5 min read

Website Visitors Behaving Badly? It's Your Own Flowing Fault

Featured Image

Do you have any idea who’s visiting your website?

If not, it’s time you took our crash course in digital marketing strategies. Today’s lesson shares a great place to find visitor data — Behavior Flow reports in Google Analytics. 

Now, Google Analytics can be very overwhelming. That’s why this article is going to focus specifically on one particular report found within, and that’s the Behavior Flow report.

 

behavior-flow-full-page-view

 

Behavior Flow Reports Shows You How Visitors Interact with Your Site

It provides a visualization of the path users traveled from one page or event to the next. This report can help you discover what content keeps users engaged and on your site. It can also show you where users are dropping off or backtracking, likely due to content issues.

To simplify it more so, think of it this way. 

You and your team invested time and money into your website. First, there was the effort it took to get it written, designed, and live. Maybe you approached this with a digital strategy in mind, maybe you didn’t. 

Then you invested additional time and energy into a content marketing strategy that includes writing monthly blogs (or if you aren’t, you should be). All of these marketing efforts require an investment of resources. But if you don’t know if they are attracting the right target audiences, all that effort could be time ill-spent.

However, if you could take a glimpse into how potential customers are interacting with your site and content, you would know what’s working, what’s not, and where to make adjustments. 

The Behavior Flow report can answer questions like:

  • Where are users coming into your site and where are they dropping off?
  • Did users go right from your product or service pages to checkout without any additional shopping?
  • Is there an event that is always triggered first? Does it lead users to more events or more pages?
  • Are there paths through your site that are more popular than others, and if so, are those the paths that you want users to follow?

By evaluating the report, you will see two types of traffic:

  1. Through Traffic: traffic that navigated to another page() of your website
  2. Drop-Offs Traffic: traffic that exit the website after landing on a page

If there is a 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 badly

With this information in hand, your marketing team will be better able to make informed focused adjustments to your website. Such adjustments should include conducting a content audit and additional usability testing.

How Does Behavior Flow Help Inform a Content Audit?

At Incite Creative, we use a wide range of reporting and analytics tools to help us gain valuable insight into our client’s various marketing channels. Since so much online marketing success is based on the value of its content (both written and visual), having a strategy guiding its creation, posting and optimization are critical to success. 

In short, a content audit is a process of systematically analyzing and assessing all the content on your website. The final objective is to reveal strengths and weaknesses in your content strategy and adapt your content plan to your current marketing goals.

By using the intel gathered from your Behavior Flow report, you’ll have the insight you need to know where to focus your efforts first. From there, you can follow these five steps to audit your content:

  1. Define Your Goals and Metrics
    • What are the results you want to achieve? Well for starters, you want to see fewer users dropping off from the home page before they make it anywhere else! That means you want to improve your audience engagement and conversion rate.
  2. Take An Inventory of Your Content
    • Start your inventory by collecting all the URLs of web pages you want to analyze. From there, create a spreadsheet to catalog your content with columns that include information that sheds light on your intended target audience and the content type and format.
  3. Collect and Analyze Data
    • Your content metrics will help you gain a clear picture of the quality of your site’s content. Many people focus on getting traffic to their site. But keeping them there long enough to convert is where having relevant content takes precedence. Take an honest look at your site content and then put it into a “no”, “update”, or “go” bucket will help you clean house and attract more guests.
  4. Draw Up An Action Plan
    • Once you have all of the information you need, work with your marketing team to create a game plan to tackle the changes. Although it won’t be a quick fix, investing the time necessary to get it right will get you the results you really want.
  5. Adjust Your Content Marketing Strategy
    • Now that you know all that goes into conducting a content audit, you’ll be better equipped to keep your new content marketing strategy in mind for all of your future marketing work. It should not be a “set it and forget it” approach. This is an ongoing process and something you should do at least once a year.

How Are Behavior Flows Related to Usability Testing

To help gain additional insight into how users are interacting with your site, supplement the intel from your behavior flow with a usability testing tool such as HotJar Recordings.

With your flow report in hand, you’ll see, for example, where visitors are dropping off. 

In the example below, we can see that 86% are dropping off from all starting pages!

behavior-flow-showing-drop-offs

One would be well-advised to find out why that’s happening and fast. If only you could be a fly on their shoulder watching what they do, where they click, how they scroll, and where they get stuck and ultimately exit. 

You can, with help from recordings. Just as if you were sitting over their shoulder, you can see how users are interacting with your website and have the power to improve their experience.

If you don’t have a marketing team to help you understand and fix your flow, we’re happy to help. Email me directly: dina@incitecmo.com or give us a call: 410-366-9479.


About Incite Creative, Inc.: Incite Creative is a marketing advisory firm that works in an outsourced capacity. In short, we become your company's chief marketing officer (CMO) and do so virtually and efficiently — saving you time and money. Since 1999 we've had the pleasure of building and boosting brands for a core set of industries. Our thoughtful process, experienced team, and vested interest in our client's success have positioned us as one of the Mid-Atlantic's most sought-after marketing partners for those looking to grow their brand awareness and bottom line. Stop paying for digital and traditional services you may not need. Our retainer, no mark-up model means our recommendations don't come with any catch or commission. The advice we provide align with what you need and what fits within your budget. For more information, contact us at 410-366-9479 or info@incitecmo.com.