Google Analytics Flow Visualization Update

by Vanessa on October 27, 2011

Google updates its products faster than most people can keep track. The same is true for Google Analytics. The company is constantly announcing updates to the Analytics program, which you can read about on their official blog if you desire.

Google is releasing a continual flow of update to Analytics. Some are minor and you might not notice them. Some are major and require a bit of a learning curve. The most recent update announced on October 19 is called Flow Visualization.

The issue they’re trying to fix is that analysis of visitor paths through a website has typically not been very intuitive. Their new solution is a visualization of visitor flow that allows you to analyze site insights graphically. This week, “Visitors Flow” and “Goal Flow” will be introduced to all accounts, with other types of visualizers coming in the next few months.

The Visitors Flow view is located on the left-hand navigation menu. As you can see in this example screenshot from the Google blog, it shows a graphical representation of visitors’ flow through the site by traffic source, showing their journey, as well as where they left.

Google Analytics Visual Flow

Screenshot of Google Analytics Visual Flow

You can interact with the graph to highlight different pathways, and to see information about specific nodes and connections. For example, if you want to dive deeper into your “specials” set of pages, you can hover over the node to see more at a glance.

Google Analytics Visual Flow Node

Screenshot of Google Analytics Visual Flow Node

This handy feature instantly reveals how many visits (5.46K visits) and how many came from Google search to the “specials” or promo page. Drill down further by “exploring the traffic” through the node to see how visitors coming specifically from Google search journeyed across your site.

Google Analytics Visual Flow Traffic Node

Google Analytics Visual Flow Traffic Node

If you want to specifically focus on a node, the new view provides 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. The visualizer allows you to follow the path forwards or backwards to better understand how the visitors to your site are engaging in your content.

Is this update going to be helpful to you? Let us know!

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