The other day the Google Analytics blog posted one of those simple GA features that always makes me slap my head and exlaim “how did I not know that!?” It ends up that GA has a “pivot” display mode that lets you juxtapose two sets of data. For instance, they recommend take keywords and pivoting by landing page. Not a bad suggestions… well, until you do it.

Ehh, right. Not the most usable report…

Of course, you could always do it the other way around. View by top landing pages, then by keyword. The sorting isn't as nice, but at least the reporting interface doesnt get elongated.

That's better. Now lets make it even-more-better. You can also show multiple data sets together, so you can have entrances and bounces (or bounce rate) at once, which provides some cool information. Plus we'll toss in a filter that only shows pages with more than one enterance (sadly I can't cut out all the “this keyword brought in zero traffic for this page” data due to tabular reasons). Finally, I'll only display keywords with a bounce rate greater than the site average.

And there you have what keywords are bringing in a lot of traffic, and which are then bouncing. This is useful when considering what keywords you're using to drive traffic.

Now that we know this, there have to be more, even better, ways to use this feature. For instance, you could create a custom report, add avg. time on page into the mix. Do you see a particular keyword driving a lot of traffic that spends a lot of time on page, but has a high bounce rate? Then they're likely not seeing any more posts on similar topics and leaving. Maybe you should write more about that? (usual disclaimer about ATOP and its potential to be a bad metric on blogs, of course… even if Brian disagrees) 

Also, if you create a custom report, add a bunch of metrics, then pivot by another dimension, displaying only one of the metrics selected. Because the non-displayed metrics are included in the report, you can still filter by them, so you can look at, say, two pivoted data sets filtered by a metric. Granted you could do this with an advanced segment as well, but this requires less setup and allows you to change it on the fly.