Have you ever been to a house you’ve never been to to before and felt right at home, enjoying the seamless flow from room to room? You know that if you opened that door on the right you’d find the bathroom you desperately needed and not the a coat closet. When you come out and your host calls, “I’m in the kitchen,” you know just where to find her. When we were house-hunting last spring, we found houses that just made sense … and also houses that made no sense at all! Bedrooms off the kitchen, showers across the house from bedrooms, doors to nowhere, closets in unexpected places, rooms with roof angles so extreme that the space is unusable. You want people to immediately feel at home on your website. You want it to be intuitive. You want it to make sense as people flow easily from page to page. Do you know how intuitive and easy your website flow is? Let’s find out.
Use Google Analytics to Understand Your Current User FlowYou can use Google Analytics to understand what’s happening now. Are people coming in through your front door (home page) or are they coming in through a back door, like a specific landing page? Do they come in, hang out for a while — read a blog post, check out your About page, see how they can work with you — or do they leave? Where are they spending time? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. Here’s how to find out how people are moving through your site:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account (Don’t have it set up? Watch this video to get started.)
- Select the Reporting Tab
- On the left sidebar, scroll to Audience, then choose the last option: Users Flow
- You’ll see a chart like this:
You need to know where you want your readers to go.Just like an architect designs a house to have ideal flow between rooms, create a site blueprint to figure out how you want your readers to move through your site. When people walk into my house’s foyer, they can turn left into the living room, go straight to the kitchen, turn right for the bathroom, or go upstairs. Usually I want to invite them into the living room to relax, but sometimes they’ve been in the car for a while and need to bee-line it to the bathroom, or they have food for a dinner party they need to stick in the fridge. I definitely don’t want them to go upstairs, because most likely I haven’t made the beds. So think about your website: when people arrive, where do they want to go (see your user flow chart to get the answer to this) versus where do YOU want them to go? It sounds obvious, but a lot of times, people haven’t thought things through. They created the pages they thought they were supposed to have: home, about, work with me, blog . . . but they didn’t really think about how people move from one to the other. Ask yourself: Do you have a specific service or product you want to share? Do you want your users to join your list, read your About page, or figure out how to hire you? What the best way to keep them interested & engaged? Next week on the blog, I’ll talk about ways to direct traffic through your website to get people to move in the flow you want. Sign up below to be notified when that post is available and get a free one-page downloadable overview of how to interpret your Google Analytics Users Flow.
Your SEO Starter Kit
Get your FREE guide full of fun tips (and flow charts, mad libs, and The Office memes) to get found on Google ... without needing a degree in nerdspeak.