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How to Use Behavior Flow in Google Analytics

Mar 4, 2020
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Ever wonder how your user navigates through your website? Google Analytics Behavior Flow let's you see how your users use your site and what content keeps them engaged. In the video below, I'll do an overview of the tools so you can start using it today. 

 

Video Transcript: 

Hey, welcome to another episode of Wednesday Workshops. In this episode we're going to be taking a look at how to leverage Google's behavior flow to better understand how our users move through our website.

Google Analytics is an extremely powerful marketing analytics tool. Most marketers, most site owners probably don't leverage it to the full capabilities that it has the offer. Honestly, there's a lot that this tool can do and sometimes it can feel so overwhelming that people just use some basic stuff and maybe stay out of it.

As we all know, if you're using Google Analytics, this is what your homepage looks like. You've got some high level audience metrics, traffic metrics, country metrics, time of day. They really try to pull out the high level numbers here for you to help you better understand how people are moving through your website. Some of the cool stuff that it has are these insights right here. Well it's going to use some artificial intelligence to pull out some anomalies to help you better understand what your traffic is doing.

But for the purpose of this video, what we want to look at is behavior and more importantly behavior flow. This is not the entire indication of how your users are leveraging your site, but what it is very helpful in doing is understanding which content leads somebody to move to another piece of content. To find behavior flow we'll go to the behaviors tab and click behavior flow. This is a visualization of your traffic.

As you'll see up here, you can toggle how much time you want to look at these. So let's say we just want to look at the last 30 days and apply it. This is going to tell us a couple things. It's going to tell us the landing page. Where do people land on, that starting session that they had and then what are the interactions that they took throughout their journey?

The landing pages, the specific pages that they went and it's pulling out the most visited page and then down there and then just a group of pages. And then over here in the starting page is going to look at the number of sessions moving through. So what you can do is begin to see at a very high level the types of content that are driving people to your page. The blog content is one that we see a lot for us. We do a lot of content. We try to help and educate and share what we're learning with other people and hopefully they can get some use out of it as well.

One of the things that we notice is if you go to this blog tab, which this is our home blog. We have about a 95% drop off. This is an area that we can work on to see which type of content can we push people into maybe deeper content. A lot of people are finding our sites by very specific blog articles or they're coming in through the homepage.

As you could see from the homepage, I can highlight traffic through here. I can highlight traffic through any one of these and I can begin to see what flows. So they land on the homepage and after the homepage they either visit the blog or contact us, inbound marketing or one of these other 43 pages. And if I want to know what those pages are, I can click on group details and it'll tell me these are the pages that people are going to the most, at least for the last 30 days.

And I can start to see after that, where do they go. And as you can see here, once they've come to the homepage and they've gone deeper, our drop offs gets a little bit better. Now the amount of traffic is shorter, but the people have taken an interaction and taken a step in, typically tend to continue to move through and continue to take action. So this is very helpful for you when you're looking at which content is important.

I'll see from my homepage, our inbound marketing services attract people. People are also attracted to our resources and our solutions and our blog. And as they continue to take steps they begin to look at other things that we also do. So this can be helpful, like I said, in understanding the content that works well, but also to expose some opportunities. For instance, if I look at my blog, I can say, all right people are coming through my blog.

Now if they get to a specific topic, the through traffic's almost 75% but I've lost so many people here at the top. What are some ways that I can show more topics to move people from that blog homepage into something that they're really interested in learning about?

I can start to do some experimentation and help improve the flow in the user experience of my website and keeping them on my website longer. Behavior flow is a visualization tool, but when you break it down, it can be very helpful to understand what people are doing.

You can also use this segment filter and you can create your own segments or you can do things like use one of these pre-made ones, like organic traffic. And I can see the difference between all users versus organic traffic users. Let's say I want to see how organic traffic moves through my site and is it any different. As we can see there is some slight differences to the metrics and still a lot of the same pages because organic is most of our traffic, but at the same time, we can also begin to see how each channel performs against one another to better understand our users and where they're coming from and the types of content that they find engaging for themselves.

This was an overview of behavior flow and how to start using the tool. If you have any questions, please comment below. If you've got any other insights using this tool, we would love to continue that conversation so please share those with us as well. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

 

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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