Tracking User Interaction Requires a Multi-Dimensional Approach
Websites have a purpose. It is difficult to accurately assign a single purpose for every website, but most agree that purpose is to attract users. The more users a website acquires, and the more interaction a website gets out of those users, the more successful the website. So, if you want a successful website you need people to use your website frequently and thoroughly. The big question: How can website owners make that happen?
Google Analytics, a Google platform launched in 2005 that tracks and reports website traffic, is today the most widely used web analytics service. The benefits of Google Analytics have been well documented throughout the Internet. Although Google Analytics’ benefits are indisputable, the scope of its application has been questioned. In “Why Google Analytics Is Only Half the Story,” Michael Bellina succinctly summarizes this “scope of application” objection as follows:
“What Google Analytics can’t tell you is why more visitors aren’t going deeper into the site. Google Analytics focuses on the successes, which is good, but there needs to be a way of tracking the failures.”
In other words, tracking user interaction requires a multi-dimensional approach. Google Analytics can provide hard data on, for example, the number and length of user’s visits, but it can’t say how a user interacts with a site, why a user spends more or less time on a site, or what the user did or didn’t like about a site. In short, in order to create a successful website, you need to know how users are interacting with your site.
In order to do this you need to go beyond the data that Google Analytics provides. Find out what your users are doing on your site, and make your website more successful, with the following three tools.
Crazy Egg is a heatmap tool that identifies the areas of your website receiving more and less activity. Through the use of visual analytics showcasing where your users interact with the website via clicks, looks, and schools, Crazy Egg tells you exactly how users interact and use your website.
It’s easy to fix a problem once you find the cause. Jaco allows you to identify problems by showing you what people are doing on your website. Why are people leaving your site so quickly? Or, suppose people are spending loads of time on your site, but they never make it to the shopping cart or inquiry form. Why? Jaco enables you to answer these questions.
What’s the simplest way to find out why your users are behaving the way that they are? Ask them. Qualaroo builds website surveys that provide web owners with a qualitative data about their user’s experience. As they put it: “When you understand the intent of your website visitors and customers you can more effectively address the concerns and issues that are preventing them from achieving their goals.”
Google Analytics is Just the Start
The success of a website begins with Google Analytics, but it doesn’t end there. Fortunately, there are an abundance of tools available today that go beyond Google Analytics by tracking people’s website interactions and explaining why users behave a certain way.
It’s important that businesses and website owners utilize these tools in order to create the best possible online experience for consumers.