What are User Flows?

In relation to Google and search engines, User Flows are the measurement of relative volumes of traffic from different sources (such as search engines, and paid ads) within the same dimension. This can be useful for identifying if one traffic source is outperforming others on a page-by-page basis.

Using Google Analytics, you can access User Flow by clicking on Audience, then moving to the bottom of the section, and clicking on Users Flow. From here you can segment traffic based on country of origin, starting pages, 1st interaction all the way through to the longest user journey.

Understanding how people search for a particular product or service, User Flows can be used to troubleshoot or optimize pages that have high drop-off rates. These include the Navigational, Commercial, Informational or Transactional pages commonly used to complete a specific goal or function.

Measuring Engagement

Understanding how a page is performing is critical for optimizing for user engagement and User Flows are one of the quickest and easiest ways to check funnel performance. Define where you want to see engagement from users and check the first three or four interactions on the site. Clicking on the first node in the User Flow you can highlight traffic by clicking “Highlight traffic through here”, and compare the performance of each source. From here you can measure the level of engagement, movement between pages, and drop-offs where you lost the interest of your audience.

A/B Testing

User Flows can be illustrative when running A/B tests on different versions of a web page when those pages each have a unique URL. Within Analytics you can visually compare which page better serves user intent such as encouraging a subscription or funneling traffic towards another goal.

Path Analysis

Every query can have multiple Common Interpretations, where Google is unable to provide a result that meets the certainty threshold to dominantly fulfill search intent so the results become varied estimates of likely interpretations or intent. This occurs with complex keywords that have multiple meanings.


Segments are the subsets of your data, typically dependent on a specific set of parameters. An example could be “Users from Canada who like boots”, which filters results down to users that performed search queries specific enough that they match the desired audience. Some simple examples are “Returning Users”, “Mobile Traffic”, “New Users” or “Converters”

Google Analytics

Optimizing the PLPs for user intent across large eCommerce web design platforms can take time, especially when technical debt is involved. Treating each PLP and PDP with the appropriate SEO attention, keeping search intent as the focal point of supporting each customer journey will improve the performance of any eCommerce website.

What Defines the “Navigational” Search Intent Keywords

Breadcrumbs are one of the easiest ways to display parent or sub-categories that the PLP belongs to. When the site architecture is set correctly and PDPs have appropriate tags, there are fewer technical debts when deploying new PLPs. This allows for a cycle of optimization using keyword research, user data, and behavioral metrics to continuously build new PLPs based on trending relevancy.

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