Where is the behavior flow report in Google Analytics 4?
GA4 doesn’t have a behavior flow report. Instead, you can use your exploration templates to follow your user’s journey. Use your funnel exploration report to track a predetermined path or your path exploration for free-form tracking.
Today, we’re going to discuss the loss of behavior flow in GA4. We’ll also talk about the two exploration reports you can use to track your user’s journey in the new interface. So come with us to learn about these new and improved reports and how to use them to your advantage. What is Behavior Flow?
In Universal Analytics, your behavior flow report gives you a visual representation of the path a user follows throughout your site. Analytics tracks the user from one page to another or one event to another.
For example, if a user went to your “About Us” page, then your “Blog” page, then to your “Contact us” page, the behavior flow would look like: “About us” > “Blog” > “Contact us.”
The behavior flow report is designed to look at your content and help you identify weak areas. For example, if users bounce off a certain page often, there is an optimization opportunity there. And if people aren’t clicking on a video you embedded, or are bouncing away after watching it, then again, that’s an area that needs your attention.
You also have a user flow report in UA that has also been excluded in the new interface. The user flow report focuses on the user’s entrance source and then tracks them throughout your site (through the different pages and events they interact with). Your user flow report helps you examine your marketing channels to determine how effective they are in driving people to your site.
The issue with these reports is their limitations. For example, with the user flow report, you must choose a starting point from the listed start pages and follow your users based on that. There’s also not much filtering available, making it difficult to conduct granular analysis.
But thankfully, in GA4, these reports have been replaced by two exploration reports that are much more customizable. They also provide deeper, more in-depth data without placing restrictions on what you want to explore. We’ll discuss these reports in the upcoming sections, so come with us to learn more.
What Can I Use Instead of The Behavior Flow Report?
In GA4, you have two new and improved options to take the place of your behavior flow and user flow reports. Many users are thrilled with these new choices because they are more detailed and flexible than the flow reports you’re used to.
The first option is your funnel exploration report. This one lets you pre-select the desired path you want to investigate.
You also have access to a path exploration report in GA4. This report also looks at your user’s journey, but it is free-flowing, not predetermined like the funnel exploration report.
Both the funnel exploration and path exploration reports are available in your “Explore” section in your GA4 interface. Just click on “Explore” in your left-hand menu.
You’ll then see a variety of templates available to help you explore your data. We created a separate post all about your exploration reports, so check that out here to learn more.
For now, though, we’re going to focus on the funnel exploration and path exploration reports. We’ll discuss each of them below, so keep reading to learn about how to make up for losing your behavior flow report and how to gain some awesome new insights.
About Funnel Exploration
A funnel is a specific path you want users to take while visiting your website or mobile app. For example, if you want to track users who look at a specific product and make a purchase, you might set up a funnel to track a series of events like “view product” > “add to cart” > “purchase.”
Your funnel exploration template is super helpful for tracking your user’s journey throughout your site. You can look at all the steps along the way and see where people are falling out of your desired funnel or backtracking.
The funnel exploration report is an excellent substitute for your behavior flow report. It’s so useful that we created a separate post to discuss GA4 funnels in detail. To see our insights on GA4’s funnel template, click here.
About Path Exploration
Your funnel exploration report is key, and it is one you’ll want to use. But when it comes to replacing your UA flow reports, the real gem is your GA4 pathing report.
Your path exploration report also looks at your user’s journey throughout your site—including the pages they land on and the events they trigger. But the pathing report is truly special because of its free-flow style.
Your funnel exploration looks at one single, predetermined path at a time. This is super helpful if you know what course of action you want to look at—like “view product” > “add to cart” > “purchase.” But sometimes you want to see the path without having to define it ahead of time to unlock new insights. And this is where the pathing report comes in.
Your path exploration report is free-flowing, meaning it will track any number of paths. You don’t have to determine the path ahead of time. Rather, Analytics automatically tracks undefined paths to unlock powerful insights. For example, you might discover looping behavior, showing that your users are getting confused or stuck at a certain point on their journey.
But if you want to, you can define a specific path with your pathing report. It can be defined by a start point or an endpoint, depending on what you want to uncover.
There are many more benefits to using your pathing report. You can see what events and page/screen views users commonly interact with after starting a new session. You can also select your homepage as the starting point and look at where your users typically move from there.
Your pathing report also lets you see where users are getting hung up on your site. As we mentioned, you can uncover looping behavior or simply see when they drop out and return to your homepage. This can help you decide where to optimize and also uncover technical issues on your site.
Like all your reports in GA4, you can use segments or filters in your pathing report. You can also add up to 10 steps, and you can customize each step to be either an event or a page/screen view.
You can also create a user-based pathing. This is a big step up from the user flow reports in Universal Analytics. The big perk here is that you can expand your pathing overview to look at a single user across multiple sessions. So you can carry the path over from one session when it’s expanded to include a page view or event from the next session. This gives you a much more complete look at your user journey and fills in some big data gaps.
When you’re ready to build your pathing report, check out our previous post on exploration templates in GA4. This post takes you through the different options you have when building an exploration in GA4—including your path exploration.
Say Goodbye to Flow and Hello to Exploration
The loss of your behavior and user flow reports may seem like a significant one at first blush. But luckily, you have GA4’s new exploration templates to soften the blow. Not only do they allow you to analyze the same data as you would using your flow reports, but they provide more flexibility and opportunity for granular analysis.
Using your funnel and pathing reports, you can dive deep into your Analytics data and track your users as they move through pre-determined or free-flow funnels. The possibilities are endless here, so get creative with these templates and see what insights you can uncover!
How are you enjoying your GA4 exploration reports? Let us know!