2 April 2014
You might think website visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, but can they?
Google Analytics’ ‘Visitors flow’ and ‘In-page analytics’ can show you where your visitors are going, and what links they’re using to get there. (If you’re new to Google Analytics, you may wish to read part 1 of this series first).
The ‘visitors flow’ is a useful way to visualise how visitors are exploring your website. Which links do they click first? How do they explore the site? And where do they exit?
As shown in the example below, the report reads from left to right, and the connections between the various pages are either grey (illustrating visitors moved from one page to another) or red (showing where they left the site all together). The thickness of the connection shows how many visitors used that pathway.
Once you identify the most popular paths, you can adjust your site to optimise their experience. For example, if almost two thirds of your visitors click through to the ‘contact us’ page and then leave the site, you should consider placing your contact details on the homepage.
The flow of visitors could also show you whether people are leaving your site because they found what they were seeking, or if they got frustrated and left.
In our previous editorial, we mentioned the optimum pages per visit turn around 3-4. The ‘visitors flow’ can help you achieve this goal by identifying the most popular pages, so you can make it easy for visitors to find the information they need and the content they like.
Once you select a webpage, ‘in-page analytics’ will show you what percentage of visitors are selecting each of the active links on that particular page. You can select any webpage you like.
In the control bar at the top of the page, you can set thresholds such as ‘only show clicks with more than 10%’. You can also choose to apply a colour scale onto the page, where red zones contain the most click-throughs and blue zones the fewest.
This tool can help you to make your website more user-friendly. For example, if no one is clicking through to your ‘Frequently asked questions’ page, it could be because the link to this page sits at the very bottom of your homepage. Try moving the link elsewhere so it’s easier to find. If the amount of clicks does not change over time, it might be time to remove it all together.
When compared over different periods of time, ‘in-page analytics’ can help you identify changing interests and hot topics.
There is no single tool in Google Analytics that allows you to measure the engagement of your website visitors, but you can combine a few statistics and tools to get a clear understanding of how visitors behave and what they’re looking for. If you manage to put yourself in the position of your clients, you’ll be able to service them better and boost your business.
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