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Improve Your Site Navigation Using Google Analytics

Digging through the data

As a marketer, one of your top priorities is to analyze campaigns. You have to know each component in detail and how to quickly tweak parts of your campaigns to see growth. With all of the data and information being collected, it could be a daunting task sorting through all of that marketing material. Luckily, there are many tools out there to assist you in organizing this data so you can clearly see what’s working and what needs to be changed. One such tool that will make your life a whole lot easier is the Visitor Flow Graph through Google Analytics.

This helpful little tool allows you to:

  • examine how many visitors are coming in through different sources
  • track those visitor’s interactions within your website
  • determine specific areas that need improvement

Things to consider

Having enough traffic to generate valid and reliable data is a key component to consider when using the Visitor Flow tool. If you have too little traffic, it will take you a longer amount of time to gather useable data worthy of justifying a change to the website. Depending on your industry, you should typically wait until you have reached between 500-1,000 visitors before using this tool as an indicator for enhancing your website.

Straight from the source

This tool gives you a personalized illustration of the flow of traffic into your website. This Visitor Flow Graph gives you a filter tool so you can sort out incoming traffic by sources, mediums, keywords, etc. You can see this filter tool highlighted below. You will also be able to see the bulk of traffic coming through these different channels. So how does this help you? For example, let’s say you notice that a high majority of traffic to your website is coming through a certain search engine. The Visitor Flow Graph can help you further examine visitor’s paths within your website to see if they are going where they are intended. Or for instance if you discover that one campaign is outperforming the others, you can prioritize to ensure the higher performing campaigns are receiving a greater amount of resources to make them more effective. Also, the Visitor Flow Graph will help you determine if you are directing your visitors effectively to the correct pages within your website.

A little more action

After you have determined where your visitor’s are coming from, you should analyze the actions they take within your website. You should have an idea as to how many interactions would need to be made to meet your marketing goals. Once that determination is made, you can chose to highlight certain routes that were taken from beginning to end. This tool lays out a distinct path that describes what pages were visited, and shows where drop offs are occurring. To make the most of your time, there is even a roll over effect that displays information when you roll your mouse over specific areas of the graph. In the graph below, you can see the data that will be displayed with this roll over effect. This gives you somewhat of a bird’s eye view of your incoming traffic, allowing you the confidence to make informed decisions to your website based on observable evidence.

Find and Fix

There are many ways to use this tool to uncover hidden navigation issues that need attention. A few ways to find problem areas would be by determining how traffic is moving on individual pages. You should see where the visitors are coming from and where they are going. Also, analyze drop offs to determine what could be making the visitors leave at specific points. This will ultimately help you to see if there are any blocks or problems that are causing visitors to get lost. Your goal is to move visitors smoothly along the website so that they are seeing what you want them to see and going where you want them to go.


In the graph below you can see 83% of the total traffic, coming from Google, is dropping off once on the page. So what’s the issue? How would you fix it?

  1. Filter Google traffic so you can take a closer look at individual marketing channels. The issue maybe more specific like an Adwords campaign.
  2. Weather you find in issue with the incoming traffic or not you’re going to want to take a closer look at the page with the high drop-off rate. Make sure the page has relevant information for the incoming traffic and that call to actions are clear and easy to find.
  3. Continue to monitor traffic after changes are made and identify where traffic goes once on the page. Are they looking for related services? Trying to find the shopping cart? Or maybe they are wanting to find store hours and location. Either way make sure you understand what your visitors want.

The Clear Picture

Once you are comfortable using this tool, and you have a heavy flow of traffic moving through your website to produce valuable data, you will clearly see campaigns and components that are successful as well as areas for improvement. With experience, you will understand how to adjust your campaigns to continually make them more productive.

For more information on how to effectively use this marketing tool, contact us.