New ways to track your users

8 November 08 Comments [1] » , ,

I have written previously about Google Analytics, and its ability to give you all manner of statistics about your website’s visitors. But there are a couple of services that really go beyond statistics to give you a window into your user’s behavior on your site. Clicktale is a site that actually records a visitor’s activities on your site. CrazyEgg doesn’t necessarily track anything new, but it does display it in intriguing ways.

Clicktale: Screencast of your users!

Clicktale is an online service that provides actual screencasts of your website’s visitors navigating through your site. It’s quite mesmerizing and I’m warning you it can be addictive! I recorded an example video of a user on my aunt’s Roll Over Rover website.

Beyond this, Clicktale provides some interesting “heatmaps,” which are pictures of your website with areas of users’ interest indicated by color, with red being the strongest interest, and blue the weakest. As you can see below, the amount of user focus decreases “below the fold.”

A heatmap of the ROR homepage.

A heatmap of the ROR homepage.

Perhaps more informative on this view is that you can see a number of stats displayed right on the page, including:

The number of hovers over each link element.

  • Clicks
  • Hovers
  • Time to click
  • Average hover time

Though clicks are something that Google Analytics records, seeing it laid out on the page makes it easier to digest. But Hovers, Time to click, and Average hover time are really useful stats that Google doesn’t include. In the image at right, you can see that one clickable area has many more hovers than the other.

The user interface for Clicktale is a little clunky, and some items could use more explanation. It is not free but has a reasonable pricing structure. Unfortunately, unlike Google Analytics, I cannot currently set up access for my clients in one account. Any client interested in ClickTale will have to have her own account. Let me know if you’re interested!

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Just 1 comment so far…Add yours!

Sue Anderson Nov 27 2008

That is fascinating! I had no idea there were such amazing tracking products available out there. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

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