How to Use the Google Analytics Navigation Summary Report

Google Analytics is commonly known for analyzing site stats such as the number of visitors, number of pageviews and lots of other quantitative metrics. Google Anlaytics can also be used for understanding users’ navigation patterns, though this feature is limited to individual pages only. The following example shows how to use the navigation summary report in Google Analytics.

Accessing the Navigation Summary Report in Google Analytics:

Within your Google Analytics account, navigate to the Content Report and then click on the Top Content report. Here you will see a list of web pages with their respective pageviews.

Googke Analytics Content Report
Google Analytics Content Report

Select which page you would like to analyze by clicking on a URL displayed in the report. For example, let’s analyze the Google Analytics Training page which is shown in the above example as ‘/socialmedia/google-analytics.cfm’. When you click on this page you will be taken to the Content Detail report:

Google Analytics Content Detail Report
Google Analytics Content Detail Report

From the above report, use the drop down menu as shown in the following screenshot and select Navigation Summary in order to access the navigation summary report in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Navigation Summary Report
Google Analytics Navigation Summary Report

Analyzing the Navigation Summary Report in Google Analytics:

Take a look at the following screenshot:

Navigation Summary Report in Google Analytics
Navigation Summary Report in Google Analytics

The icon in the middle of the report represents a page under analysis. In the left hand column Google Analytics shows how visitors arrived at this web page, and in the right hand column it shows where visitors went from this particular web page.

In the above example, by looking at the information available in the right hand column I can quickly see what percent of people proceeded to fill out our ‘contact us’ form after viewing this web page, and what percent of people looked at our course schedule.

In the left hand column, % Entrance indicates the number of times a particular page served as an entrance to your site.  This column will also show you a list of ‘Previous Pages’ indicating which pages on your website were responsible for sending traffic to the page under analysis.

When you are planning to optimize site navigation around a particular page (e.g. product page, special offer page, etc), the information presented in the above report is helpful as it provides you with a better understanding of how people interact with the page.

Currently, the navigation summary report has a bug: it claims all pages have a 0.00% Exit rate. A topic for a future post!

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Notice that there were only ten pageviews of the homepage, which we see in the middle of the picture
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