Article Archive by Melanie Wahl


April 25 2012

Three Flow Visualization Reports in Google Analytics

by Melanie Wahl

Our previous blog post, entitled Google Analytics Flow Visualization Date Range Comparison, covered the addition of the “Compare to Past” date range feature in the Flow Visualization Visitors Flow report. This feature is available in all three Flow Visualization reports: Visitors Flow, Goal Flow, and Events Flow.

The Visitors Flow report, located under Standard Reporting > Audience > Visitors Flow, allows Google Analytics users to better understand visitor behavior.

The Goal Flow report, located under Standard Reporting > Conversions > Goals > Goal Flow, allows Google Analytics users to visually see the paths taken by those visitors who complete goals, including non-URL goals such as engagement goals like Time on Site or Pages Visited. For this Flow Visualization report, make sure to select the goal you wish to view from the first drop down menu. In the following example, we are viewing Newsletter Sign-Ups.

The Events Flow report, located under Standard Reporting > Content > Events > Events Flow, allows Google Analytics users to better understand visitor behavior in relation to the Events set up onsite. Users have the ability to segment the data and to display Event information as Category, Category / Action, or Category / Action / Label.

The three Flow Visualization reports are a great feature of Google Analytics that allows users to dive deeper into the relationships of different pieces of data about a website. If you have questions about any of these three reports, please contact MoreVisiblity or sign-up for a free Google Analytics Consultation.

April 24 2012

Google Analytics Flow Visualization Date Range Comparison

by Melanie Wahl

The Visitors Flow report in Google Analytics, located under Standard Reporting > Audience > Visitors Flow, now allows users to compare data with past date ranges to better understand how users interact with a website over time. The official announcement was made on the Google Analytics blog in the post entitled Better Insights with Flow Visualization Enhancements. The following is a screenshot of how the Visitors Flow report looks before you click “Apply” to assign a comparison with a past date range.

Notice that after you click “Apply,” the flow updates with green increase percentages or red decrease percentages indicating how this data compares to the time frame you just set.

This report can help answer questions like:

What pages on what paths of my website increased in visitors over this time frame?

Are more people reaching the “thank you” page or “order completion” page than before? Are certain pages delivering more traffic to this page than before?

Visitors Flow is one of three Flow Visualization reports currently available in Google Analytics. Our next blog post will touch on the three different Flow Visualization reports currently available: Visitors Flow, Goal Flow, and Events Flow.

April 5 2012

7 SEO and User Experience Nightmares

by Melanie Wahl

The following are seven web design disasters that every SEO and UX person should know to avoid.   Make sure that your business’s website has not fallen victim to one of these design flaws and make sure that your visitors, whether they be human or search engine bot, understand and enjoy your website.

1. Be Cautious of iFrames

Content that is within an iFrame is not on the URL.   Each search engine views iFrames differently and may or may not spider and index a page in an iFrame.

2. Being Horribly Vague

Your navigation and anchor text should not be “page 1,” “click here,” or “more.”   Make sure that every link has keyword rich anchor text and your navigation makes logical sense.

3. Only Hyper-linking Part of A Word or Keyword Phrase

Only linking part of a keyword to an internal page on your website will not give search engines a comprehensive idea about what the page is about.   Your visitors will probably be pretty confused as well if one half of a phrase or word is hyperlinked.

4. Pop-Ups

They wreck havoc on user experience, as they are one of the most annoying features allowed in web design — which is probably why a high percentage of people now use pop-up blockers.

5. Browser Incompatibility

While we could write this as browser and bot incompatibility, you should test your website designs to make sure they can be read and understood by the largest percent of the population of people and search engines.   Testing browser compatibility will help with keeping your human visitors happy and testing whether your code is readable to most search engines can help make sure that you are indexed and new visitors can find you.

6. Too Much Of (A Possibly) Good Thing

This can be Flash animations, pages of solid images, or excessive Javascript running your website.   It may crash a browser.   It may drive your users a little crazy.   It may be read as the bots as a blank page.   See number 5 for compatibility issues again.

7.   Indecipherable URL Structure

If one of your visitors comes to your website and wants to send it to a friend via e-mail or IM or other textual medium of choice, www.yoursite.com/bunnies will probably go over better than animals.yoursite.com/US/a9/3/small/v/rabbits/bunnies since it is easily identifiable as a page about bunnies.

Avoid these seven web design no-nos and take your website toward a better SEO and UX future.   If you have a favorite SEO or UX tragedy, feel free to share it with us in the comments.

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