Article Archive by Jarret Streiner

January 16 2012

What is Flow Visualization in Google Analytics?

by Jarret Streiner

Announced in early October last year, Flow Visualization brings an update to traditional path analysis. Now what does that mean for you? It means that you will be able to acquire a better understanding on how to track a visitor’s progression on your site. Flow Visualization lets the Google Analytics user view web site traffic with a graphical representation on how your users are accessing your web site and how it converts traffic into visits.

There are two types of flow visualization that you are able to access to view the data you need to determine how your site is driving traffic and the path that traffic is taking. Traffic is not the only thing that is key, knowing where the traffic is going will give you a better understanding of the functionality of your web site.

The two reports are only available in the new, beta version of Google Analytics.

The first flow visualization is the visitor flow, which is used to show how your users move and flow through your web site. Visitor flow visualizes the user’s traffic flow, drop-off point and bounce rate. Using the visitor flow you will be able to determine what is working on your site and what you might need to change and or update to increase traffic. Increased traffic will hopefully increase leads and sales.

The Visitors Flow is found in the left navigation under Audience tab > Visitors Flow within the Standard Reporting Tab. The report is shown with specific nodes and connections. Nodes are a single metric that you are filtering; while connections are the path the user took while visiting your site. This is the perfect way to see how your users are using a specific portion of your site.

The second flow visualization is the Goal Flow which is how users flow through the goal steps you establish and where they drop-off. The focus of Goal Flow is tracking conversions for goals and multi-step funnels.

The Goal Flow is found under Conversions > Goals > Goal Flow within the Standard Reporting Tab.

With Goal Flow you will be able to better understand where visitors navigate through your goal steps, the rate at which they abandon the site during the goal process, where the traffic is coming from and how the user interacted with the web site.

“Reverse Paths” may also be set up so you can visualize the site in a “backwards” path to see where the traffic came from in the goal path.

At the beginning, only URL Goals will be tracked in Goal Flow.

Posted in: Analytics

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