Path Analyzer maps

Abstract

Learn how to read Path Analyzer maps.

Path Analyzer maps are a visual representation of the paths that contacts take through your website. Maps consist of three basic elements:

  • Nodes

  • Paths

  • The tree

Nodes can represent pages, goals, or other marketing activities. Each node is depicted as a circle on the map.

A path consists of the sequence of nodes that contacts have interacted with on their way from a specific channel or campaign to a particular goal or event. Two or more contacts must have had the same sequence of interactions for a path to be included on a map.

The tree is the basic structure of a Path Analyzer map. A tree consists of many paths, or branches, radiating out from the map's central node. This central node is also known as the tree node.

When you view a map, you can switch between the following view modes: Radial, Vertical, Horizontal, Table, Dashboard.

The following screenshot shows a map in radial mode.

A Path Analyzer map in radial mode

Nodes have two visual properties that provide information about the node: size and color.

The size of a node indicates the total engagement value of the node and all its descendants. In other words, a larger node represents a greater total engagement value.

The color of a circle indicates the value per visit of a node compared to the value per visit of its parent and it helps you spot the change in this metric when looking further down the path. If a circle is red, then the value per visit has decreased at this node. If a circle is more green than its parent, then the value per visit has increased at this node. Circle color also helps you compare the value per visit metric between sibling nodes and determine where the highest value per visit paths continue from a given node.

Circles with a thick dark gray border represent a collection of less significant nodes. This type of node is labelled as other.

The thickness of the connecting line between node A and node B signifies the amount of traffic that travels from node A to node B compared to the siblings of node B. The same information is represented by the length of the shaded portion of the path between nodes. This is to increase visibility of the information when it is difficult to see differences between line thickness.

This visualization of traffic and engagement value can help you determine where to focus your efforts. For example, a node that receives a lot of traffic but does not generate much engagement value is a candidate for closer examination and optimization.

Nodes in a Path Analyzer map

You can measure the efficiency of your website using Path Analyzer maps. On a map, the nodes along the map show you the relative engagement value for that particular page. Nodes range in color from dark red to dark green. The greener the nodes along a path are, the more efficient the path is at generating engagement value. A path containing red nodes indicates that the pages generate low engagement value and could be candidates for optimization.

Another key to understanding path efficiency is node size. Node size increases as the engagement value generated by contacts who pass through the node increases. For example, you could view a Path Analyzer map that has a high traffic path with dark red nodes. This would indicate that the path received a lot of contact traffic, but had low engagement value levels. You could see that other paths that contained certain types of pages, such as employee biographies, lead to higher conversion rates than the more frequently used paths.

By examining what works on your website and then steering visitors towards the most efficient paths, you have a greater chance of generating more engagement value. This helps you make your website and your marketing strategies more efficient.

Showing relative engagement with a Path Analyzer map

In a pane to the right of the Path Analyzer map, you can view analytics details. On the Reports tab, you can view different types of Path Analyzer reports.

Analytics details are in a pane to the right of the Path Analyzer map

The Metrics panel contains the following categories:

Item

Description

Visits

The number of visits to this path.

Value

The sum of the engagement value points accumulated by contacts who have visited this path.

Value per visit

The average engagement value points per visit to this path.

Exits

The number of contacts that left the website at this node.

Exit value

The sum of the engagement value points that contacts have accrued before exiting at this node.

Exit value per visit

The average engagement value points per visit of contacts who exited the website at this node.

Exit value potential

The engagement value a path might potentially gain through optimization.

The calculation is as follows: Exit value potential = (value per visit - exit value per visit) * exits

Average time spent (sec)

The average amount of time contacts have spent on a node.

Outcomes

The number of outcomes realized on this path, including outcomes from descendant nodes.

Monetary value

The total monetary value gained on this path.

Average monetary value

The average monetary value gained on this path.

If you have not selected a node within a path, the Metrics panel shows information about the Internet root node. To select a new node, hover or click on it. This shows analytics information, such as visits and value, for both the node and the path leading up to the node.