We’ve been using GA4 since it launched in 2020, and the Path Exploration Report has become one of our favorite features. It may not be one you’re currently using, but it is a valuable report to show you how customers are interacting with your website and progressing through the sales funnel before they get to a particular conversion point.
How To find the Path Explorations Report in GA4
Start by navigating to the Explore menu in the left hand nav bar
Choose Path Exploration from the options at the top of the screen
*Note: You can choose a blank canvas, but we find it’s best to start with the default view and customize from there
In the report, you’ll find the default view is a sequence of events that are happening on your site, and you can begin to track how many sessions each of these events includes and navigate through the funnel that way. We find switching from “Event name” to “Page path and screens” is a more intuitive view of how our clients (and more importantly, their customers) think about the necessary steps to navigate a website to get to a conversion.
From there, you can customize the path exploration report with some of the segments, dimensions, and metrics that are available on the variables tab in the left hand nav bar. Drag and drop the filters you would like to apply from the Variables menu to your Tab settings menu to get the view you would like in the Path Exploration Report.
You’ll be able to see the most common pages or elements that your most valuable conversions take as they progress through your website. In addition to checking the desired path you know people should follow to reach a conversion point, this report is also good at uncovering some hidden gems or unexpected paths that people might be taking.
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The Benefits of Reverse Path Exploration Reports in GA4
What makes this feature even more interesting is the Reverse Path Exploration Report, which allows you to start from the end point, like a shopping cart receipt or check out page, or lead gen form confirmation page, or thank you page, and work backward to see the most common steps visitors took to get to that conversion point.
Click the start over icon
Select ending point
Choose Page path and screen class
You can then select a conversion page or endpoint
Click to expand on any previous steps or pages to see the path (up to 10 steps or levels) that your visitors took to reach that end point
This view can give you a good grasp of the obstacles visitors might be facing, or stumbling blocks on the way to a conversion. You may also find unexpected paths to conversions that you can then expand and optimize.
By using the Path Exploration Report, you're going to get more visibility into the customer journey to better understand where you may need to remove some experiences or add others to help visitors to your website convert to sales or leads. Tracing the right steps may also help you find new paths to conversions that help improve your marketing and your results.
If you would like some help getting a custom GA4 solution set up so you can make important decisions based on valuable information like this, contact us today. We can create a unique solution that’s affordable, effective, and built by a team of professionals that are passionate about getting great results.