Design & UX

Simple Steps to Website Navigation Analysis

How do you help visitors find the products, services, or information they need? The first thing they need is a clear, concise website navigation. If they can’t immediately get an idea of what to expect from your website, they’ll leave to a competitor’s website and never come back. In this guide, we’ll show you how to find where your navigation is failing your customers and prospects.

We’ll show you a few not-so-obvious Google Analytics reports and filters that will help you optimise your customer journey and navigation for both desktops and mobile devices.

You’ll learn how to find information about:

This will give you a complete overview of the sales funnel on your website. You’ll be able to compare the data with your expected outcome and requirements to optimise the user journey and increase sales.

How to find out where your visitors come from?

The navigation starts before the visitor lands on one of your pages. Breaking down the traffic sources and types will help you estimate the performance of your Google search results, paid advertising campaigns, and get a better idea about the referrers.

Verifying the referrers is crucial at this stage. We often come across “fake traffic” that skews your data and needs to be blocked. When using the report outlined below, look for unusual traffic sources that need to be excluded.

Here are the steps to finding out more about your landing page traffic.

Navigating to Behaviour, then Site Content, then Landing Pages in Google Analytics.

Setting a secondary dimension in Behaviour, Site Content, Landing Pages report in Google Analytics.

Advanced filters in Google Analytics.

Depending on the secondary dimension you picked your report will now look like that:

Secondary dimensions for landing page traffic

Traffic type

In the above case, we have selected “Traffic type” as the secondary dimension. The traffic types are:

Medium

Choosing “Medium” shows the same categories, minus “social”, with a few different names and one major advantage. It saves “Paid” traffic as “cpc” (cost per click, paid search) and direct traffic has a medium of “none”.

The advantage is being able to specify the medium type in UTM parameters of your URLs. For example, going to the main page of our blog from the following URL will display the medium as “navigationblog” in Analytics – https://nerdcow.co.uk/blog/?utm_medium=navigationblog.

Source

The “Source” dimension provides a more detailed look at the domains of your referrals. Search engines will still display as simply “google” or “bing”. However, you will start seeing URLs of the referring domains, such as “facebook.com”, linkedin.com” or even their shortened versions like “linked.in”.

Best of both worlds – Source/Medium

We display data in a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read manner. It’s crucial in B2B communication and for our internal operations. The “Source/Medium” splits the traffic according to the categories of both individual groups and displays them right next to each other.

This helps you understand how each source drives traffic to your site. When all the other filters could only show that X amounts of visits were paid traffic, or Y came from Google, the “Source/Medium” shows exactly how much of your paid traffic came from Google and how different search engines contribute to the organic visits.

What does the traffic type tell you about your visitors?

The way a visitor finds your business gives you invaluable insights on their needs and how far in your sales funnel they are. You’ll notice several differences between each traffic source. One example would be that paid advertising sessions are likely to be shorter and with a higher bounce rate.

This fact alone won’t be a red flag, but it will change your approach to the navigation analysis. If you’re offering a range of services, you can’t expect that a highly targeted PPC visitor will be interested in the solutions unrelated to the ad that made them visit your website.

How to find the previous page the user visited?

Once you figure out who lands on your page, it’s time to evaluate whether visitors follow your intended customer journey.

You can use it to track the performance of any page – expanding the “Current Selection” will give you a list with some of your pages and a search box to help you quickly find the page you are looking for. In this case “/” means the home page.

On top of showing the “Previous Page Path” and “Next Page Path”, the report contains a few key statistics, such as exit percentage for your page.

Google Analytics provides a number of ways to browse the behaviour flow of your visitors. The more advanced ones aren’t obvious to navigate, but thankfully there is a way to quickly check the most common previous (and next) steps for any given page.

Navigating to Behaviour, then Site Content and All Pages in Google Analytics.

A new report will appear under the graph:

The path reports allow you to easily see whether your page is directing visitors to an appropriate place on your website. Our example from Tweet Wheel shows that /pricing/, /checkout/ and /login/ are among the most popular steps after visiting a home page, which is good.

Testing your mobile navigation

You can test the navigation on mobile, desktop or specific mobile devices without leaving the above report. First, click on “All Users” above the graph, as pictured below.

Changing the data segment in Google Analytics

This will expand a segment selection navigation. Like in many other places in Google Analytics, it includes a search box. You can easily search for queries like “tablet” and add another data set to your report. Make sure to uncheck “All Users” first if you want to see the data for a specific segment rather than comparing multiple of them.

Selecting a data segment in Google Analytics

You can also remove a segment by clicking on it, then on an arrow in the upper-right corner of the box and selecting “Remove”.

Removing a data segment in Analytics

Combine segments with other reports

We’ve highlighted the importance of the source of your traffic – so how do you incorporate it into the “Previous page” report” You can do it the same way we’ve filtered mobile traffic above. Simply search for the traffic type you want to compare and include it in your segments.

Closing words

Even though Google Analytics makes a good job at making key metrics easily accessible, there are some useful reports that aren’t easy to find. We hope our quick guide helped you perform the basic analysis of your website navigation and customer journey.

If you’re looking for detailed analytics reports, website optimisation or security maintenance, our experts will identify the key issues with your website to increase your sales.

Originally published May 15, 2019 6:37:26 PM, updated November 11 2020.

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