google analytics-logoGoogle has reworked a lot of their applications and services recently. It’s no surprise Google Analytics is getting new features too. The free web app giant announced a more visual way to see where the people go on your site. Read on to get an idea of the newly introduced Flow Visualization feature.

While you cannot go on and track a specific visitor, Google uses a super secret squirrel algorithm to track the most likely route for the visitor. If you are new to Google Analytics, you are really lucky. The visualizations will make it so much easier to follow the flow of visitors.

Flow Visualization – What’s It About

This new set of visual reporting tools is not in everybody’s dashboard yet. Google said they will be rolling it out to everybody’s account starting this week. Over the next few months, there will be even more visual reporting options. Here is a breakdown of the newly introduced feature.

Visitor Flow

For those of you who use your site for business, it is imperative that you know how your potential customers act when they are on your site. Before the visualization, you needed to look at and compare the numerical value of each metric. The way the visualization makes it easier is, you can see how they entered your site, then the likely next moves.

Having the roadmap from where they enter to where the visitors drop out is essential to know how to introduce the right visitors to the right information to create more conversions.

google analytics-visitor flow

Zoom in on a pathway

It is nice to be able to see the general information, But it is even better to see a specific bit of information about the path your visitors took. You can see how many people went this route and what percentage of the people dropped out.

If you have a high number of people who went from page A to page B then bailed on you, you can evaluate your pages with a high drop off percentage. Making the pathway from an entrance to sale is what you want; this is a good way to see the speed bumps in the road.

google analytics-zoom in

What is nice about the visualizations is that is added to what you are already used to doing. You can set up a metric for a specific entrance page and see how the visitors react. If you are rotating landing pages through an Adwords ad or some other method, you can get more information on what the visitors responded well to. Having a good knowledge of what your potential customers like and dislike is a good piece of knowledge to have.

google analytics-see the path

Goal flow

Now the goal flow is the same idea, but a different monster. If you think of the Visitor flow as the research part, the Goal flow is like the report card on how you are doing. Don’t worry, everyone will have a bad grade at first.

Just like you would set up goals in Google Analytics previously, you can set them up in the new visual way. You can choose the end result and reverse engineer the way visitors get to the sale or newsletter sign-up or whatever your goal is. The smoother the funnel to your goal, the more likely they are to give you the result you are looking for.

google analytics-goal flow

Forward or reverse path

While it can be a bit more advanced, segmenting your visitors based on things like demographic or new vs. returning visitor is a good way to see where your sales/visits/conversions are coming from. If you have a bunch of visitors from a forum you advertise on and may of them are buying your product or service, you can talk to them or at least check in on the forum to see what other problems they have that you may be able to solve.

You can see this segments activity both forward and reverse, depending on where you choose to start. If you know of a popular landing page, you can move in either direction to see how the visitors are getting there or where they went from the landing page.


google analytics-segment

Final thoughts

Making the results more visual will make Analytics more user-friendly for the beginner. Having a visual result for your reports will make it almost as easy as connecting the dots.

Seeing 21% of the visitors went from page A to page B  might do it for some people, but easily seeing the other pages the remaining 79% visited may lead you to a better plan of attack faster.

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