As a follow-up to my previous article, Overview: The 'New' Google Analytics Platform, I'm providing a series of articles that dive into each of the platform's new components in more detail. For this article, I'm going to spend some time going through the Visitor Flow Report, a feature that can help you assess website engagement.

Navigational Maps

The new Visitor Flow Report allows you to see the navigational process that your website visitors completed. Now, the cool part is that you will get to view the navigation from almost any metric, such as country, source, medium, campaign and more. So what does this mean for you? You can now see the most popular paths that visitors took on your site. This is especially important if you might be directing your website visitors down a certain path, and you need to see if this is working or not. This will also allow you to see which sources/mediums are bringing the most desirable traffic to your website, based on desired paths.

Drill Down on Content

The report is located on the left-hand side, under your grouping of Audience reports. It will be your last option in the column. Check out the screenshot below.


On the top left, that pull down menu will allow you to choose your desired metric to compare. Again, options are almost endless. Also, on the left side, not shown in the screenshot, is a zoom feature that will allow you to zoom in/zoom out as needed to display your data.

In my example, we're looking at the various sources and mediums that brought visitors to our site. From left to right, you will see the most popular starting page, as well as the following 1st interaction, 2nd interaction, and so on. You can then follow the lines to form your visitor flow paths. When you click on any web page along the page, you receive the pop-out, shown in the screenshot below.


In the above screenshot, this is the pop-out for our Adobe pages. From top to bottom, you'll be able to see how many of our category pages were viewed and then of total visits, how many visitors continued navigating throughout our website versus how many dropped off and left our site -- a great measure of website engagement.


Now, because this flow chart is small in comparison to screen size, you will notice "more pages," noting there are too many pages to show. If you click on one of those boxes, you will then see the screenshot above, a listing of all of the other pages your website visitors went through.

Real-World Thoughts & Applications

In conclusion, this is a great new report to learn some more information about your website visitors and the paths they followed once they reached your site. Spend some time with this report and see if you can determine any action steps on your webpages to increase your overall engagement. This is especially important if you are running an e-Commerce website -- what can you learn about your visitor flow that will help you engage your visitors on appropriate pages.

I hope you're having some fun using the new interface. Have a question? Go ahead and leave one in the comments below. In a few weeks, we will focus on the grouping of mobile report and look at ways you can use this report for your business.

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