- Category: July 2012 - Search Marketing & Analytics
The analysis of user behavior with systems like Google, Crazyegg or Clicktale has almost become a standard procedure, but it gets interesting if you can use this data to improve the performance of sites, achieve better conversion rates and measure the difference it makes.
First it is important for companies to identify the site‘s target groups and set clearly defined goals, before establishing the analytics system accordingly. A well implemented analytics system will be a consistent system of indicators linked to responsibilities, goals and budgets.
Analysts often find themselves in a situation where no consistent system of indicators is established, making spontaneous decisions with short term goals and thus fragmenting optimization. A more holistic optimization solution will cost a few thousand dollars, but also often leads to revenues increasing by 20% or more. Small changes made on landing pages or within the purchase cycle can already have this impact.
For most web sites different target groups can be defined quite well, allocating the best possible conversion path to each. Page navigation will then be organized along these paths. Web analytics can help identify those points along the path where loss rates are highest.
In the following we will try to give you an idea of some available web analytics tools:
1. Click Maps
Analytics systems can gather precise data about the clicking behavior of visitors. Depicting this data remains a challenge, especially if you want the most important information at a glance. Click maps are able to show exactly that, with an overlay showing the site with all links and the number of clicks and other indicators such as conversion rates, revenue and page impressions per visit.
ClickTale's Link Analytics for example provides 8 detailed reports:
• Clicks - the number of clicks and the percent of the total clicks on every link;
• Hovers - the number of mouse hovers over a link as well as the percent of total hovers. This shows how attractive a link is to the visitor, even if it's not attractive enough for a click;
• Hover Conversion - the percentage of mouse hovers that eventually convert into mouse clicks;
• Time to Click - the average time between the moment a page has been loaded to the moment a link is clicked;
• Hover Time - the average time a visitor's mouse hovers over a link, indicating the visitor's interest level;
• Hesitation - the average time from beginning of a mouse hover to the moment of a mouse click;
• Hover Order - this ranks the links by the average order in which they were hovered-over by visitors;
• Clicking Visitors - the number of unique visitors who clicked on a link as well as the percentage of total visitors.
2. Heat Maps
Heat maps look similar to click maps and also work with an overlay, but heat maps count not only the actual clicks on links, they count all clicks, even those attempted on objects without links, like headings and pictures.
ClickTale offers Move Heatmaps and Click Heatmaps.
Labs Media‘s product ClickHeat is a visual heatmap of clicks on a HTML page, showing hot and cold click zones. ClickHeat is an OpenSource software, released under GPL license, and free of charge.
Crazyegg.com also offers a heatmap tool for getting a picture of where people clicked on a site, as well as an overlay tool providing an overlay report, depicting the number of clicks on each element of a page.
3. Mouse Tracking
Research shows that users move the mouse to the area they are looking at. Mouse tracking provides qualitative rich data from visitors' full browsing sessions to see their every mouse move, click, scroll and keystroke. This helps underst what visitors are trying to achieve on a website and where they encounter errors. ClickTale's Mouse Tracking Suite solution provides:
• Real-Time Visual Visitor Feedback: Immediately see which content, elements and layout increase conversion rates, what your customers focus on just before they decide to purchase a product, and how many people miss your call to action buttons. The sooner you know and implement needed improvements, the faster you can increase conversions.
• Complete Transparency: Visitors are completely unaware they are being tracked and navigate your website intuitively. Unlike traditional usability labs, ClickTale provides accurate results with its Mouse Tracking Suite and its wide array of browsers, operating systems, or screen resolutions.
• Global Participation: As long as there is traffic coming to your site, you can be continually recording, any time you want, visitors from all over the world.
Google offers Visitors Flow which is a graphical representation of the paths visitors took through your site - from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site. Its In-Page Analytics helps to visually assess how users interact with your pages, making your analysis easier.
4. Online Form Analysis
Online forms are often a weak point and should be designed with care. So, take a look at ClickTale‘s Form Analytics Suite that consists of 5 individual reports:
• The Conversion Report reveals your online forms step-by-step conversion funnel. This report shows how many visitors came to your form, interacted with the form, tried but failed to submit it, and how many successfully completed it. Discover if your conversion problems stem from poor page design or problematic form design.
• The Drop Report shows which fields were the last ones to be interacted with before the form was abandoned by visitors. Fields where visitors abandon the form are often confusing or intimidating to visitors and should be revised or removed.
• The Time Report reveals how long visitors interact with each individual field and with the entire online form. Fields that require a lot of time to complete may be forcing visitors to think too much, increasing form completion times and reducing conversion rates.
• The Blank Field Report shows which fields were left blank when the form was submitted. Fields that are left blank are often considered by visitors to be unimportant, confusing, or asking for improper information. Removing fields with a high blank rate or clarifying confusing questions can increase your forms' conversion rate.
5. Scroll Reach Analysis
The size of a visitors monitor isn‘t important, it‘s the size of the browser window. Visitors are often not motivated to scroll to lower areas, so everything important should be located accordingly.
ClickTale offers Scroll Reach Heatmaps which helps adjust your pages' lengths based on visitors' actual scrolling habits. This is absolutely vital for long eCommerce pages such as sales pitches or product pages.
Crazyegg‘s scroll-map tool also shows how far down the page people are scrolling and helps determine where visitors abandon the page.
6. Onsite Search Results
Onsite search results shouldn‘t be underestimated, as they show clearly what visitors are looking for and can‘t find instantly.
Crazyegg offers a confetti tool which helps distinguish all the clicks on a site segmented by referral sources, search terms & more indicators.
7. Conversion Measurement for Optimization
ClickTale‘s Conversion Suite offers an interesting tool called Conversion Funnel, visualizing where customers convert and where they leave the conversion process, automatically exploring multiple conversion paths. Funnels can be customized in real-time, allowing editing, deleting or adding any funnel step and the tool instantly re-calculates the funnel conversion rates.
Properly analyzing a web site can help identify weak points, that much is obvious. Using web analytics gets exciting when you make changes to optimize the site and are then able to compare the before and after, and exactly measure the effects of the improvements.
By Anjum Siddiqi