Page depth

Page depth is a metric that measures how many clicks it takes for a user to get from the home page to the next page on the site. For example, if a user lands on your web page, how many clicks does it take for them to reach your ‘services’ page? This is also referred to as ‘click depth.’ This affects SEO performance because it has been found that the deeper the page, the less likely it is to perform in a Google crawl.


What is page depth?

When applied specifically to the Google Analytics search engine platform, page depth is one of the SEO web analytics that calculates the number of pages users visit on your website during a single browser session. Although at face value this can sound like unique page views, it is different. This optimization data point doesn’t calculate the number of sessions or average time in the same way as other metrics.

Page depth counts multiple visits to a single page from an individual user. Unlike other KPIs, when dealing with Google Analytics, page depth isn’t exactly a metric, but instead is referred to as a dimension. The results are presented in one’s Google Analytics account as a page depth report.

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How to calculate page depth

To calculate page depth according to the first meaning, outlined, one can simply count how many times they click to reach all pages, starting with the first page. The calculation refers to the shortest possible path to a page, and the homepage is always considered click 1, so a link directly on the home page would be at depth 2.

When looking at the average page depth in a Google Analytics account, this value is calculated not only by counting visits to web pages and the average number of pages visited by users. Instead, it is presented as a histogram that counts page views with each session such that every session contains at least one-page view.

Page depth formula

When looking at how deep a page is in terms of the number of clicks, all that is required is counting the clicks. When considering the Google Analytics approach, there is not a direct formula to calculate page depth since it is a histogram that represents a range of data. But Google calculates this for you in real-time and users can access the page depth report in their Google Analytics Account by going to the audience item and selecting behavior and then engagement at which point the report will be available.

What is a good page depth?

The deeper a page is within a website, the less likely it is to perform well in the Google search engine, and the more likely it is to bring down the overall SEO. Typically, the pages that perform best have a depth of 5 or fewer clicks—ultimately, the fewer clicks, the better.

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What is a bad page depth?

A bad page depth value is anything above 5, as these sites are likely to get less frequent or even no crawls from the search engine and therefore have a low page rank and no organic traffic.

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Page depth KPI examples & templates

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Digital marketing report template Digital marketing report template

From SEO to social media and PPC, this report gives you a good view of all your online marketing strategy metrics and overall conversion rate.

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Google analytics report template Google analytics report template

Simply plug your conversion goals, and track a specific conversion rate, webpage, new customers, landing pages, and way more.

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Page depth best practices

If your SEO and page rank are lacking, try re-working the page depth within your website structure. Here are some tips.

Pageviews best practices

step 1 icon Improve your backlinks strategy

Including links throughout your site to other pages on the site allows users to navigate to their desired destination with ease, without purely relying on the site’s menu. Essentially, by including links on various pages that cross-reference other pages you provide shortcuts that reduce the click depth.

step 2 icon Reduce your bounce rate

It is essential for any SEO strategy that all 404 error pages and bad links are removed to reduce the number of faulty clicks on a website. To improve your page depth, make sure to keep up with the health of all links.

step 3 icon Create organized pagination

Through the HTML architecture of the site, make it easy for users and Google bots to navigate by including nested pages and logical menu sub-items, as well as buttons that indicate ‘previous’ and ‘next’ throughout, to make it easier for visitors to access information with as few clicks as possible.

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