This is the third of a five part series designed to help you understand Google Analytics, improve your site, and enhance your digital strategy.
This is the mid-point of our series in which we are going to talk about the behavior of your users. User behavior is something we really feel you should be examining because it’s how you can evaluate the quality and performance of your website or content. This Behavior section in Google Analytics explores how people find and interact with your content—that’s why it’s the second step in the Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle. You can uncover such things like how long it took users to load your site, how deep a visitor’s interaction with your site was, what people searched for on your site, and how frequently specific pages were viewed.
We have mentioned Behavior before in Part 1 & Part 2 of this series, but this post is where we are going to get deeper into it. And in case you missed it, here are the other parts of this series:
- Part 1 – Audience
- Part 2 – Acquisition
- Part 3 – Behavior
- Part 4 – Conversions
- Part 5 – Leveraging Your Data
We mentioned the flow module before in the bonus section of our Audience post, and this flow works similarly. It visualizes the path that users traveled from one landing page to the next. This report is helpful to determine which section of your site or content keeps users engaged, or at which points they dropped off. You’ll also notice that where visitors drop off should also correlate to the bounce rate of that given page.
This report is responsible for all data about how users interact with individual pages on your site. Under this view, we can see the following: views of individual pages, bounce rates, pages of visitor entrance or exit, and how often or how long they viewed an individual page. You can even dig deeper into a section of your site to examine where visitors went on certain page levels. For example, if “Blog” is a main navigational item on your menu, it is considered a level 1 path. When looking at the Site Content section, you can compare which one of those level 1 pages had more interaction—like “Contact” or “About” or your blog.
The Site Speed report brings us a more technical view with insight about loading speeds of your website and distinct pages. You can use this data to quickly compare load time across different devices, browsers, pages or locations. You can also track execution speed or load tome of any discrete hit, even or user interaction that you want to track. By monitoring load times and then examining how much mobile traffic your site gets (under the Audience section), you can make informed conclusions about how mobile-friendly your site is.
Site search is an optional tool in Google Analytics that only works after an additional setup. This report provides you data on how many of your visitors are using the search engine on your site, search terms they are looking for and how the results are engaged through your website. If you’re looking for more information on configuring this report, please refer to Google’s documentation.
Similar to site search, the Events module requires additional setup on your website in order to track the events that you want data on. Here’s an overall of the events you can track: downloads, button clicks, video plays, flash elements, AJAX embedded elements and more. Each event is built from the following components:
- Category – this the main type by which we track and sort events (example “download” or “video”)
- Action – descriptor for a particular category (example “Play” or “Pause” for Video)
- Label – an optional descriptor that you can use to provide further data
- Value – a numerical event value
This is a similar module to an AdWords module from our previous post. AdSense is a platform run by Google that enables content publishers to put ads on their websites. This report provides you data on those ad banners after further AdSense and Analytics integration.
This fun tool is perfect if you want to test different scenarios, designs, or content on your page for better goal performance or conversions. You can setup different designs for a landing page or buttons to test which design work better, and Google Analytics will bring you that report after creating and setting up Experiments on your website.
BONUS: In-Page Analytics
With this tool you can see a graphical replica of your website, overlaid with bubbles that display data (in percentages) of user’s actions in the exact places where those actions or clicks took place. This tool can work for every page with Google Analytics code embedded. Besides the click bubbles, you are able to see the Google Analytics header with knowledge on pageviews, unique pageviews, avg. time on page, avg. page load time, bounce rate and percentage of exits. You can also toggle between clicks and goal, a color/heat map view, and see data for different browser sizes.
Conclusion of Behavior
By now you have learned to check your visitors’ behavior once they get to your site. If you are considering making changes, you will find that this data is very important and helpful when planning any improvements, as you can always cross-check data through all the report channels in order to make informed decision about the types of alterations you’d like to make.
We hope you enjoyed this post on user behavior! Stay tuned to learn more about conversions and tracking goals for ecommerce or any other purposes. And as always, if you need help trying to make sense with any of your reports don’t hesitate to contact an Analytics professional at Manning.