Bill Grunau

How to Use Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow to Optimize Website Traffic

Google Analytics Visitor Flow Example Good Visitor & Traffic Flow – Yacht Manufacturer

The Google Analytics dashboard and traffic graphs of are familiar to many, but few go beyond these very basic tools.  Google Analytics also has great tools for analyzing how visitors (users) interact with your website.  Visitor-User Flow and In Page Analytics are two tools that provide great insight into how your website is performing with respect to converting traffic into visits, and ultimately leads or sales.  We routinely use both Visitor-User Flow graphs and In Page Analytics to see how our client websites are performing and we always review this data when we do an SEO Analysis prior to starting a new website design or SEO campaign.  In this blog we are doing a tutorial on how to use Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow graphs to analyze the traffic flow of your website.  Our next blog will be on using In Page Analytics to analyze your pages and improve your click throughs.

Traffic figures alone really don’t reveal much about what is going on with your website.  The Visitor-User Flow graph shows where visitors go on your website and how they navigate your website.  Used in conjunction with In Page Analytics you can see a clear picture of the traffic through your website as well as which icons and menus are getting the most clicks.  Visitor-User Flow and In Page Analytics are very useful when designing a new website.  By looking at past traffic flow patterns you can identify what is working and what is not, what is drawing visitors into the website, and where they are dropping off and leaving.

Below are three examples of Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow graphs; the first is for a website that needs a redesign as it is performing very poorly, and the next two examples are websites that have excellent visitor-user flow and traffic conversion.  At the end of this blog we show the Google Analytics menu where Visitor Flow is located.

Visitor-User Flow Graph Example:
Weak Flow & High Drop Offs/Bounce Rate

Below is a website (not designed by our team) that we are in the process of redesigning.  This is a excellent example of a website that is not performing well.  Although the website has good traffic over 1,000 out of 1,450, nearly 70% of visitors, dropped off the homepage without visiting any other pages!  A quick look at the flow shows that only 367 visitors clicked for a 1st interaction (going beyond the homepage), and only 198 went on to a 2nd interaction and so on.  The Visitor Flow shows where your visitors are going and the flow of how they got there.  The red column is a visual indication of the magnitude of drop offs from each page, not that on the homepage the red column for this website is very large whereas on the next examples it is much smaller indicating far fewer drop offs.

(click to expand image) 

Google Anayltics Visitor Flow Graph Example - Weak Traffic Flow

Visitor-User Flow Graph Example:
Excellent Flow & Extremely Low Drop Offs/Very Low Bounce Rate

This is an excellent example of a website that has both excellent traffic, over 30,000 visits to the homepage, and also has excellent visitor flow with very low drop offs and a low bounce rate.  Note that for this website nearly 60% of visitors went past the initial landing page and on to a 1st interaction.  Likewise nearly 80% went on to a 2nd interaction.  This is easily seen by looking at the flow to the inner pages and the red drop off columns which are very small.  Looking at this flow graph by itself would not be so enlightening, but when compared to the one above, the contrast and distinction between the two is very clear.

Google Analytics Visitor Flow Example Excellent Visitor Flow – Bridal Site

Visitor-User Flow Graph Example:
Excellent Flow & Low Drop Offs/Low Bounce Rate

Below is another example of a website that is converting traffic into visits very well (just so you don’t think that a high performance website is a one shot thing).  This website is for a yacht manufacturer and demonstrates excellent visitor flow for a very niche product and highly targeted customer demographic.

Google Analytics Visitor Flow Example Good Visitor and Traffic Flow – Yacht Manufacturer

Google Analytics Menu; Visitor-User Flow

To see Visitor Flow graphs for your website you must have Google Analytics installed on your website and a login, usually a gmail account to access it.  If you do not  have Google Analytics installed or do not have access to it ask your webmaster to set it up for you.  This is very easy for a webmaster to do and should be running on every website.  Our team can set this up for on your website or do a complete SEO Analysis of your websites performance and ranking.  Click on Jump to contact us about this or any other questions you have about our services and of course we welcome blog comments and are happy to answer questions here as well.

Below is the Google Analytics menu where you will find Visitors Flow, from Google Analytics Home or Dashboard click on Standard Reporting and you will see this menu:

Google Analytics Menu Visitor Flow