We all know that a map displays the possible and known routes to the user, but Flow Visualization is something different and can be considered as a graph which traces a route or a path just like a trail through a forest by following steps of the user, including detours or backtracking that happened along the way. With this feature site owner can see how users enter into your website and then browse and exit your content. Overall, we can say that flow visualization measure conversion rate over time and then report how your goal performs overall.
If you are reading this, you must be thinking of about what is Goal basically? So it is a way to measure how well your website or app has performed for you. It represents a complete activity that contributes to the success of your business. To be more clear a goal for the eCommerce website owner can be considered as no. of purchases that user made and no. of contact form submitted through a contact form on lead generation website.
Analytics provide a number of specialized flow reports which are as below.
(1) Behavior Flow– It can display Page, Content Groupings and events.
(2) Goal Flow– It shows the path your traffic has traveled.
(3) Users Flow– It compares volume of traffic from different sources.
(4) Events Flow– It lets you visualize the order in which users trigger Events.
(5) Funnel Visualization– It gives you an overview of the selected Goal conversion funnel.
(6) Google Play Referral Flow– It helps you gauge interest in your app by showing you the volume of traffic.
The uses of these reports
(a) Relative volume of traffic to your site by the dimension you choose.
(b) Relative volume of users at each step in the path.
(c) Specific metrics for connections, nodes, and node exits when you hover over them.
There are some limitations associated with the flow reports as well. First is that they can’t display data for more than 100,000 sessions and secondly, they can support only session-based segments. User-based segments are disabled for flow reports.
Now let’s discuss something about components of these flow reports.
Except the funnel visualization reports all other flow reports use the same standard components.
(i) Nodes: A point through which traffic flows are known as Nodes and include single page, directory, event or dimension. Nodes are further divided into following categories:
-> Dimension nodes – These are white and determines the basic entry point into a flow.
-> Page and Goal nodes – These are green (show wearables and order complete)
-> Event nodes – These are blue (show category, action, label)
(ii) Connections: Connections are shown as gray bands and represent the path a segment of traffic takes from one node to another.
(iii) Loop-backs: These appear as a connection with an arrow pointing towards the previous node.
(iv) Drop-offs: It indicates where users left the flow.