Set up a user flow report

Analytics new Available from version 11.0.0

Needed permissions: owner, manage, edit & publish or edit

The user flow report lets you analyze how people browse your website. In this report, you can choose the key interaction, and then see previous or next interactions. For example, you can set a signup page as the key interaction, and then view pages that led visitors to the signup page.

The user flow report has a rich palette of settings that help you perform a thorough analysis of browsing. In this article, we’ll show you how to set up three types of user flow reports:

  • Standard report: It will show you the next interactions after the key interaction.

    Video tutorial: watch on YouTube 

  • Transition report: It will illustrate the previous and next interactions to the key interaction.

    Video tutorial: watch on YouTube 

  • Reverse report: It will show you the previous interactions to the key interaction.

    Video tutorial: watch on YouTube 

Before you start

Here are some things to know before you begin working with the user flow report:

  • You can set up a user flow report for interactions such as a page view, download, search, custom event, and more.
  • For each report, you can view a breakdown of dimensions related to sessions. For example, you can view channels, referrers, campaigns, and more.
  • For each report, you can view a highlighted path that visitors use most often.
  • You can view the user flow report in strict or non-strict mode. In strict mode, Piwik PRO looks at an exact sequence of events. In non-strict mode, Piwik PRO skips events that don’t match the filtered interaction.
  • You can add up to five previous and five next interactions. If you need more, contact us at support@piwik.pro.

Set up a standard user flow report

Let’s take an example of the Clear Bank website. On the website, there is a blog that links to a home page and posts. At the end of each post, there is a newsletter signup form. We’d like to find out how people browse the blog and whether they subscribe to the newsletter. A standard user flow report will help us to illustrate that.

To set up a standard user flow report, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Click Add new report.
  4. Select the user flow report type.
  5. Select user flow report type.
  6. Name the report.
  7. Choose the Visibility option: Author or All users. The All users option lets you share this grouping with other teammates.
  8. Toggle All events. In our case, we want to see all events not only page views.
  9. Toggle all events in a user flow report setup.
  10. Click the setting icon for the key interaction.
  11. Click the setting icon in the user flow report.
  12. Set up conditions for the key interaction. For example, Page URL is https://clearbank.com/blog/.
  13. On the right, click + to add the next interactions. 
  14. Click the plus icon in a user flow report.
  15. Optionally, set up conditions for previous interactions. In our case, we’ll set conditions for the second interaction Event type is any event and Group by event type.
  16. Conditions for a user flow report.
  17. Optionally, toggle Non-strict mode. By default, Piwik PRO looks at all events in sequence. When you turn on the non-strict mode, Piwik PRO will skip events that happened before the filtered event.
  18. Non-strict mode in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

    Tip: For more about non-strict mode, read this article.

  19. Optionally, add a breakdown of dimensions related to sessions. For example, Breakdown by channel.
  20. Add a breakdown in a user flow report.
  21. Analyze the report. In our case, 124 sessions happened for the key event out of which 84 dropped off. 40 sessions continued to the plus-one interaction out of which 2 dropped off and 38 sessions continued to the plus-two interaction. In the last interaction, 6 sessions resulted in newsletter signup (a goal conversion).
  22. A sample of a standard user flow report.

    Tip: You can also set up a user flow report by clicking Edit in the right, upper corner of the report. 

    Tip: To add filters to a user flow report, click Edit in the right, upper corner of the report and set filters in the Flow filters.

  23. To see the path visitors use most often, click the item and click Highlight top path.
Highlight top path in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

Set up a transition user flow report

Let’s take another example from the Clear Bank website. On the website, there is a help center where people can search for support articles. First, we want to find out on which pages visitors are searching for articles. Then, we’d like to see the queries they type in the search and pages to which they navigate after the search. A transition user flow report will help us illustrate that.

To set up a transition user flow report, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Click Add new report.
  4. Select the user flow report type.
  5. Name the report.
  6. Choose the Visibility option: Author or All users. The All users option lets you share this grouping with other teammates.
  7. Click the setting icon for the key interaction.
  8. Click the setting icon in the user flow report.
  9. Set up conditions for the key interaction. In our case, we’ll set the following conditions  Event type is search and Group by dimension: search keyword.
  10. Conditions for a user flow report.
  11. On the left and right, click + to add the previous and next interactions.
  12. Optionally, set up conditions for previous and next interactions. In our case, we’ll set the previous interaction as all events, and the next interaction as page views.
  13. Optionally, toggle Non-strict mode.
  14. Optionally, add a breakdown of dimensions related to sessions. In our case, we don’t need a breakdown.
  15. Analyze the report. In our case, most people searched on the main help center’s page /clearbank/help/. Visitors were looking for various articles using different queries, for example, direct deposit or ATM in London. There were 221 sessions during which visitors searched, 96 dropped off and 125 sessions continued to the next interaction.
  16. A sample of a transition user flow report.

    Tip: When you see that the previous interaction had a lower number than the key interaction, it’s because the previous interaction is filtered, for example, to page views. To see all events in the previous interaction, set the event type for all events.

  17. To see the path visitors use most often, click the item and click Highlight top path.
Highlight top path in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

Set up a reversed user flow report

Now, let’s move on to another example of the Clear Bank website. On the website, there is a signup page to which visitors come from different pages. We want to find out which route people use most often to reach the signup page. A reversed user flow report will help us illustrate that.

To set up a reversed user flow report, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Click Add new report.
  4. Select the user flow report type.
  5. Name the report.
  6. Choose the Visibility option: Author or All users. The All users option lets you share this grouping with other teammates.
  7. Click the setting icon for the key interaction.
  8. Click the setting icon for the key interaction in a user flow report.
  9. Set up conditions for the key interaction. For example, Page URL is https://clearbank.com/sign-up/.
  10. Conditions in a user flow report.
  11. On the left, click + to add the previous interactions.
  12. Optionally, set up conditions for previous events. In our case, we will leave interactions as page views because we want to see all pages that lead to the signup page.
  13. Optionally, toggle Non-strict mode.
  14. Optionally, add a breakdown of dimensions related to the session. For example, Breakdown by channel.
  15. Breakdown in the user flow report.
  16. To view the breakdown by the chosen dimension, hoover over the key event.
  17. View the breakdown by channel in the user flow report.
  18. Analyze the report. In our case, 8 sessions happened at the minus-two interaction, 20 sessions dropped in at the minus-one interaction, and 26 sessions dropped in at the key interaction. In most cases, people took a path from the / page to /clearbank/benefits/ to /clearbank/sign-up/ or straight from the / page to /clearbank/sign-up/.
  19. A sample of a reversed user flow report.

    Tip: To add filters to a user flow report, click Edit in the right, upper corner of the report and set filters in the Flow filters.

  20. To see the path visitors use most often, click the item and click Highlight top path.
Highlight top path in the user flow report in Piwik PRO.

You can tweak a user flow report in various ways. We advise you to look at the structure of your website, ask yourself a question: “What do I want to know?” and then design the proper user flow report.

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