they do one of a number of things: click on an external link; enter a new URL or click on a bookmark to leave your site; exit their browser
completely.

So what are our top exit pages? In October, so far they are:

– Calendar
– gotourl page (translation – they clicked on a link in our site)
– site/catalog search feature
– jobs page
– locations/hours
– local history site
– main page
– staff search
– search engines page
– guides main site
– mystery book rss feed
– library news
– crafts rss feed
– meeting room rental page
– literature rss feed
– contact page
– local history guide page
– business rss feed
– history rss feed

And, from June 2004 until now, our top exit pages are:

– gotourl page (translation – they clicked on a link in our site)
– calendar
– site/catalog search
– local history
– jobs
– locations/hours
– main page
– staff search page
– search engines guide page
– guides main page
– library news
– contact the library
– mystery book rss feed
– Children’s guide page
– databases guide page
– entertainment guide
– literature rss feed
– history rss feed
– Search engines rss feed

So, what’s this mean? How can I use these? Good question – anyone know??? Here’s my best guess:

Exit pages tell you something about what your customers are doing – where they want to go from your site. In my library’s case, our website customers are doing a number of things:

our calendar page to find out about an event – it’s possible they go to that page, get directed to an event not from our library (we post non-library, metro area events in our Subject Guide pages and calendar), and click the link to go to that organization’s description of the event.

They are clicking a link from a page to an external site (usually a subscription database).

They are searching our local history database, and then going “somewhere else” – not sure where.

They are reading about specific jobs (and hopefully applying to them).

They are checking hours and locations to our branches, and getting contact info (phone numbers, emails, etc).

They are searching our site and catalog – if they chose catalog, that’d explain why they exit our website – our catalog site is separate from our website (different servers), so going to it would be considered exiting by the web stats software.

They are also going to our Guides pages and RSS feeds, reading a news item, clicking on book links to the catalog, and then going somewhere else – hopefully to a related event, related website listed in the Guide, or to a book in our catalog!

So… That’s all cool and interesting, but how does it help me deal with my website? It’s a good thing to know something about where and why your library website customers are leaving your site. If they have gone to your catalog, that’s a good thing. You want to continue providing access to books outside of the catalog and linking them into the catalog.

Same with external web links – if customers are exiting from our Guides pages and RSS feeds, then those pages are doing what they are supposed to do – direct customers to good info on a specific topic. The hope is that they’ll continue to use those Guides pages to stay informed about their favorite topics.

And, our customers are finding our “tidbit info” helpful – phone numbers, job ads, directions to the library, etc. They’re (hopefully) finding what they need.

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