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Use Google Analytics Users Flow to Understand Visitor Behavior

Increase your marketing ROI by paying attention to what your visitors do when they get to your website

I've got a good tip for you that will help you fine tune your marketing results. You're going to love this if you begin to use it regularly. You're welcome!

I want you to take a brief look into a view in Google Analytics called "Users Flow." See the image below on how to find this:

Google Analytics picture showing how to find the Users Flow view.
Under the Audience Tab you will find the "Users Flow" button to

Start by tapping the Audience button to expand, and follow it all the way to the bottom to where you see the starred entry of "Users Flow." Once inside, you will be able to see what visitors do when they visit various pages of your website.

The Users Flow helps you understand what is happening on your website when people start their interaction within a given page. For example, let's say you created a Facebook ad that links people to a Black Friday discount on a specific page of your website. Users Flow will allow you to take a look at that specific page and see what people do after they land there. Do they download that coupon listed on the page and fire a conversion "Thank you" html page? Do they leave the page without any interaction? Do they move on to other pages before trying to find that coupon page again? All of these questions can be solved by Users Flow.

Take some time right now to look at your website's Users Flow. Explore this help topic from Google to get additional ideas on how to use this view and some of the reports you can pull the following Users Flow. It will go in-depth on how to user this view, so be prepared to be bored...

Now that you've taken the time to play around in the Users Flow view, this is how Tracking Pixel Media uses this view to help analyze campaign effectiveness. Before we get to that though, some quick terms to understand about Users Flow -

  • sessions = a visitor to a website within a 30 mins time period

  • steps = html pages that people visit while on your site

  • drop-offs = visitors leaving your site

Check out this real world example that I pulled from a former client that wants to sell products to customers:

Highlighted traffic from Google Analytics Users Flow
Note: We blocked some of the descriptions in this Google Analytic Users Flow to protect the company's privacy.

This traffic was generated by a Google Adwords campaign. From the text ad, a visitor was lead to a page - step 0 in the picture - that gave information about the company. For this case, please ignore step -1, as the Adword campaign only linked to the landing page about the company, step 0.

Out of the 646 sessions the Adwords campaign generated, 98.3% left the website after landing on the page! Only 2 sessions made it to a store locator section of the website. If the goal is to sell more products, the campaign does not seem to be effective. What this tells us is that while a company might want to tout why they are better, and though they may have a really compelling case to argue, the customers are not finding that information useful enough to take the next step with the company.

A very large note of caution: Not all of the information is known in this scenario. Maybe there are other factors unknown that make sending visitors to the page a very useful tactic. The point is to illustrate how you can use Users Flow to determine if your marketing campaigns and website are set up to facilitate the customer journey so you can convert your audience more efficiently.

If none of what was said made sense to you... that's ok! Tracking Pixel Media is here to help, so please call us at 317.593.5161 to set up your free analysis!

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