Google Analytics Flow Visualization: The Latest Enhancement of Google Analytics

Jennifer Herriford  |  October 19, 2011

Earlier today at the Web 2.0 Summit, Phil Mui, of the Google Analytics (GA) team made the official blog post with details on Google Analytics latest feature: Flow Visualization. As a GA Certified Partner, Vertical Nerve has been excited to have early access to the new tool and the insights that it provides.

What Is It?

The new Flow Visualization Feature provides a much clearer picture of how website visitors actually flow through a site in regards to your goals.  Phil Mui explained, “Our goal is to help marketers and analysts better optimize their visitor experience by presenting the ways that visitors flow through their sites in an intuitive and useful way.”

Visitors Flow

The Visitors Flow report provides users with a visual representation of how traffic moves through a website by separating traffic sources. Visitors Flow then provides a sort of roadmap of the journey that visitor took, and where they left the site.

Visitors Flow_Google Analytics Flow Visualization_Vertical Nerve blog

The new interface is highly interactive and allows you to access much more granular data. For example, you can hover and click on the different sections to see which pages of a website have a higher drop off rate when comparing to others.

Let’s say you just launched a new promotion, and you want to see how the promotional page is doing in regards to conversions. With the new Visitors Flow report, you can click on your promotional page to see how much traffic is coming to it, where it came from, and how many people “drop-off” the page altogether.

Visitors Flow_Google Analytics Flow Visualization_Vertical Nerve blog

Goal Flow

Properly setting up goals in GA is one of the most important features of tracking the interaction of visitors on a website and making sure those visits are producing conversions. The new Goal Flow Report provides a visual representation of how traffic flows through your goal paths and most importantly where traffic might be falling off in those instances where a conversion was not produced.  

Goal Flow_Google Analytics Flow Visualization_Vertical Nerve blog


Using Flow Visualization, marketers now have another tool in their arsenal when it comes to interpreting the data that Google Analytics provides. The new, visually appealing graphics are sure to make it easier on marketers when it comes to determining where holes and gaps are in regards to their website’s goal paths.

Official Google Statement

  • The relative volume of visits to your site by the dimension you choose (e.g. traffic source, campaign, browser)
  • The rates at which visitors abandon different pathways
  • Where and how visitors navigate each of the steps that you defined
  • How the visitors interacted with your site, including backtracking to previous goal steps

When Can I Use It?

The team at Google does plan to grant access to all GA users over the next few weeks, but until that time, it is only available in limited release. Beginning this week, “Visitors Flow” and “Goal Flow” will be released with more tools expected in the near future. As always, we are eager to begin using Flow Visualization as another way to help our customers improve conversions and increase leads on their websites. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Analytics team.

Jennifer Herriford headshot

Jennifer Herriford

Jennifer is a seasoned marketing professional with experience in strategy, operations management, brand management, corporate event planning and social media management. 

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