How to Use the Google Analytics Behavior Flow Chart to Understand Your Organic Search Traffic

One of the interesting things you can learn from your Google Analytics account is how people arrive at your website and then navigate your site. This is learned through the Behavior Flow report.

For our purposes here, we are not going to go into how to actually set up an analytics account. So I am going to assume that you already have Google Analytics set up for your website.

You get to the Behavior Flow chart by clicking Behavior / Behavior Flow on the left-hand menu inside the analytics interface. You will then see a chart that looks something like this:

What the Behavior Flow chart shows is how people arrive at your website, and then how they navigate through your website. If your site gets a lot of traffic, this chart can be hard to read at first. There is a slider to the left that you can use to expand or contract the chart to make it easier to see.

By default, when you first load the Behavior Flow chart, it will show you the flow for all traffic. This is great information. But sometimes I like to dig in a little deeper and view this type of data for one particular type of traffic, such as organic search traffic or paid search traffic.

So why would this information be useful? Because if you know how people are arriving at your website, and then where they go from there, then you can make judgements about what pages of your site are most influential and most often generate the result you want to happen. In this article I am going to approach it from the standpoint of learning what pages your organic search traffic arrives at and where they go.

The way to find that out is to start with the default Behavior Flow chart but then add a segment for organic search traffic, while removing the All Users segment. To do that, first click the + Add Segment button. Then scroll through the list of segments until you see Organic Traffic and select that option. Then scroll down a little further and you will see the Apply button.

As a side note, you might wonder what the difference is between “organic” and “search” traffic. The difference is that the search traffic segment will include both organic (non-paid) and paid traffic. Here we are only interested in organic search traffic, so we use the organic option.

The next step is to remove the All User segment. To do that, click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the All Users segment box and click Remove.

Now you will only be seeing organic search traffic in your Behavior Flow chart. The main thing I look at at this point is what pages on my website are resulting in organic search traffic, and which of those pages are giving me the best results (i.e., leading to some kind of result such as arriving at my contact page, or resulting in lots of flow through the website).

The type of question you can answer with this data is: are there particular pages that do well? Such as pages that answer very specific questions? Or does your home page generate most of the results? Do your blog pages do well?

Use this information to decide what type of content works best for your website and generates the best results. Regardless of what kind of analysis you do, it is important to look at your website analytics regularly so you are knowledgeable about how your site is doing and what is working.

Contact: Jerry Work
Work Media LLC / Nashville SEO Company
615-375-8793, x. 702

104 Masonic Street
Dickson, TN 37055
Email: jwork@workmedia.net
Phone: 615-745-3094