How is your website performing? We should all be asking this question on a regular basis, any time changes are made to our sites and as new competitors or alternative products emerge. The best web experts will tell you that that's where web analytics tools come in.
Website analytics programs can help us find the answers you need. There are lots of tools on the market today that demonstrate how users find our sites, what they click on, which pages they view, and how long they stay on a page or our sites altogether before moving on.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most helpful solutions.
Where do I start?
One of the best ways to start learning about your web traffic is to set up Google Analytics‘ suite of tools. This free tool builds reports that help you answer your core questions about your web traffic and observe trends and patterns over time.
The great thing about this tool is the breadth of information it provides. With a few simple clicks, you can discover the number of people visiting your site and how many pages people view per session. You can learn about the demographics of your users and the technologies they use to experience your site. You can even see if your call-to-action options are pulling their weight and helping you attain your goals.
Google Analytics is a robust system, and it can be a bit difficult to understand at the outset. Because of this, you may want to enroll in Google Analytics Academy, which offers beginners’ courses and advanced programs for power users.
Get started with Google Analytics by visiting analytics.google.com.
Are there any good alternatives?
Yes. Many business owners use Fathom instead of (or alongside) Google Analytics. This GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, and PECR-complaint program has a few standout features.
For one, it uses a privacy-safe technology that lets you see all your visitors, including those who use browser plugins to block scripts. Many browsers and plugins block Google Analytics, so businesses often miss out on the important data they need to drive marketing decisions.
Another great feature is that Fathom can help you learn in real-time which of your site pages are popular, who's sending traffic to your site, which campaigns are more effective, and which of your products or services are selling best. Fathom's simple, easy-to-use dashboard makes developing insights easy.
You can check out this service with a free seven-day trial and see if it's right for your business. Use this link to get started.
Can other tools give me better insights?
Most marketers recommend pairing analytics tools with other options, including those that provide “heatmaps.”
Heatmaps are color-coded tools that show precisely where your audience is clicking on your site. This can be very useful in gauging the effectiveness of your design and the placement of your call-to-action buttons to convert viewers into buyers.
Several tools offer robust heat maps. Here, we list three of our favorites:
Business owners who want to understand what their users think and feel about their site experience benefit from programs like Hotjar.
Hotjar offers heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, and other tools to understand user sentiments and ensure that a site’s design helps website users convert into long-time, loyal customers. It integrates with popular marketing tools such as HubSpot, Weebly, Woo Commerce, Shopify, and Squarespace to help website owners create a complete, connected experience for their users. This integration allows owners to test their assumptions, make effective choices based on data, and then track their successes with conversions.
Hotjar offers a free plan that captures up to 1,000 pageviews and stores 300 session recordings, though most owners choose a paid monthly plan (starting at around $39/month) that provides a greater number of sessions, recordings, and heatmaps to better understand their customers’ journeys.
Get started with a free trial by visiting this link.
Mouseflow is a highly popular tool that helps website owners understand their customers’ experiences. With tools like user session replays, heatmaps, conversion funnels, and form analytics, it’s easy to find what keeps your audience from converting and plan new strategies to improve your site experience.
Many owners opt for Mouseflow because it integrates well with the services they’re already using. Presently, Mouseflow offers integrations with Google Analytics, WordPress, Shopify, Freshdesk, and a host of other solutions marketers use every day.
Mouseflow offers a free plan that records 500 sessions per month, but many opt for the paid plans that offer more monthly recordings, longer storage of those recordings, and other essential features. Starter plans can be purchased for around $24/month, and their more powerful growth plans are available for around $79/month.
You can sign up for a demo and a free trial by visiting Mouseflow’s website.
This solution is a business-owner favorite because it offers a variety of ways to learn about a website’s visitors. Lucky Orange’s suite of solutions includes some of the best user session recordings, dynamic web heatmaps, visitor profiles, conversion funnels, form analytics, and other tools that help them optimize their site, accelerate growth, and start amassing customer loyalty.
Like the other options we mention here, Lucky Orange has a free plan for sites with up to 500 pageviews/month. Prices start at about $10/month for sites with up to 25,000 monthly pageviews.
You can start a free trial to explore this solution by visiting luckyorange.com.
Who can help?
Need some help setting up one of these tools? These two IT teams are great at helping small businesses work through setup, customizations, and a wide range of other IT issues: