Google Analytics 102: Mapping a Path from Prospect to Client

In my last post, we discussed some basic features of Google Analytics and how advisors can utilize these SEO capabilities to your advantage. This time around, I would like to focus on how you can use some of these analytics tools to track the common paths prospects/visitors take through your website, and to identify the most effective combination and sequence of content that leads to a conversion. Also known as a “buyer’s journey,” by tracing the steps past prospects have taken through your site from first visit to point-of-purchase, you will know which paths should be lit for future prospects to follow, and where to position the right content along those paths to lead them in the direction you want them to go (i.e a call-to-action or contact page.) 

Navigation Analysis and Entrance Paths.

The top pages visitors: A) come to first, B) go to next, and C) exit from.

In a nutshell, these features tell you how visitors found your content, and what paths they used to get to your content. But more specifically (and perhaps importantly), they allow you to see which content is most likely to lead them further on the down the road, and which to the nearest exit. From this, you will know what pages leave visitors wanting more, and thus want them to see first, and what pages are most likely to lose their interest, and therefore don’t want them to see next.  Now all you need to figure out is what you do want them to see next. Google Analytics figures this out for you.  Entrance Paths organizes pages into three columns literally labeled “Entered here”, “Then viewed these pages”, “And ended up here.”  Once they end up “here”, you know where to put your call-to-action.

In-page Analytics.

Though still in β testing, this tool is extremely helpful for anticipating where your visitors’ next step will land, and for controlling what they see once they get there. For every page on your website, it shows you where on that page people click and the percentage of which that do.  Since you already know from Navigation Analysis and Entrance Paths which content or pages you want them to see next, you can use In-page Analytics as a safety net, so that if a prospect so happens to click something else that catches their attention, the page you want them to go to next will still be in the most likely place to catch their eye.  If it doesn’t, it might on the next page they click on, because you always know the most likely page that will be, and where to put your best content.

If used properly, SEO can turn a prospect first visiting your website into opportunity at point-of-purchase. Signing that prospect as a client, however, is something Google cannot do—that part is up to you.  



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