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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Start page vs. landing page

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# 1
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What is the difference (if any) between a "start page" and a "landing page"?

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author David P
January 2016

Re: Start page vs. landing page

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# 2
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Start Page - The pages from which visitors searched your site.
Landing Page - The pages through which visitors entered your site.

This is two totally different things.

To use "Start Page" dimension you have to configure "Site search Tracking" in View settings.
Then you can see Start Pages in Behavior > Site Search > Pages report.

Re: Start page vs. landing page

Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner
Can you explain Start Page some more and what it means to have a visitor search your site?

I'm looking at the Behavior Flow report for a website that doesn't have site search so I'm confused on what the differnece is between a Landing Page and a Starting Page. Sounds like the same thing but it appears they are not.

Re: Start page vs. landing page

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# 4
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@rashton,

Tomasz_C pretty much summed it up already:

Landing page is the page someone enters your site, from whatever channel (organic, direct, referral, direct.

Start page is the page at which someone typed a search into YOUR WEBSITE"S search box - but Tomasz_C also clarified you will have to have configured site search in GA for it to track and report that data.

(so for example, let's say I search 'XYZ" in Google, and click an organic search result land on your home page - your home page is the Landing Page. Then I click to your 'about us' page then to your 'services' page. On your service page, I wonder if you offer "abc" service, so I see a search box in your top navigation, and I type 'abc' into your search box - then the service page is the page I started my search on, hence it's the "Start Page".)

Make sense? Hope that helps!

David

Re: Start page vs. landing page

Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner
@David P

Thank you for the response. That does help and makes sense too. The problem is, I don't have site search on my website. So the I don't see why I would have any start pages at all. Any idea why a site that doesn't have site search would have start pages being reported in GA? Maybe the better question is what makes GA think a search has been done and mark that page as a start page?

Re: Start page vs. landing page

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Exactly where do you see start pages? I have a site with no search box
either, and when I go to Behavior > Site Search > Page report, there's no
data and no start pages. What do you see when you navigate to that report?

Re: Start page vs. landing page

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
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@rashton: Exactly where in GA do you see start pages? I have a site with no search box either, and when I go to Behavior > Site Search > Page report, there's no data and no start pages. What do you see when you navigate to that report?

Re: Start page vs. landing page

Badged Google Partner
# 8
Badged Google Partner

In the Behavior Flow Report

Capture.PNG

Re: Start page vs. landing page

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# 9
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@rashton - hopefully someone can answer why it shows "starting page" and if that's different than "start page".

General comment about flow reports:
For me, despite having spent quite some time reading through Google Support docs about flow reports, and in the flow reports digging around, I find that those reports are confusing and I always end up with more questions than answers after reviewing them. I don't feel comfortable trusting those reports - I may be wrong, but I get the impression that flow reports are "half-baked' and not not fully iterated to completion. If the flow reports are a finished product, the product team is doing a sub-optimal (to quote Avinash) job of providing support docs that provide enough info to have confidence in the data in these reports.

Re: Start page vs. landing page

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

I think the difference, in comparison to Tomasz_C, is not that big.

The "Landing page" column refers to the page (white box) which you enter the website via, but as an individual page. The "Starting pages" column refers to pageS (green box) which you enter via, here several pages can be included in one green box. For example in my experience, there have been two different links (one with small letters and one big letters) that refer to one single page. These links have both been included in the same green box in the column "Starting pages" but not in the white box under "Landing page". You will notice this if you go and check yourself in Behaviour > Behaviour flow:
First: Look at the number of sessions on, let say, / (the main page) in the white box under the column "Landing page".
Then: click on the green box and on "Group details" under the column "Starting pages" for, again, / (the main page) and check the number of sessions there for /.

Hope this helps!