Navigation Analysis with Google Analytics

Ian Lurie

Joy asked how you can use Google Analytics to track exactly what users do when they get to your site.

There are a few tools in Google Analytics that let you research how folks move through your site:

Navigation Summary

Click Content > Overview > Navigation Summary:

Google Analytics: Content Overview

You’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Google Analytics: Page Views

In the Content drop-down menu (near the top of the image above), select any page. You’ll see how site visitors got to that page, and where they went after.

This feature works ‘out of the box’, even if you don’t have any goals defined.

Reverse Goal Path

If you want to get fancier, try the Reverse Goal Path tool. You’ll have to have a goal defined, first. If you’re not sure how to do that, read Michael Wiegand’s guide to selecting and setting up goals in Google Analytics.

Click Goals > Reverse Goal Path. This screen will appear:

Select the desired goal in the drop down menu, pictured at the top of the screen capture below.

Google Analytics will then show you a chart outlining each path taken to a goal conversion:

Google Analytics: Goal Conversion

Funnel Visualization
If you need to know who doesn’t convert, as well as who does, and where they abandon you, click Goals > Funnel Visualization.

You’ll need to define a funnel, first. Google has a great help page on this here.

You’ll immediately see a map of the funnel for the goal selected:

Google Analytics: Funnel

That map shows you how folks entered the funnel, where they left, and where they went when they left.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions about navigation analysis, please let me know.

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