As a business, a strong website that generates good leads is vital. A lot of your customers may check out your website and delve deeper into the company before actually making a purchase. So, how do you ensure they come back to complete their order?
You can utilize website activity tracking tools. These are specially designed to help you make the most out of your website, allowing you to track visitors, analyze user behavior, and make improvements based on the data provided. You can also provide web forms for your customers to complete in order to gather more data on them.
What is online activity tracking?
Website tracking (also known as website analytics) is when the owner of a website can track users who visit. This includes collecting, storing, and analyzing user activity across the website. Many businesses use this for digital marketing purposes as it can give them a useful insight into their audience’s wants and needs.
Tracking can include:
- Measuring the volume of traffic on a website
- Looking at how the user interacts with the website
- Logging user behavior and picking out patterns
- Preference tracking, such as shopping cart information
For instance, customers who are shopping on an e-commerce website might see a list of “recommended products” that have been specifically chosen for them based on their viewing history. This creates a more personalized shopping experience for the user.
It’s important, though, that you remain transparent about the way in which you will be tracking your customer’s data, including how you intend to use it. This may depend on where your business operates from, as laws regarding tracking can vary around the world.
The benefits of website tracking
Here are some of the benefits of tracking user activity on your website:
- See where users are visiting from
By tracking website activity, you can see who’s visiting your website and exactly where they’re based. Locating exactly where your users are visiting your website from will help you distribute your budget more effectively. For instance, if you experience a lot of traffic from a certain region, you may want to invest more in that area.
- Find out more information about your visitors
Tracking allows you to find out key information about your customers’ behavior. You can see if they’re active on social media or if they interact with your emails and online campaigns. This then gives you an idea of what marketing channels you should be using to target new customers.
- Know what your customers are looking for
Knowing exactly what your customers are looking for is key for any business. Website activity tracking can help with this. It gives you a better understanding of your customers and how they interact with your website and content.
For example, if you’re getting customers to sign up for your weekly newsletters, you may wish to offer them a discount to encourage them to sign up by including buttons such as “Sign up now for 15% off”. If they then opt out once they’ve used their code, you may need to look at alternative ways to keep customers engaged or design more captivating emails to land in their inbox.
- Find out how to optimize your website
SEO is very important when it comes to website activity tracking. This is because it’s good to know exactly how customers are finding your page. If one of your landing pages ranks highly in Google for a certain keyword, you can be confident in the fact that customers will find your website. This is called organic reach.
You can also invest in paid adverts to appear at the top of Google’s search results. This can be useful as you can track the user journey from when they click on the link to when they leave the site.
- See areas of improvement
Another benefit of website tracking is that you get to see which areas of your website you can improve. For instance, if your digital gaming solutions website has a high bounce rate, this may be because website usability is poor, the content is not very relevant to the topic of digital gaming or because the pages take too long to load.
By investigating possible website flaws, you can swiftly correct them and ensure customers are getting the very best experience when they visit your website.
What is the best way to track website traffic?
One of the most effective ways to track website traffic is through software specially designed for this purpose. Here are some of the most renowned apps to track website traffic.
You may have heard of Google Analytics. It’s a popular website tracking tool created by the one and only Google. You can track new and returning uses, revenue from user purchases so you can then work with the landed cost formula, engagement, customer retention, demographics such as location, and user conversions. All of this can be highly useful in maintaining a loyal customer base.
Hotjar is a tool that you can use to access customer behavior analytics and user feedback. It’s particularly useful for tracking how a user moves around your site. Its heat maps feature will show you where users most spend time on each of your web pages. You can also see which content people are ignoring and try to improve the UX based on this.
If you’re already using Google Analytics, you may wish to pair it with Google Optimize. Google Optimize is a website experiment platform that integrates with Analytics and allows you to test certain aspects of your website. You can use A/B split testing, set up objectives, and text variations of your pages to see how well they perform.
Crazy Egg isn’t too dissimilar to Hotjar in that it can be used to create useful heat maps to see where users are spending time on your website. You can also do A/B test variations and website recordings and see how many visitors each page of your site is getting.
Adobe Analytics is used for analyzing website traffic and collecting relevant customer data. It’s typically used by businesses that are looking for a more in-depth view of their customers.
You can use this software to track data from websites and see email marketing terms that are relevant, unique visitor numbers, purchases, and the customer journey.
Adobe can also track business intelligence (BI), which can be used alongside Apache Kudu training.
Fathom is a great starter tool for tracking user analytics. Using Fathom, you can see how many people have visited your site, average time on the site, bounce rates, browser devices, and goal completions. This can be useful for businesses that have set themselves specific goals, whether they’re revenue-based or visitor-based goals.
Matomo can be great for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have a big budget for website tracking as it’s open-source and free to use. Money may have already been spent elsewhere on other subscriptions like Intercom or on advertising campaigns. You can track user traffic, purchases, custom dimensions, goals, and social network activity.
How to make website tracking personal
Use a public IP database
We all know that an IP address can be used to track down a certain computer, much like a personal mobile phone number. Now, you can use an IP database to see who’s on your website. You can gather this information about who’s visiting your website and then use it to make more informed marketing decisions in the future.
You may wish to enlist the help of a developer who can use Hadoop ecosystem tools for data.
For example, if you notice that a lot of people are connecting to your website from a certain part of the world, you can invest more marketing money into that area.
Use a personalized URL
Once you have locked in who you need to contact through your IP address tracking, you can track what they’re interested in. Every time you load a website for the first time, it’ll ask you to accept “cookies.”
Personalized URLs are used to track user activity on the site and can be highly beneficial when you want to learn more about your customers. You can create personal URLs that track the user as they make their way around the site, by adding a parameter to the pages they visit. View what pages they’ve visited and whether they’ve made a purchase and understand the factors that impact their behaviour on the website.
How to monitor activity on your website
Now you have a better idea of how to monitor activity on your website, you can start recording, analyzing and detecting trends from the data. Whether you are a large firm or a small business, you definitely need a website and once it is live you need to have the ability to understand how your visitors use it. The ability to drive business and optimize for conversions rests on your ability to monitor user activity and analytics.
About the author
Pohan Lin is the Senior Web Marketing and Localizations Manager at Databricks, a global Data and AI provider connecting the features of AutoML Databricks, data warehouses and data lakes to create lakehouse architecture. With over 18 years of experience in web marketing, online SaaS business, and ecommerce growth. Pohan is passionate about innovation and is dedicated to communicating the significant impact data has in marketing.