Google Analytics is excellent at collecting a vast wealth of information out of the box, much of this information is presented in rollups like device categories, channel groupings, or landing pages.
What is much harder to visualize is the user flow. In order to present how a user will “flow” from page to page.
If Google presented a list of all of the flows in a simple table it would look ridiculous; the flow names would get too long to read, and many of the long tail pages would be underrepresented.
So what is the solution? Google Analytics Behavioral Flow Reports.
These reports are an excellent way to see how both granular and high level data are experienced through the user journey. It can be pivoted by several dimensions like source / medium, events, device, region, and many more.
In order to leverage flow data to make better business decisions, it is a good idea to use segmentation to analyze important audiences (such as users with low visit duration or users that converted in their session).
When we analyzed our own data we noticed that a large amount of our users that had a low session duration metric were likely converters, they simply searched for their required page and converted without requiring any further education.
In another segment we saw that most of our converting users entered through the MV resources pages like http://www.morevisibility.com/resources/white-papers/ then moved on to the blog afterwards.
Are the flow reports simply too much for you to look at? There are several tools that make the data more manageable. One is by exploring through a node on the chart.
Once you click on a node and select “Explore traffic through here” you see a much smaller set of data.
Create content groups using rules, regular expressions, or by placing code on the site to classify a group of pages. The functionality will pull through to the behavioral flow reports and you can see how users jump from topic to topic.
This will reduce potentially thousands of pages to a much more manageable number. Remember that content groups are created from the view level in your account.
There are many ways to analyze user flows in your analytics, but remember that the most important insights will come from using the data in conjunction with what you see when you go through the experience. Don’t stop at the data, actually do what your users do to get a better understanding of the “why” behind positive or negative behavior.