Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Learning to Use Google Analytics, Part 3

by Dennis D. McDonald

This time around I decided to look at “entrances” and “exits” to key pages.

In looking at Google Analytics data I have seen that about half of all visitors came to my web site All Kind Food via the main page (which I call “Recent Postings”) and half come directly to other pages. One question that arises is, what do people do before and after they go to a specific page on my web site?

funnel.jpgGoogle Analytics makes it possible to answer that question.

Go to the the “funnel diagram” via  ALL REPORTS … CONTENT OPTIMIZATION … NAVIGATIONAL ANALYSIS … ALL NAVIGATION. This leads to a diagram like the one you see here. Arrayed in the left hand column are the pages of the site. When you select one of these pages, the right side displays, with the top half showing where visitors to the selected page come from, and the bottom half showing where visitors go to after that page is seen.

Depending on which date range is chosen at least half of my visits to All Kind Food’s main page come from outside my web site (i.e., from links on other web pages and from search engines).  The other half come from clicking on links displayed on other pages within my web site. (Note that all my pages have a common set of navigational links displayed on the left side of the page so that, in theory at least, anyone can get anywhere from anywhere within my web site.)

Looking at the “exits” from my main page, the data shows that about 25% of the time (depending on the time frame chosen — this is a number that fluctuates) visitors leave (exit from) the web site from the main page, but the remaining 75% go elsewhere within the site.

Interestingly, in looking at some of my most recent data, I see that the most popular next destination for people who arrive at my main page is a section I added called Web 2.0 Management Survey which, depending on the size of the screen and window size being used, shows up as visible on the top of the page automatically when it’s downloaded.

So even though I’m pleased that a new section seems to be a popular “I’ll go there next” destination from my main page, what I may actually be witnessing is random clicks based at least partially on page placement.


Entries in this series:


Web 2.0 and the Integrity of Individual Works

Google vs. Uncle Sam