With all of the tools modern technology provides us, most marketing (especially online marketing) decisions should be made using data driven metrics from real life customers using your service. How do your users interact with your website? How much qualified traffic is REALLY being sent to your website from that flashy Facebook campaign? There’s a huge difference between qualified and unqualified traffic, and you should know whether or not the money you’re spending is producing a return on investment.
Utilizing some of the below website visitor tracking tools will greatly increase the amount of data tracking abilities you have as a website owner. If you’re running a business website, it doesn’t really matter who “pretty” your website is, inasmuch as it matters how well your website fits your customer’s needs, and converts website visitors into buyers (or makes returning buyer’s decision making process a lot easier).
Here are 5 different tools that can help:
I’d like to introduce you to the fictional character Greg. He’s going to help you better understand how each of these tools work.
Google Analytics provides insights into the traffic that goes to your website. I’ve found this tool to be the most accurate reporting/measuring tool for website traffic. Best of all, it’s free!
Greg is looking for some custom handlebars for his bike, as Greg is a pretty big cyclist. Google Analytics can tell you how people like Greg landed on your website (if they searched in Google, typed the domain directly, or were referred through a social network like Facebook). Google Analytics also allows you to set up conversion tracking (tracking when someone like Greg made a purchase on your site, our sent a lead form).
There are a lot more features that Google Analytics allows you to track, but this should be thought of as the basic metrics for how your website is used.
Learn more on their service: https://www.google.com/analytics/
HotJar.com provides heat maps and visitor recordings for real users on your website. Unlike Google Analytics where you are reading data in reports, this system provides screenshots and even videos detailing user movement as they engage with your website.
You can watch as Greg navigates your website, see where he has problems, frustrations, and get a better feel for how he’s using your site, and what he’s looking for. By seeing your visitor’s clicks, mouse movements, and site path—issues with your website come out immediately.
Learn more on their service: https://www.hotjar.com/
Optimizely.com helps you run A/B testing for your website, which is essentially serving two different variations of a landing page, picture, or copy, to an equal amount of your website visitors, to see which one performs better.
For example, you create Landing Page A, which has a high quality picture of the product, with very little text for your bike shop. You then have Landing Page B spun up, which essentially has the same content, but this version has a smaller picture and a lot more text. You want to see how many “Gregs” convert on one page over the other.
These “experiments” help you shape your website towards a website that has a higher percentage of converted visitors. Optimizely helps set up those campaigns. As a rule of thumb, I generally think it’s a waste of time to split-test unless you can send at least 10 to 15 thousand people through the split test.
Learn more about the service: https://www.optimizely.com/testing/
Unbounce provides a similar feature as Optimizely, but Unbounce provides a large variety of well-designed templates for you to get started with right away. If you don’t have the design/development team (or, you want to test pages much more frequently) Unbounce will be a better solution.
You can learn more about their service here: http://unbounce.com/landing-page-templates/
Survey monkey does one thing, and they do it well: conducting online surveys.
You can use this tool to create surveys for your customers and/or website visitors to get better data from your company. I generally start with a simple survey that asks 4 key questions, with an optional 5th question:
- Why did you utilize [website] for your shopping needs?
- What did you enjoy the most about the experience?
- What did you enjoy the least about the experience?
- If you could wave a magic wand and instantly change one thing about the experience, what would it be?
Starting with a simple, introductory survey can allow you to begin planning for bigger moves, and getting real customer feedback.
Learn more about the service: https://www.surveymonkey.com/]
In Closing of Website Vistor Tracking Tools
These tools give real, honest feedback on how your website is doing. It’s important that, when using these tools, you really look at what the data is telling you (and not what your ego/flashy consultant might try and say). It’s only after taking an honest look at the data, that you can use it to make real changes to your online brand.