How to use Users Flow Report in Google Analytics

Through the ‘Users Flow’ report you can determine how website visitors are navigating through your website. From which web page they start browsing your website and from where they exit the website. 

‘Users flow’ is a very important report in understanding the website usage, in understanding the browsing behavior of your website visitors. 

So make yourself really comfortable with using this report. You will often find yourself using this report. It is one of the most useful reports in Google Analytics. 

Note: The ‘Users Flow’ report is very similar to the ‘Behavior Flow’ report. The big difference between the two is on the emphasis. While the ‘Users Flow’ report is focused on the pages your website users visit, the ‘Behavior flow report’ also includes ‘Events’ and ‘Content Groupings’.

Step-1: Navigate to the ‘Users Flow’ report:

Step-2: Make sure the date range of the report is set to the last 30 days. This report badly suffer from data sampling issues. So longer the date range you select, higher is going to be the bad data sampling and less accurate the reported data will become. 

The ‘Users Flow’ report looks like the one below:

From the report above, we can conclude the following: 

>> Majority of website traffic (102k Google Analytics sessions or 102 visits) came from the US followed by India, UK and Canada.

>> Majority of the US traffic landed on the home page of the website. Same is true for other countries. What that means that the home page is the top landing page of the website. 

 

Step-3: Click on the ‘United States’ white box in the report. This would open a drop down menu:

Step-4: Click on the option ‘View only this segment’. Now you will see the ‘user flow’ report only for the website traffic from the US:

 

From the report above, we can conclude the following: 

>> Majority of US website traffic landed on the home page (/home) followed by ‘/store.html’ page, ‘/google+redesign/shop+by+brand/youtube’ page and so on.

>> Out of 102k visits from the US, 50k vistes were on the home page, 6k visits were on the store.html page, 5.4k visits were on the ‘/google+redesign/shop+by+brand/youtube’ page and so on.

>> Majority of the US website visitors who landed on the home page of the website then navigated to ‘signin.html’ page, ‘/google+redesign/apparel’ page and so on:

Note: You can highlight the traffic from the home page to other pages on your website (like I did in the screenshot above) by clicking on the ‘/home’ green box on the report and then selecting ‘Highlight traffic through here’ option as shown below:


>> Out of 50k US website visits on the home page of the website, 6.8k visits occurred on ‘/signin.html’ page, 2.9k visits occurred on ‘/google+redesign/apparel’ page and so on as shown below: 

Step-5: Hover your mouse over the green box called ‘/home’:

You should now be able to see a pop up window over the green box:

This pop-up window report on two types of traffic:

#1 Through traffic – traffic that navigated to another page(s) of your website. For example, according to the report above, 78.6% (of the 50ks visits) or 40k visits from the home page continue to another page(s) of your website.

#2 Drop-offs traffic – traffic that exit the website after landing on a page.  For example, according to the report above, 21.4% (of the 50ks visits)  or 11k visits exit (i.e. drop-off) the website after landing the home page.

Usually lower the drop-offs traffic the better. If there is very high drop-off on a key landing page then it could mean two things:

#1 You are sending the wrong people (who are not your target audience) to your landing page.

#2 Your landing page is converting really bad. 

 

Step-6: Click on the ‘/home’ green box on the report again and then select ‘Clear highlighting’ option as shown below:

Step-7: Wherever you see > 100 more pages in the ‘Users Flow’ report:

Click on the green box and then select ‘Group Details’:

You should now see a new popup window like the one below:


Through this popup window you can see the through traffic and drop off rate for each page in the group.

 

Step-8: Change the dimension to ‘Source/Medium’ from the dimension drop down menu:

The ‘User flow’ report will now show the user flow for each top source/medium:


Now analyze the data once again as described so far.

 

Step-9: Change the dimension to ‘Landing page’ from the dimension drop down menu:

Now you can determine how people browse your website from a particular landing page.

If you can not see your landing page being listed in the ‘users’ flow’ report then follow the steps below:

 

#9.1 Click on the wheel button:

You should now see a popup window like the one below:

#9.2 Click on the ‘Add an Item’ button:

#9.3 Select your match type from the drop down menu, enter your search expression and then click on the ‘Apply’ button:

If there is a data for your searched terms then you would see it in your ‘users flow’ report.

 

Step-10: Change the dimension to ‘Social Network’ from the dimension drop down menu:


Now you can determine how people browse your website from a particular social network.

 

Step-11: Play with the ‘Users flow’ report a bit. Apply different dimensions and see how the data looks like. 

 

Step-12: Apply different custom segments to further segment this report:

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