Keeping track of your website visitor behavior can yield valuable insight and is possible in a number of ways. Although your company's home page might be full of the kinds of bells and whistles that every millennial and their parents might be attracted to, like real-time communications, pictures of cute animals and a modern level of sass that would make the Golden Girls blush, you might still be missing a few crucial elements that will truly grab a visitor's attention and keep it long enough to meet your goals.
Fortunately, you don't need Tarot cards or a magic wand to be able to see where people are going on your website thanks to apps like Google Analytics. However, while tools like these do a great job of showing you how people might be finding your website and what your most popular landing pages are, they don't show you detailed, interactive graphics of your visitors' click behavior and activity.
By just watching clicks, you can make more informed judgment calls about why your visitors aren't staying on your site very long or why your best content isn't getting any attention. Does that infographic look a little too much like a link? Are people missing out on your brand new blog because they don't know how to find it? There's no such thing as too much research when it comes to website design, and if you're hoping to grow your small business online, check out these options for more visual website tracking support:
Heat maps and Crazy Egg
This option is pioneer in the visual game of analytics. While some resources might give you a set of graphs and charts to help you get a sense of what's going on with your website, Crazy Egg takes things a step further by showing you where the most activity is based on a color-coded measurement system.
Think back to the moving graphics of a weather report. Behind the reporter, a map of the U.S. might show a series of colorful splotches across different regions. Cold forecasts are painted in blue, whereas hot weather is typically a blend of reds and oranges. The same goes for Crazy Egg's demonstration of clicks. The highest volume is highlighted in red, and the lowest in an ice blue. If that doesn't do it for you, this tool can also show you each individual click made as if confetti were thrown at the screen. Either way, you'll have a chance to see what features are attracting people and which areas might need some work.
Mouse movements and scroll bar spying
If you like the idea of checking out a heat map for click activity, you might also be interested in actually seeing how the mouse gets around the website. The effectiveness of interactive designs, such as sites that feature a graphic users can manipulate while they're engaging your content, can actually be assessed with this feature. Mouse Flow is an example of such a tool, and its bag of tricks don't stop there.
You can also see how often people use a scroll bar. For sites that feature a long design, rather than separate navigable sites, knowing whether people are actually spending the time making their way down the page is important to determine if you're actually helping or hurting your readership.
Another helpful feature is the ability to see how users are filling out forms. If you're worried that something might be a little confusing, this will give you a chance to actually watch keystrokes. Some complex polls, for instance, might have difficult questions for your consumers to answer, and if you're getting strange results or infrequent results, this tool will help you decide whether you should tweak some of the language.