Discover Small Things That Work Wonders Using Google Analytics Flow VisualizationDec 12, 2011
As you probably know, Edicy has a very useful one-stop statistics module that provides essential information, like unique visits, the most popular content and also a map with the location of your latest visitors.
You can easily find it on the bottom of your Edicy site. The stats engine is hassle-free because it's built-in, so you're ready to go.
However, lots of webmasters, including advanced Edicy users, want to understand what's happening on their websites beyond pretty much generic Site Usage metrics - Visits, Pageviews, Bounce Rate. They ask questions like: what kind of content should we create next? Or what are those paths through our site that are more popular than others? Are those the paths we’d like visitors to follow?
So if you’re interested in adding some analytical flavor to your website analysis, the new Google Analytics offers several toys to play with.
First things first, if you’re new to the data universe, make sure you have added Google Analytics code to your Edicy site.
In this post we'll explore Flow Visualization, an intuitive and beautiful tool that presents the ways that visitors flow through pages and thus we can analyze data visually.
Visitors Flow Means Path Analysis
Visitors Flow is a graphical visualization of the navigation paths visitors took through your website, from the source to the various destination pages.
In a nutshell, use Visitors Flow to
- Compare volumes of traffic from different sources.
- Analyze traffic patterns through your website.
- Find a high drop-off from a new page you've created.
- Check whether the design of the new page “hides” the links or buttons that let visitors move to the pages you want them to visit next.
- Improve your marketing efforts, like A/B testing – see which landing pages better serves their purposes like funneling (AdWords) traffic to a conversion page.
- Analyze content-related issues, including Screen Resolution and Browser – see whether there are any pages that have a drop-off with a particular screen resolution or browser.
Where do I find the Visitors Flow feature?
Make sure you’re using the new Google Analytics interface. Then go to the Standard Reporting tab > Audience > Visitors Flow.
By default, the Visitors Flow is set to Country/Territory as the starting point for the flow. But you can change it to Traffic Sources, Content or System. Use the green drop-down menu for that.
Let’s set it up to use the Source dimension. This will give you the following visualization:
In the first column, you can see the amounts of traffic from the top sources, including the different domains and direct traffic (URLs people can remember, auto-completion, bookmarked pages).
Double-click the segment/node you need (say Google or Facebook) and you’ll see the following options available:
One More Neat Option
Move the Connections slider to filter out the display based on connection volume. Say if you want to see only higher-volume connections, you need to move the slider to the left.
If you’re interested in digging deeper, I would definitely recommend checking out the Google Analytics Help topics related to Flow Visualization.
Happy analyzing! Also feel free to add your tips on using this feature or ask questions in the comments.