Web Analytics Tutorial


Lesson 7 – Determining Visitor Behavior Patterns

* Where Visitors Spend Their Time
   Long View Durations
   Short View Durations
* Entry and Exit Points
   Entry Pages
   Exit Pages
   Link Following
* Path Analysis
   One-Page Visits
* Acting on Results
   Monitoring and Adapting to Patterns
   Deeper Investigation

Path Analysis

Figure 5. Paths by Source Report
Figure 5. The Paths by Source report can
illuminate unexpected visit patterns.
Between the entry and exit points visitors will often view many other pages on your site. Web analytics can collect the entire path each visitor takes to allow you to understand how visitors use your site (which may be surprisingly different than you had intended in the design.) For example, you might be very interested in where users go next after they look at their basket in your online store. Do they check out? Leave the site? Return to browse or search for more items? Summary provides the Paths by Source report, Figure 5, to help you find out where users are going after they get to a specific page. Conversely, you may have a particular page on your site that is important and want to know how visitors get there. Summary’s Paths by Destination report tells you just that.

Using the Visit Paths report, you may be able to see common paths followed by visitors to your site. For small sites, the Visit Path report will often contain one or two very common paths with the rest being insignificant. On large sites, you will notice that there are generally so many routes to so many destinations that none of them stand out in particular. In this case you can use filters and subreports, which we will cover in Lesson 8 - Examining Subsets of Traffic, to look at a portion of the traffic and analyze paths of those visitors.

One-Page Visits

Figure 6. One Page Visits
Figure 6. The One Page Visits report lists
pages that comprised an entire visit.
Some visitors will only see a single page. They enter at a point and exit from the same page. If you are delivering content in individual pages to your visitors, then this might be a good thing. Your users will be happy to find the content they need in one step and will remember to use your site in the future. On the other hand, if you are dependent on maintaining visitors’ attention, this could be indicative of problems in design, content or search engine listings. The One Page Visits report, Figure 6, highlights which pages on your site were the entirety of a visit for one or more visitors. Several of Summary’s reports also include a column of ‘1 Page Visits’ that you can click to see which requests have the highest number of one-page visits and analyze the content of those to see if they are indicative of problems.

Filtering Traffic

Table of Contents | 1: What is Web Analytics? | 2: Where are My Visitors Coming From? | 3: Search Engines | 4: Advertising | 5: Revenue Modeling | 6: Design Considerations | 7: Determining Visitor Behavior Patterns | 8: Examining Subsets of Traffic  | 9: Incorporating Business Goals | 10: Bandwidth Management | 11: Site and Server Diagnostics | 12: Investigating Troublemakers | Appendix A: Making Reports More Usable | Appendix B: Technical Details of Metric Accuracy

Copyright 2002 by Summary.Net - Updated 16.Apr.2002