The Myth of The Average User

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Averages are everywhere in digital marketing. Mobile designers use average thumb size to determine button height and project teams often base decisions on the average user. Many metrics are also based on averages such as click-through rates, open rate, conversion rate and average basket value. Whether we like it or not most websites are designed for the average user. But is there really such a thing as an average customer or visitor?

Should we use averages for design purposes?

Well, back in the 1940’s the US air force had a serious problem. For some unknown reason pilots were frequently losing control and crashing their air craft. This was of course a period of tremendous change with the advent of the jet engine. Air craft were getting much faster and more complicated.

Initially pilot error was blamed as planes seldom suffered from mechanical breakdown. But attention soon turned to the cockpit design. This was based upon the average physical dimensions of hundreds of male pilots measured in 1926. Was it possible that the average dimensions of pilots had got bigger over the past twenty odd years?

Data informed decision-making:

In 1950 they decided to find out. Researchers at Wright Air Force Base in Ohio measured over 4,000 pilots on 140 dimensions of size, including average torso length, arm length, crotch height and even thumb length. Almost everyone thought the new measurements would result in a better designed cockpit that would reduce the number of non-combat accidents.

However, a 23 year-old scientist, Lt. Gilbert Daniels, who had recently joined the Aero Medical Laboratory from college had a different theory. He had studied physical anthropology at college. Daniel’s thesis had involved measuring the shapes of 250 male Harvard students’ hands.

Although the students were all from similar ethnic and socio-cultural backgrounds, he noted that their hands were very different in size and shape. Further, when he calculated the average hand size he found that it did not match any individual’s measurements.

“When I left Harvard, it was clear to me that if you wanted to design something for an individual human being, the average was completely useless.” – Lt Gilbert Daniels

To prove whether or not he was right, Daniels selected ten physical dimensions that he thought would be most important for cockpit design. Using the data from the 4,063 pilots who had been measured, Daniels defined someone as average if their measurements fell within the middle 30% of the range for each dimension.

He then compared each individual pilot to the average he had calculated. Most of his colleagues expected the vast majority of pilots to be within the average range for over half the dimensions. But in fact Daniels analysis discovered none of the 4,063 pilots measured managed to fit within the average range of all ten dimensions. Even when he selected only three dimensions fewer than 3.5% of pilots were within the average size for all three dimensions.

Implications for digital marketing:

Daniel’s concluded that any system that is designed around the average person is doomed to fail. There is no such thing as an average user and so we need to stop creating users or personas based upon averages.

This creates a problem for website designers and optimiser because websites are normally designed for the average user. Most websites display identical content for all visitors and yet people have different intentions and goals they wish to meet. Treating everyone the same based upon some illusionary average person is highly toxic and dangerous when it comes to design and conversion rate optimisation.

How do we individualise the user experience:

If one hundred users go to the Amazon website they would each see a different version of the Amazon homepage. This is because Amazon understands the benefit of adjusting the customer experience in according with the user’s past behaviour and intent.

Amazon uses real-time content personalisation and behavioural targeting to serve a version of their site that responds to each visitor’s unique needs. This generates huge benefits for the likes of Amazon because visitors are much more responsive to a website that adjusts to their intent and interests than a generic site that does not respond to their individual needs.

Personalisation can take many forms, but the main criteria often used include demographics (e.g. gender or age), purchase history, device, media consumption, source of traffic, service history, browser, engagement and psychographics.

When I mention personalisation to web developers they often tell me that it’s “difficult” or “complex” to target content using such characteristics. This might be the case if you rely on developers to build content, but if you have an enterprise web analytics platform or an A/B testing solution it can be relatively straightforward to set up and test personalisation criteria.

With the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) based personalisation tools there is scope for even greater sophistication. Companies that invest in AI are likely to benefit from first mover advantage because the technology lends it so well to personalisation. Don’t be left behind, start investing now as Amazon and Booking.com won’t wait for their competitors to catch on to the potential benefits of using AI for personalisation.

Personas:

Many organisations like to use buyer personas to help their teams visualise real customers. However, if these are based upon average users they will again be potentially highly misleading. Ensure your buyer personas are based upon real customer segments using research and analytics to guide you. Although personas do have their critics, they can be useful if organisations go through an evidence based process to create relevant customer personas.

What about analytics?

When it comes to tracking digital performance many organisations still rely on measuring averages. But just as averages are dangerous when designing a website, they are also meaningless and potentially highly misleading when it comes to measuring performance of a website. Let’s take the average conversion rate that many companies monitor on a daily basis.

1. Not all visitors are able to buy: 

When I was asked to set up conversion reporting for an online gaming brand, I noticed their web analytics were tracking all visitors, including from countries that were prevented from signing up. No one had thought to set up filters to exclude visitors from outside the company’s business area, and so the conversion rate included many visitors who were unable to sign up.

BJ Fogg’s behavioural model point’s out that users will only complete a task if they have both the motivation and ability to complete a conversion goal. In addition, there also needs to be a trigger to nudge the user towards the goal. If any of these criteria are lacking a user will not convert.

When reviewing a web analytics report consider if these criteria are present. If possible remove those users where they clearly lack at least one of the criteria. For example if there is no prominent call to action on the page for an individual customer segment (e.g. logged in users) exclude these visitors from your analysis.

Image of BJ Fogg's behavioural change model

Image source: BJ Fogg

2. Users access your site in different ways:

Your conversion rate is highly likely to vary significantly according to how visitors access your site. The type of device used often reflects different intent and behaviour. Unless you analyse your conversion rate by device and browser you will probably be missing large variations in your key metrics that may provide valuable insights to help improve sales or lead conversion.

3. Source of traffic matters:

Similarly the source of traffic often has a massive impact on conversion rates and it is fairly common for the average conversion rate to plummet if you pump lots of money into a new untested source. Affiliates and paid search (PPC) can promise large amounts of extra traffic to a site, but the intent of these visitors can sometimes be very poor.

A TV campaign can also boost traffic volume significantly, but again the intent of such visitors will be different from existing traffic sources. This makes it is essential to break down conversion rates by source of traffic to understand performance at a more granular level.

4. New and returning visitors:

In one company I worked for the managers noticed that a majority of visitors were returning visitors and assumed that many of these would be existing customers. They were concerned that including returning visitors in reporting was reducing their conversion rate as customers couldn’t sign-up more than once. So they decided to exclude returning visitors from their calculation of the conversion rate.

But as I pointed out to them when I became responsible for the brand, returning visitors normally convert at a higher rate than new visitors. This means that you should look at new and returning visitor conversion rates separately, but use new visitor conversion as a guide for paid campaigns. When I looked at the number of returning visitors to the site it was also clear that relatively few were existing customers and so they were not having a significant impact on the conversion rate.

5. Visitors are at different stages of buying process:

Most websites have a mixture of informational content and transactional or lead generation content. This reflects visitor intent and that visitors are at different stages of the buying process.

Not everyone is ready to buy when they arrive on your site and so it is necessary to create custom segments in your analytics to allocate people to an appropriate group. As a result you should set appropriate success metrics for customers at different stages of the buying process and not expect your overall conversion rate to be identical for all visitor segments.

Conclusion:

Averages are a tidy way of dealing with statistics, but as Daniel’s identified over half a century ago, they are meaningless and potentially fatal when designing systems or interfaces for people to use. It’s time we stopped designing websites for average users and employed personalisation and behavioural targeting to better meet customer needs.

We shouldn’t be a surprised that according to Millward Brown Digital, Amazon Prime converts around 74% of the time compared to an e-commerce average of 3.1%. Even non-Prime Amazon converts around 13% of the time. This is mainly because Amazon is so good at testing and personalising their site to be responsive to individual customer needs.

Amazon runs literally thousands of A/B and multivariate tests a day to achieve this level of sophistication. This is because to find high impact experiments you have to try a lot of things. Most average retailers run a few hundred tests a year.

As a result companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Booking.com also use highly segmented web analytics reports to explore user behaviour. They don’t rely on average conversion rates because they hide real insights.

18 Top Web Analytics Tools Compared

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Why Are Web Analytics Tools Important?

Web analytics tools allow you to track exactly where visitors go on your site, how long they spend on each page and how they interact with your site or app. This allows you to understand more about your potential customers and to measure, analyse and report on your traffic. Web analytics tools answer four key questions:

  1. Who visits your website – in terms of number of visitors and their characteristics?
  2. Where do your visitors come from – the source of traffic?
  3. What do visitors do when they get to your site – which pages do they visit?
  4. Where do they go afterwards – if you have links to other sites (e.g. you are an affiliate)?
Google Analtyics Demographics report
Source: google analytics

This is useful to know so that you can begin to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and the performance of your website. Unless you measure something you won’t know if you are getting better or not and what changes to make to improve performance and revenues. This means using web analytics tools to set benchmarks and start monitoring changes over time.

Web analytics tools allow you to measure:

  • How many visitors land on your site every day?
  • Your audience and their demographic profile – the gender mix, their age, what are their interests?
  • What geographic location do your visitors come, such as the city or country?
  • What proportion of your visitors are new or returning visitors?
  • Audience behaviour – engagement levels and frequency of returning to your site?
  • What browsers are they using? Important to know so that you ensure you support old browsers if lots of your visitors are still using them.
  • Technology – what devices are your visitors using and their screen resolution? Again very useful because you want to optimize your site according to the devices & screen sizes of your visitors.
  • Landing and exit pages – what are they?
  • Which is your most popular content – which pages do they visit most? Critical for prioritising effort and A/B testing.
  • Which channels drive most visitors to your site – organic, direct, referral, paid, social?
  • Which campaigns generate most visitors to your site?
  • Referrals – Which domains are generating most visitors for your site.
  • Keywords used by visitors to find your site.
Google Analytics Audience overview report
Source: google analytics

Competitor Benchmarking:

You can compare website traffic against your key competitors on metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and source of traffic by using a website audience comparison tool. These tools use information collected by ISPs, panels and other sources to track competitor website traffic and demographics.

Using Web Analytics Tools To Set Goals:

This is all interesting information, but what really matters is whether you are achieving your business goals. Web analytics tools allow you to set up your organisational goals to measure performance over time and identify reasons why you may not be achieving them .

One of the main tasks of conversion rate optimisation is to align each individual webpage with the relevant business objective. So for instance if you have an e-commerce site you will want to set up goals that lead towards a sale, such as view a product page, add to basket, enter checkout and finally complete a sale.

For a blog you will be more interested in engagement metrics, such as time spent on site and number of pages viewed. Once you have defined your key metrics you can set up automated reports to monitor your conversion rates and begin to investigate any changes that occur.

Visitor Behaviour:

Next you need to better understand your visitor behaviour to identify user journeys and whether you can improve goal achievement through making changes to your site. You should monitor bounce rates and page load speed times to ensure any changes you make to your website don’t put visitors off browsing your site.

Google Analytics Behaviour Flow report
Source: google analytics

Conversion Funnel:

One of the most useful benefits of web analytics is the ability to look at the visitors’ path to purchase so that you can identify the drop-off rates at each step in the journey. You will be able to see if any particular stage is more problematic than the others so that you can consider what changes might help reduce this leak in the conversion funnel.

Image of conversion funnel report from Woopra.com analytics
Source: Woopra.com

Variations in Conversion Rate:

You should then begin to investigate whether your conversion rate at each step in the funnel varies across some of the metrics we have just listed. This might highlight that your website is not that user friendly for visitors on small screens or that your site doesn’t render properly in certain browsers. You can then use one of many cross-browser testing tools to view what might be causing the problem.

If your overall conversion rate is significantly lower in Germany than the UK and there is no obvious reason why this is the case you might want to review your copy as German tends to use more characters than English and direct translations can sometimes fail to allow for local cultural differences. A/B tests have shown that cultural differences can influence how visitors respond to a user interface and so ideally web optimisation needs to allow for cultural preferences in design and behaviour.

Crossbrowsertesting.com homepage
Source: Crossbrowsertesting.com

Source of Traffic:

Web analytics tools can tell you where your traffic is coming from and which channels are converting better than others. If you are paying for traffic this helps you to understand if you are getting a reasonable return on investment. Again, investigate why you see differences in your conversion rate to try and understand if it relates to your website or the nature of the traffic for each channel.

Image of Google Analytics report showing conversion rate
Source: google analytics

Find Broken Stuff With Web Analytics Tools:

If you see a sudden drop-off in conversion or decline in traffic from a reliable source this may indicate something is broken on your or a referrer’s site. Use your analytics to flag up when and where on your site there may be a problem with your site so that you can prevent it going unnoticed and costing your organisation significant sums in lost business.

With most subscription web analytics you can set up automated reports that will be emailed to you on a daily basis to help you monitor your key metrics. This will save you having to login every day and allow you to monitor site performance even when you are out of the office.

Web Analytics Tools – Recommendation:

I’ve used all the most popular web analytics tools on the market from IBM Core Metrics, Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics. The clear winner for me is the free version of Google Analytics because it’s by far the most intuitive solution, it’s fast, very little delay in reporting and it integrates so easily with other tools. The support in terms of documentation is second to none and there is a wealth of advice on the web as so many professional optimisers user it.

It is difficult to beat Google Analytics if you are on a limited budget. If want a more sophisticated product then Google 360 is worth considering as this has all the benefits of the free version with the advantages of a paid solution.

18 Website Analytics Tools Compared:

Below you will find the 18 most popular web analytic tools, some of which are free, and so there is no excuse not to start measuring your visitors and their behaviour.

1. Adobe Analytics – Marketing Cloud:

Previously Omniture/SiteCatalyst. Adobe Marketing Cloud is one of the most popular of web analytics tools on the market. An enterprise solution with e-commerce sites that you can fully integrate with Adobe’s Test & Target A/B, multivariate testing and personalisation platform.

A comprehensive suite of features, including mobile, ad-hoc analysis, and the ability for real-time and rule-based decision-making tools to target key customer segments.

Image of Adobe Marketing Cloud Analytics
Source: adobe analytics

2. Amplitude:

This positions itself as a behavioural analytics solution as its focus is on tracking events rather than simply visitors. Amplitude offers real-time monitoring of user behaviour and unlimited individual user timelines. Pathfinder, their user flow analysis, allows you to better understand how visitors navigate through your site or app by visualising the aggregate paths that they take.

The behavioural cohorting feature allows you to define a group of users based upon the actions they have or have not taken on your site. You can then apply cohorts throughout your analysis to understand how different behaviours impact specific KPIs such as retention and revenues. The Microscope feature allows you to click on any point in a chart and create a cohort of everyone who did or did not take a certain action to investigate what is driving their behaviour.

Amplitude offers a free plan for sites or apps with up to 10 million monthly events. For organisations with up to 100 million monthly events the Business Plan costs just $995 per month.

3. Chartbeat: 

This offers a suite of analytical and testing tools for tracking and optimising editorial content and advertising spend. It focuses on helping organisations understand what content captures and holds audience attention and monetize inventory on the page.

Image of Chartbeat.com Analytics homepage
Source: Chartbeat.com Analytics

4. Clicky:

Real-time web analytics tool with an extensive range of features including data at an individual visitor level, on-site analytics, heatmaps, up-time monitoring, a flexible API, Twitter analytics, Google search rankings, video analytics and big screen mobile mode. Free for single websites.

Image of Clicky.com analytics homepage
Source: Clicky.com analytics

5. Econda: 

An enterprise level web personalisation and analytics platform which is popular with e-commerce websites. Used by many of Germany’s top 100 online retailers. This solution combines high-end technology with an intuitive user interface.

Image of Econda.com home page
Source: Econda.com

Econda’s Cross Sell combines a recommendation engine with an online sales tool and re-marketing suite. Product recommendations are context-sensitive and all entry pages can be tailored for your visitors.

6. Formisimo:

Formismo is a state of the art form analytics platform to identify how users interact with your forms and checkout fields. The tool tracks every input field so that you can identify which fields users don’t complete, plus when they do and don’t use auto-complete.

Your form or checkout is unlikely to work as well on all browsers, devices or certain languages. Advanced filters allows you to view all reports for a segment of your visitors to identify and remedy cross-browser or other performance issues. A highly recommended tool by many conversion experts.

Formisimo form analytics homepage image
Source: Formisimo form analytics

7. Gauges:

Gauges is positioned as a low-cost real-time web analytics tool for small to medium sized organisations. It was designed to be a website analytics API and the dashboard that you see on the Gauges front-end is a web client that consumes the API. 7 day Free trial available.

gauges analytics homepage image
Source: gauges analytics

8. Google Analytics: 

The default option for web analytics tools for many organisations. It’s free and being the most popular web analytics tool there is a constant stream of posts on how to get the best out of Google Analytics. What I love about Google Analytics is that the user interface is intuitive and because it’s from Google it integrates really easily with other Google solutions such as the SEO tool Google Search Console, their A/B testing tool Google Optimize and AdSense.

The tool is also generally fast to generate reports, no waiting around for data to be processed or sent to you via email. It’s a great tool to begin getting into web analytics.

Ensure you migrate your Google Analytics implementation to Google Tag Manager to give you the full benefits of an agile and flexible tag management platform. Once you have installed Google Analytics you will need to set it up and this article takes you through the basics. For reports to use here are 12 Awesome custom Google Analytics reports created by experts.

The free version of Google Analytics offers most features that smaller organisations need and implementation is simple and quick. It uses sampled data when you have over one million unique dimension combinations in standard reports, or more than 500,000 for special queries, such as in custom reports.

Google Analytics 360

The new enterprise suite of six applications which aims to directly challenge Adobe’s Marketing Cloud. It combines Google Analtyics Premium (now called Google Analytics 360) and Attribution 360 (previously Adometry) which it acquired in 2014. You will also get access to an enterprise version of Google Tag Manager.

It gives you access to Audience Center 360, a data management platform that integrates with Google’s own tools (including DoubleClick) and will take data from third-party tools. Of particular interest is the addition of Data Studio 360 which offers advanced data visualization and analysis solutions. This is powered by BigQuery – Google’s data analytics platform. This provides a native report building option for Google Analytics 360 with all the features of Google Docs (e.g sharing & multi-user editing).

Finally, Optimize 360 is a brand new A/B testing and personalisation tool which includes a visual editor interface to bring it in line with other leading A/B testing solutions. Optimize is the free version which allow you to run up to 3 A/B tests at any one time.

Google Analytics homepage image
Source: Google Analytics

9. GoSquared: 

A real-time web analytics tools that gives you insights and access down to the individual user-level. A modern and intuitive user interface GoSquared offers business and enterprise solutions, together with a Free version for the small entrepreneur.

Go Squared analytics homepage image
Source: Go Squared analytics

10. Heap Analytics:

A unique real-time web analytics tool that doesn’t require any code to be implemented to setup event tracking. The Event Visualizer allows you to define analytics events by performing the action yourself and so anyone in your organisation can set up a conversion funnel or retention report in seconds. You can also search for an individual user to see every action they’ve done or find users based upon a specific behaviour.

Heap Analytics offers an integrated graphics solution to plot changes in key metrics over time. This allows you to adjust the range, granularity and visualisation as you require. The solution integrates easily with most popular data analysis tools and you can run your own SQL queries or export data to tools such as Tableau.

A free plan is available for up to 5,000 sessions a month or up to 50,000 sessions per month if you add their badge to your website. A 14 day free trial is available for the Custom Plan.

11. IBM Digital Analytics (formerly Coremetrics) is part of IBM Enterprise Marketing Management

An enterprise web analytics tool incorporating near real-time web analytics, data monitoring and comparative benchmarking. The click-stream reports are very powerful and allow you to see how visitors navigate around your site.

You can expand the IBM Digital Analytics solution to include multiple sites, offline customer behaviour, ad relevancy, impression attribution and social media channels.

IBM Digital Analytics homepage image
Source: IBM Digital Analytics

12. Kissmetrics:

A highly recommended and powerful web analytics tool and digital marketing optimisation platform. The solution has three key advantages over traditional web analytics tools. It allows for flexible custom data with an easy to use API, it focuses on individual users and it tracks user behaviour on a multi-session basis.

By tracking user behaviour on a multi-session basis, and by aliasing anonymous cookie data with identifying information, (e.g. email address), Kissmetrics doubles as a customer database. You can collect detailed purchase information and analyse how it correlates with your behavioural analytics data. This provides a comprehensive view of an individual’s interactions with your site over time. This make it one of the most unique of the web analytics tools on the market.

The product is highly thought of for identifying holes in the conversion funnel. It allows you to build ad-hoc queries to drill down on very specific segments.

Image of Kissmetrics.com homepage
Source: Kissmetrics.com

13. Maxly:

A comprehensive real-time web and conversion analytics tool. The free tool will show you how your Google Analytics stats match up with the industry standard. It offers a range of plans, including an enterprise solution. 30-day free trial available and a 60-day money back guarantee.

Maxly Analytics homepage image
Source: Maxly Analytics

14. Mixpanel:

This is technically one of the most advanced of the web analytics tools on the market. It is superior to Google Analytics for behavioural tracking and is great for content-focused websites. It is also less relevant for e-commerce sites.

You can create easy funnels on Mixpanel and visualise them in the user interface. It also allows you to segment users based upon source of traffic or other characteristics (e.g. city) and how they interact with your site. The Explore feature enables you to create profiles for individual users which can be very useful for assisting Customer Services in supporting existing users.

Due to the complexity of the solution it requires a dedicated analyst who can manage it on a daily basis to fully understand the tool and ensure it is set up correctly to measure all your key metrics. To fully integrate API tracking within the solution also needs a fair amount of technical knowledge. It also requires frequent integration with your website if it has to measure specific events or you regularly update or release new features.

Image of Mixpanel.com homepage
Source: Mixpanel.com

15. Matomo (Formerly Piwik):

A self-hosted, open-source Free web analytics platform. Matomo is a comprehensive web analytics tool but unlike many packages, there is no limit to the amount of data you can store for free. It also has a mobile app. Because it is held on your own server you own the data and can integrate easily with your own internal systems.

Image of Piwik.org homepage
Source: Piwik.org

16. Oribi:

A more advanced alternative to Google Analytics which offers insights without the grind required with GA. It automatically tracks all button click and pageview without any need for developer resource.

17. Webtrends:

A fully integrated and powerful enterprise web analytics tool that includes analytics, segmentation, testing, targeting and re-marketing. An excellent tool for tracking user segments, purchase funnels, scenarios, drop-off and bounce rates. The solution integrates with 3rd party data including app stores, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Webtrends analytics offers:

  • Unlimited data collection
  • Multi-channel measurement across social, mobile, web and SharePoint
  • Configurable digital dashboards
  • Standard and customized analytics reporting
  • Extensive data export
  • Custom and calculated metrics
  • Ad-hoc data exploration to unlimited dimensions
Image of Webtrends.com homepage
Source: Webtrends.com

18. Woopra:

Real-time tracking of customer activity across multiple channels including web, apps and emails. It provides a comprehensive profile for every user, customisable segmentation, funnels, retention and automated driven actions. A Free version is available.

Woopra Analytics homepage image
Source: Woopra Analytics

Conclusion:

Web analytics tools are critical to get visibility of what content your visitors are engaging with and to better understand visitor behaviour when they land on your site. For start-ups get yourself Google Analytics as this is a free and very comprehensive solution that will meet most needs. Other solutions often provide free trial periods and so if you are looking for more advanced web analytics tools there are plenty to choose from without having to commit to a major investment.

User Experience Tools To Improve Conversions

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User Experience Tools For CRO:

Minimising friction in the customer experience is crucial to conversion rate optimisation. User experience tools that show you where and how your visitors interact with your site can provide valuable insights into where the pain points are in your customer journey.

User experience tools allow you to watch real customers browse your site and produce click and mouse movement heatmaps to understand where they interact with a screen. You can also create and track conversion funnels so that you can see where the big drop-off points are on your site. Form analytics tell you which input fields visitors often miss out and exactly how long each input field takes to complete. Some user experience tools also provide on-site polls and surveys.

This is why user experience tools are useful for conversion optimisation and a must for anyone wanting to better understand the customer experience. At one time user experience tools would cost thousands of pounds a month. But now suppliers such as Hotjar are offering less than £100 a month and have expanded the market by targeting small and medium sized organisations. For native apps there are user experience tools like UXcam to understand your mobile customer experience.

Solutions For Native Mobile Apps:

1. Flightrecorder (Now part of Contentsquare):

A mobile app analytics platform which provides screen recordings of user actions, touch heatmaps, crash reports and app analytics reporting.

The tool records touches, user location, network status, device orientation, language, time zone and more.

No pricing information.

Image of Clicktale.com for apps page

2. UXCam:

A mobile app analytics tool which automatically captures screen recordings and touch interactions on your app. This provides heatmaps and also identifies user drop-off points.

Offers two plans. Up to 20,000 monthly user sessions for $59 a month. Or up to 100,000 sessions for $249 a month.image of UXcam.com homepage

Solutions For Websites:

1. Contentsquare:

Contentsquare offer a full suite of solutions, including heatmaps (mouse moves, clicks, attention, scroll reach & link analytics), session playback recordings, real-time monitor, conversion funnels, and form analytics.

For websites the advanced filtering feature allows you to search for recordings of specific scenarios or events and segment your heatmaps (e.g.by new and returning visitors).

The page console provides you with in-page web analytics about any individual page. Including engagement time, page views, bounce rate and lots more. Site reports can also show pages by load speed, engagement, clicks, scroll reach and errors.

No pricing information is displayed on their site, but the cost is based on page views. Data is saved for 30 or 60 days.

image of Clicktale.com homepage

2. Crazy Egg: 

Primarily a heatmap tool that shows clicks, mouse movements, and scroll maps. The overlay tool shows you the number of clicks on each element on the page. Confetti displays every click on a page segmented by source of traffic. It is also able to handle multiple domains, iFrames and flash objects.

All plans are Free for the first 30 days, but if you to to Toole.io you can get 3 months free. The Basic plan costs just $9 a month for up to 10,000 visits a month, 10 active pages and daily reports. The Standard plan $19 a month goes up to 25,000 visits per month and 20 active pages. Pro plan costs $99 a month and offers up to 250,000 visits per month, up to 100 active pages, hourly reporting, advanced filtering, mobile heatmaps and multiple users.

image of crazyegg.com homepage

3. Decibel Insight:

An enterprise user experience tool with a full suite of solutions including dynamic heatmaps (clicks, attention, scroll, time and attribution), session recordings, form analytics, advanced segmentation, and email alerts.

Attribution heatmaps enable you to map interactions to content, and monitor clicks, goals and revenue. The time heatmaps allow analysis of visitor behaviour during your sites busiest time to spot and target the dead time.

The session recordings accurately records dynamic content interaction, drop-downs, responsive sites, carousels & forms. Decibel Insight also offers a mobile solution, and integrates with web analytics, voice of the customer and A/B testing tools.

There is a choice of either a Free plan or an Enterprise plan. The Free plan goes up to 5,000 page views per month and offers starter heatmaps, session recordings, date and device filtering and pre-built channels. Sessions recordings are kept for just 7 days and data is retained for 1 month.

The Enterprise plan is negotiable and allows for over 250,000 page views per month. It also offers all of the above and customisable channels, advanced segmentation, inbound campaign tracking, advanced heatmaps, form analytics, JavaScript error reports and behavioural alerts. Data is saved for 12 months and session recordings 45+ days.

image of decibelinsight.com homepage

4. Hotjar:

Probably the fastest growing of the new user experience tools as it offers a great suite of features at a competitive price. Hotjar offers standard heatmaps, form analytics, session replays, conversion funnels, surveys, feedback polls and also recruits user testers. For more details see my review of Hotjar and sign up for free if you have less than 2,000 page views per day.

The Basic Free plan samples up to 2,000 page views per day, 300 session recordings, 3 funnels. Up to 1,000 visitors per heatmap and forms, plus 3 polls, surveys and recruiters.

The Business plan is priced on a sliding scale based upon daily page views. This starts from €89 a month for up to 20,000 views a day and goes up €589 a month for up to 400,000 views a day.

Image of Hotjar.com homepage

5. Inspectlet:

One of the most comprehensive of the user experience tools on the market. It offers heatmaps (mouse movements, clicks and scroll), session recordings, form analytics and conversion funnels. The session recording feature has advanced filtering capabilities including new/returning visitors, visit duration and source of traffic. Their JavaScript tagging API enables you to upload any Meta data you want to associate with a user or session. You can also use this tag to identify individual users and bring up their recording.

Conversion funnels allow you to define a series of pages that leads towards a goal. Form analytics features a hesitation report which shows how much time on average visitors are hesitating on each input field. The hesitation algorithm tracks a variety of signals that helps to determine whether a visitor is engaged or hesitating.

Inspectlet has a Free plan for a single website, and up to 100 session recordings a month together with the heatmap suite. The Micro plan costs $39 per month (up to 5,000 recordings) for a single website and account user.

Accelerate is their more comprehensive plan which is priced at $299 a month (up to 125,000 recordings & 20 websites). This plan allows for multiple account users and provides conversion funnel analytics and in-depth form analytics. They also offer an Enterprise plan for larger organisations.

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6. Luckyorange:

Offers a full package including heatmaps (mouse movements, clicks and scrolls), session recordings, conversion funnels, form analytics, live chat and visitor polls. The dashboard allows you to monitor real-time analytics to see how many people are on your site, compare historical statistics and see what keywords, locations, referrers, tweets, languages and more are driving traffic and behaviour on your site.

The session recordings feature allows you to search by behavioural tags so that you can see for example visitors who abandon their basket or visited a product page but did not check-out. The form analytics provides data on which fields are most often the last abandoned, time to start, time spent on each field, the order visitors filled out each field and which fields are repeated the most.

7 day Free trial available on the Small plan. The Small plan costs $10 per month and gives you up to 50,000 page view per month across 3 sites and data lasts for 30 days. The X-Large plans is priced at $100 a month for 100,000 page views and 25 sites. All visitors are recorded until the monthly maximum is reached and will not re-start until you either upgrade or the month ends.

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7. Mouseflow:

A comprehensive user experience tool with heatmaps (move movements, clicks and scrolls), session recordings (including mobile gestures), link analytics, and form analytics. The form analytics lets you watch visitors’ keystrokes and how the form fills as they interact with your site.

Offers a limited Free plan for up to 100 recordings a month for a single website. Subscription plans start with the Small plan for $15 a month. This provides up to 1,000 recorded sessions for one website and a month’s storage of data.

The Extra Large plan costs $299 a month and gives you up to 100,000 recorded sessions for 30 websites and 3 months storage. An enterprise plan is also available for over a million recorded sessions.

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8. Glassbox:

A full service tool which offers heatmaps (mouse movements, clicks, scrolls and browser attention), session recordings (including from mobile devices) , conversion funnels, and form analytics.

You can use their API to feed data recorded in real-time into your own CRM systems to respond automatically to targeted events. They also integrate third party solutions such as Google Analytics, Campaign Monitor, Cheetahmail and Olark.

Glassbox target organisations with over 500,000 page impressions a month and does not display any pricing on its site. Cost is based upon page impressions.

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9. TruConversion:

A recently launched user experience tool offers a comprehensive range of tools including session recordings, heatmaps, user polls and surveys, form analytics, and conversion funnels.

Pricing: The Basic plan costs just $41 a month for up to 110,000 monthly page views. The Plus plan costs $83 a month for up to 275,000 monthly page views and the Pro plan is $149 a month for up to 550,000 monthly page views.

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10. Howuku:

Finally, Howuku is a popular budget alternative to Hotjar. Despite its low cost the solution offers a full range of features including session recordings, heatmaps, funnels, polls, A/B testing, event tracking and more. The website console is intuitive to use and it’s easy to set up heatmaps and start recording users. They give you an initial 14 day free trial period to allow you to fully evaluate the platform.

Plans start from just $16 a month for a single website and up to 20,000 pageviews. Their Growth plan costs just $36 a month for 5 websites and up to 100,000 pageviews. The Premium plan also allows you to track up to 15 websites for just $80 a month and to track up to 500,000 pageviews.

Howuku.com homepage