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Google Analytics Introduces “Visitors Flow and Goal Flow” Tools

At the Web 2.0 Summit, Susan Wojcicki and Phil Mui, of Google Analytics team unveiled “Flow Visualization” tool in Google Analytics, that allows you to analyze site insights graphically, and instantly understand how visitors flow across pages on your site.

Starting this week, “Visitors Flow” and “Goal Flow” will be rolling out to all accounts.

Visitors Flow view provides a graphical representation of visitors’ flow through the site by traffic source (or any other dimensions) so you can see their journey, as well as where they dropped off,” explains Phil.

You’ll find this visualizer on the left hand navigation menu, where you’ll see a new “Visitors Flow” link under the Visitors section.

Nodes are automatically clustered according to an intelligence algorithm that groups together the most likely visitor flow through a site.

Google Analytics: Visitors Flow

Google Analytics: Visitors Flow Interactive

“You can interact with the graph to highlight different pathways, and to see information about specific nodes and connections. This type of visualization allows you to answer important questions, such as “How successful is my new promo page?” In the example below, a marketer instantly gains the insight that there’re 5.46K visits (based on the sources on the left hand side) and the majority of visits to the “specials” or promo page come from Google search,” explsins Phil.

To take this a step further, “you can drill down into any node by “exploring the traffic” through the node. In this case, you can see how visitors coming specifically from Google search journeyed across your site,” he said.

Google Analytics: Visitors Flow-2

Phil notes, “We’re providing data on all the visits that lead to that node, and not just the ones that come from the top sources in the Visitors Flow. You can also traverse the path forwards or backwards on this visualizer to gain more insight on how engaged the users are to your new promotion.”

Goal Flow provides a graphical representation for how visitors flow through your goal steps and where they dropped off,” said Phil. Addin, “Because the goal steps are defined by the site owner, they should reflect the important steps and page groups of interest to the site. In this first iteration, we’re supporting only URL goals, but we’ll soon be adding events and possibly other goal types.”

You can find the Goal Flow visualizer in the Conversions > Goals section of the “Standard Reporting Tab.” Goal Flow helps you understand:

  • The relative volume of visits to your site by the dimension you choose (e.g. traffic source, campaign, browser)
  • The rates at which visitors abandon different pathways
  • Where and how visitors navigate each of the steps that you defined
  • How the visitors interacted with your site, including backtracking to previous goal steps

Google Analytics: Glow Flow

He said, “You can also apply any advanced segments to a Flow Visualizer. In addition, for those who want to see how visitors arrive at a page (s) of interest, they can select that page (s) and visualize “backward”.” “Such “reverse paths” could help site owners identify suboptimal placement of content. Similarly, “forward” paths from a page (s) can be visualized to understand most visited pages or to see visitor flow leakages that a site owner might be unaware of,” added Phil.

If you don’t already have, you can create a new goal or goal funnel from your profile settings and check it out right away – it works backwards on your historical data.

Google Analytics: Glow Flow advanced segments

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