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Leverage Web Analytics to Reinforce Your Web Experience Management Strategy

Web analytical tools are the gateway to understanding your customer behavior.

  • Organizations are unaware of the capabilities of web analytics tools and unsure how to leverage these new technologies to enhance their web experience.
  • Traditional solutions offer only information and data about the activity on the website. It is difficult for organizations to understand the customer motivations and behavioral patterns using the data.
  • In addition, there is an overwhelming number of vendors offering various solutions. Understanding which solution best fits your business needs is crucial to avoid overspending.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Understanding organizational goals and business objectives is essential in effectively leveraging web analytics.
  • It is easy to get lost in a sea of expensive web analytical tools. Choosing tools that align with the business objectives will keep the costs of customer acquisition and retention to a minimum.
  • Beyond selection and implementation, leveraging web analytic tools requires commitment from the organization to continuously monitor key KPIs to ensure good customer web experience.

Impact and Result

  • Understand what web analytic tools are and some key trends in the market space. Learn about top advanced analytic tools that help understand user behavior.
  • Discover top vendors in the market space and some of the top-level features they offer.
  • Understand how to use the metrics to gather critical insights about the website’s use and key initiatives for successful implementation.

Leverage Web Analytics to Reinforce Your Web Experience Management Strategy Research & Tools

Leverage Web Analytics to Reinforce Your Web Experience Management Strategy Storyboard – A deck outlining the importance of web analytic tools and how they can be leveraged to meet your business needs.

This research offers insight into web analytic tools, key trends in the market space, and an introduction to advanced web analytics techniques. Follow our five-step initiative to successfully select and implement web analytics tools and identify which baseline metrics to measure and continuously monitor for best results.


Leverage Web Analytics to Reinforce Your Web Experience Management Strategy

Web analytics tools are the gateway to understanding customer behavior.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst Perspective

In today’s world, users want to consume concise content and information quickly. Websites have a limited time to prove their usefulness to a new user. Content needs to be as few clicks away from the user as possible. Analyzing user behavior using advanced analytics techniques can help website designers better understand their audience.

Organizations need to implement sophisticated analytics tools to track user data from their website. However, simply extracting data is not enough to understand the user motivation. A successful implementation of a web analytics tool will comprise both understanding what a customer does on the website and why the customer does what they do.

This research will introduce some fundamental and advanced analytics tools and provide insight into some of the vendors in the market space.

Photo of Sai Krishna Rajaramagopalan, Research Specialist, Applications − Enterprise Applications, Info-Tech Research Group. Sai Krishna Rajaramagopalan
Research Specialist, Applications − Enterprise Applications
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge
  • Web analytics solutions have emerged as applications that provide extensive information and data about users visiting your webpage. However, many organizations are unaware of the capabilities of these tools and unsure how to leverage these new technologies to enhance user experience.
Common Obstacles
  • Traditional solutions offer information and data about customers’ activity on the website but no insight into their motivations and behavioral patterns.
  • In addition, an overwhelming number of vendors are offering various solutions. Understanding which solution best fits your business needs is crucial to avoid overspending.
Info-Tech’s Approach
  • This research is aimed to help you understand what web analytic tools are and some key trends in the market space. Learn about top advanced analytic tools that help you understand user behavior. Discover top vendors in the market space and some of the high-level features offered.
  • This research also explains techniques and metrics to gather critical insights about your website’s use and will aid in understanding users’ motivations and patterns and better predict their behavior on the website.

Info-Tech Insight

It is easy to get lost in a sea of expensive web analytics tools. Choose tools that align with your business objectives to keep the costs of customer acquisition and retention to a minimum.

Ensure the success of your web analytics programs by following five simple steps

1. ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

The first key step in implementing and succeeding with web analytics tools is to set clearly defined organizational goals, e.g. improving product sales.

3. KPI METRICS

Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that help track the organization’s performance, e.g. number of page visits, conversion rates, bounce rates.

5. REVIEW

Continuous improvement is essential to succeed in understanding customers. The world is a dynamic place, and you must constantly revise your organizational goals, business objectives, and KPIs to remain competitive.

Centerpiece representing the five surrounding steps.

2. BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

The next step is to lay out business objectives that help to achieve the organization’s goals, e.g. to increase customer leads, increase customer transactions, increase web traffic.

4. APPLICATION SELECTION

Understand the web analytics tool space and which combination of tools and vendors best fits the organization’s goals.

Web Analytics Introduction

Understand traditional and advanced tools and their capabilities.

Understanding web analytics

  • Web analytics is the branch of analytics that deals with the collection, reporting, and analysis of data generated by users visiting and interacting with a website.
  • The purpose of web analytics is to measure user behavior, optimize the website’s user experience and flow, and gain insights that help meet business objectives like increasing conversions and sales.
  • Web analytics allows you to see how your website is performing and how people are acting while on your website. What’s important is what you can do with this knowledge.
  • Data collected through web analytics may include traffic sources, referring sites, page views, paths taken, and conversion rates. The compiled data often forms a part of customer relationship management analytics to facilitate and streamline better business decisions.
  • Having strong web analytics is important in understanding customer behavior and fine-tuning marketing and product development approaches accordingly.
Example of a web analytics dashboard.

Why you should leverage web analytics

Leveraging web analytics allows organizations to better understand their customers and achieve their business goals.

The global web analytics market size is projected to reach US$5,156.3 million by 2026, from US$2,564 million in 2019, at a CAGR of 10.4% during 2021-2026. (Source: 360 Research Reports, 2021) Of the top 1 million websites with the highest traffic, there are over 3 million analytics technologies used. Google Analytics has the highest market share, with 50.3%. (Source: “Top 1 Million Sites,” BuiltWith, 2022)
Of the 200 million active websites, 57.3% employ some form of web analytics tool. This trend is expected to grow as more sophisticated tools are readily available at a cheaper cost. (Source: “On the Entire Internet,” BuiltWith, 2022; Siteefy, 2022) A three-month study by Contentsquare showed a 6.9% increase in traffic, 11.8% increase in page views, 12.4% increase in transactions, and 3.6% increase in conversion rates through leveraging web analytics. (Source: Mordor Intelligence, 2022)

Case Study

Logo for Ryanair.
INDUSTRY
Aviation
SOURCE
AT Internet
Web analytics

Ryanair is a low-fare airline in Europe that receives nearly all of its bookings via its website. Unhappy with its current web analytics platform, which was difficult to understand and use, Ryanair was looking for a solution that could adapt to its requirements and provide continuous support and long-term collaboration.

Ryanair chose AT Internet for its intuitive user interface that could effectively and easily manage all the online activity. AT was the ideal partner to work closely with the airline to strengthen strategic decision making over the long term, increase conversions in an increasingly competitive market, and increase transactions on the website.

Results

By using AT Internet Web Analytics to improve email campaigns and understand the behavior of website visitors, Ryanair was able to triple click-through rates, increase visitor traffic by 16%, and decrease bounce rate by 18%.

Arrows denoting increases or decreases in certain metrics: '3x increase in click-through rates', '16% increase in visitor traffic', '18% decrease in bounce rate'.

Use traditional web analytics tools to understand your consumer

What does the customer do?
  • Traditional web analytics allows organizations to understand what is happening on their website and what customers are doing. These tools deliver hard data to measure the performance of a website. Some of the data measured through traditional web analytics are:
  • Visit count: The number of visits received by a webpage.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors that leave the website after only viewing the first page compared to total visitors.
  • Referrer: The previous website that sent the user traffic to a specific website.
  • CTA clicks: The number of times a user clicks on a call to action (CTA) button.
  • Conversion rate: Proportion of users that reach the final outcome of the website.
Example of a traditional web analytics dashboard.

Use advanced web analytics techniques to understand your consumer

Why does the customer do what they do?
  • Traditional web analytic tools fail to explain the motivation of users. Advanced analytic techniques help organizations understand user behavior and measure user satisfaction. The techniques help answer questions like: Why did a user come to a webpage? Why did they leave? Did they find what they were looking for? Some of the advanced tools include:
  • Heatmapping: A visual representation of where the users click, scroll, and move on a webpage.
  • Recordings: A recording of the mouse movement and clicks for the entire duration of a user’s visit.
  • Feedback forms and surveys: Voice of the customer tools allowing users to give direct feedback about websites.
  • Funnel exploration: The ability to visualize the steps users take to complete tasks on your site or app.
Example of an advanced web analytics dashboard.

Apply industry-leading techniques to leverage web analytics

Heatmapping
  • Heatmaps are used to visualize where users move their mouse, click, and scroll in a webpage.
  • Website heatmaps use a warm-to-cold color scheme to indicate user activity, with the warmest color indicating the highest visitor engagement and the coolest indicating the lowest visitor engagement.
  • Organizations can use this tool to evaluate the elements of the website that attract users and identify which sections require improvement to increase user engagement.
  • Website designers can make changes and compare the difference in user interaction to measure the effectiveness of the changes.
  • Scrollmaps help designers understand what the most popular scroll-depth of your webpage is – and that’s usually a prime spot for an important call to action.
Example of a website with heatmapping overlaid.
(Source: An example of a heatmap layered with a scrollmap from Crazy Egg, 2020)

Apply industry-leading techniques to leverage web analytics

Funneling

  • Funnels are graphical representations of a customer’s journey while navigating through the website.
  • Funnels help organizations identify which webpage users land on and where users drop off.
  • Organizations can capture every user step to find the unique challenges between entry and completion. Identifying what friction stands between browsing product grids and completing a transaction allows web designers to then eliminate it.
  • Designers can use A/B testing to experiment with different design philosophies to compare conversion statistics.
  • Funneling can be expanded to cross-channel analytics by incorporating referral data, cookies, and social media analytics.
Example of a bar chart created through funneling.

Apply industry-leading techniques to leverage web analytics

Session recordings

  • Session recordings are playbacks of users’ interaction with the website on a single session. User interaction can vary between mouse clicks, keyboard input, and mouse scroll.
  • Recordings help organizations understand user motivation and help identify why users undertake certain tasks or actions on the webpage.
  • Playbacks can also be used to see if users are confused anywhere between the landing page and final transaction phase. This way, playbacks further help ensure visitors complete the funneling seamlessly.
Example of a session recording featuring a line created by the mouse's journey.

Apply industry-leading techniques to leverage web analytics

Feedback and microsurveys

  • Feedback can be received directly from end users to help organizations improve the website.
  • Receiving feedback from users can be difficult, since not every user is willing to spend time to submit constructive and detailed feedback. Microsurveys are an excellent alternative.
  • Users can submit short feedback forms consisting of a single line or emojis or thumbs up or down.
  • Users can directly highlight sections of the page about which to submit feedback. This allows designers to quickly pinpoint areas for improvement. Additionally, web designers can play back recordings when feedback is submitted to get a clear idea about the challenges users face.
Example of a website with a microsurvey in the corner.

Market Overview

Choose vendors and tools that best match your business needs.

Top-level traditional features

Feature Name

Description

Visitor Count Tracking Counts the number of visits received by a website or webpage.
Geographic Analytics Uses location information to enable the organization to provide location-based services for various demographics.
Conversion Tracking Measures the proportion of users that complete a certain task compared to total number of users.
Device and Browser Analytics Captures and summarizes device and browser information.
Bounce and Exit Tracking Calculates exit rate and bounce rate on a webpage.
CTA Tracking Measures the number of times users click on a call to action (CTA) button.
Audience Demographics Captures, analyzes, and displays customer demographic/firmographic data from different channels.
Aggregate Traffic Reporting Works backward from a conversion or other key event to analyze the differences, trends, or patterns in the paths users took to get there.
Social Media Analytics Captures information on social signals from popular services (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

Top-level advanced features

Feature Name

Description

HeatmappingShows where users have clicked on a page and how far they have scrolled down a page or displays the results of eye-tracking tests through the graphical representation of heatmaps.
Funnel ExplorationVisualizes the steps users take to complete tasks on your site or app.
A/B TestingEnables you to test the success of various website features.
Customer Journey ModellingEffectively models and displays customer behaviors or journeys through multiple channels and touchpoints.
Audience SegmentationCreates and analyzes discrete customer audience segments based on user-defined criteria or variables.
Feedback and SurveysEnables users to give feedback and share their satisfaction and experience with website designers.
Paid Search IntegrationIntegrates with popular search advertising services (i.e. AdWords) and can make predictive recommendations around areas like keywords.
Search Engine OptimizationProvides targeted recommendations for improving and optimizing a page for organic search rankings (i.e. via A/B testing or multivariate testing).
Session RecordingRecords playbacks of users scrolling, moving, u-turning, and rage clicking on your site.

Evaluate software category leaders using SoftwareReviews’ vendor rankings and awards

Logo for SoftwareReviews.
Sample of SoftwareReviews' The Data Quadrant. The Data Quadrant is a thorough evaluation and ranking of all software in an individual category to compare platforms across multiple dimensions.

Vendors are ranked by their Composite Score, based on individual feature evaluations, user satisfaction rankings, vendor capability comparisons, and likeliness to recommend the platform.

Sample of SoftwareReviews' The Emotional Footprint. The Emotional Footprint is a powerful indicator of overall user sentiment toward the relationship with the vendor, capturing data across five dimensions.

Vendors are ranked by their Customer Experience (CX) Score, which combines the overall Emotional Footprint rating with a measure of the value delivered by the solution.

Speak with category experts to dive deeper into the vendor landscape

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Technology coverage is a priority for Info-Tech and SoftwareReviews provides the most comprehensive unbiased data on today’s technology. Combined with the insight of our expert analysts, our members receive unparalleled support in their buying journey.

Top vendors in the web analytics space

Logo for Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides comprehensive traditional analytics tools, free of charge, to understand the customer journey and improve marketing ROI. Twenty-four percent of all web analytical tools used on the internet are provided by Google analytics.
Logo for Hotjar. Hotjar is a behavior analytics and product experience insights service that helps you empathize with and understand your users through their feedback via tools like heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys. Hotjar complements the data and insights you get from traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics.
Logo for Crazy Egg. Crazy Egg is a website analytics tool that helps you optimize your site to make it more user-friendly, more engaging, and more conversion-oriented. It does this through heatmaps and A/B testing, which allow you to see how people are interacting with your site.
Logo for Amplitude Analytics. Amplitude Analytics provides intelligent insight into customer behavior. It offers basic functionalities like measuring conversion rate and engagement metrics and also provides more advanced tools like customer journey maps and predictive analytics capabilities through AI.

Case Study

Logo for Miller & Smith.
INDUSTRY
Real Estate
SOURCE
Crazy Egg

Heatmaps and playback recordings

Challenge

Miller & Smith had just redesigned their website, but the organization wanted to make sure it was user-friendly as well as visually appealing. They needed an analytics platform that could provide information about where visitors were coming from and measure the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns.

Solution

Miller & Smith turned to Crazy Egg to obtain visual insights and track user behavior. They used heatmaps and playback recordings to see user activity within webpages and pinpoint any issues with user interface. In just a few weeks, Miller & Smith gained valuable data to work with: the session recordings helped them understand how users were navigating the site, and the heatmaps allowed them to see where users were clicking – and what they were skipping.

Results

Detailed reports generated by the solution allowed Miller & Smith team to convince key stakeholders and implement the changes easily. They were able to pinpoint what changes needed to be made and why these changes would improve their experience.

Within few weeks, the bounce rate improved by 7.5% and goal conversion increased by 8.5% over a similar period the previous year.

Operationalizing Web Analytics Tools

Execute initiatives for successful implementation.

Ensure success of your web analytics programs by following five simple steps

1. ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

The first key step in implementing and succeeding with web analytics tools is to set clearly defined organizational goals, e.g. improving product sales.

3. KPI METRICS

Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that help track the organization’s performance, e.g. number of page visits, conversion rates, bounce rates.

5. REVIEW

Continuous improvement is essential to succeed in understanding customers. The world is a dynamic place, and you must constantly revise your organizational goals, business objectives, and KPIs to remain competitive.

Centerpiece representing the five surrounding steps.

2. BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

The next step is to lay out business objectives that help to achieve the organization’s goals, e.g. to increase customer leads, increase customer transactions, increase web traffic.

4. APPLICATION SELECTION

Understand the web analytics tool space and which combination of tools and vendors best fits the organization’s goals.

1.1 Understand your organization’s goals

30 minutes

Output: Organization’s goal list

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Core project team

  1. Identify the key organizational goals for both the short term and the long term.
  2. Arrange the goals in descending order of priority.

Example table of goals ranked by priority and labeled short or long term.

1.2 Align business objectives with organizational goals

30 minutes

Output: Business objectives

Materials: Whiteboard, Markers

Participants: Core project team

  1. Identify the key business objectives that help attain organization goals.
  2. Match each business objective with the corresponding organizational goals it helps achieve.
  3. Arrange the objectives in descending order of priority.

Example table of business objectives ranked by priority and which organization goal they're linked to.

Establish baseline metrics

Baseline metrics will be improved through:

  1. Efficiently using website elements and CTA button placement
  2. Reducing friction between the landing page and end point
  3. Leveraging direct feedback from users to continuously improve customer experience

1.3 Establish baseline metrics that you intend to improve via your web analytics tools

30 minutes

Example table with metrics, each with a current state and goal state.

Accelerate your software selection project

Vendor selection projects often demand extensive and unnecessary documentation.

Software Selection Insight

Balance the effort-to-information ratio required for a business impact assessment to keep stakeholders engaged. Use documentation that captures the key data points and critical requirements without taking days to complete. Stakeholders are more receptive to formal selection processes that are friction free.

The Software Selection Workbook

Work through the straightforward templates that tie to each phase of the Rapid Application Selection Framework, from assessing the business impact to requirements gathering.

Sample of the Software Selection Workbook deliverable.

The Vendor Evaluation Workbook

Consolidate the vendor evaluation process into a single document. Easily compare vendors as you narrow the field to finalists.

Sample of the Vendor Evaluation Workbook deliverable.

The Guide to Software Selection: A Business Stakeholder Manual

Quickly explain the Rapid Application Selection Framework to your team while also highlighting its benefits to stakeholders.

Sample of the Guide to Software Selection: A Business Stakeholder Manual deliverable.

Revisit the metrics you identified and revise your goals

Track the post-deployment results, compare the metrics, and set new targets for the next fiscal year.

Example table of 'Baseline Website Performance Metrics' with the column 'Revised Target' highlighted.

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Bibliography

"11 Essential Website Data Factors and What They Mean." CivicPlus, n.d. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“Analytics Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites.” BuiltWith, 1 Nov. 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Analytics Usage Distribution on the Entire Internet." BuiltWith, 1 Nov. 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Bell, Erica. “How Miller and Smith Used Crazy Egg to Create an Actionable Plan to Improve Website Usability.” Crazy Egg, n.d. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Brannon, Jordan. "User Behavior Analytics | Enhance The Customer Journey." Coalition Technologies, 8 Nov 2021. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Cardona, Mercedes. "7 Consumer Trends That Will Define The Digital Economy In 2021." Adobe Blog, 7 Dec 2020. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“The Finer Points.“ Analytics Features. Google Marketing Platform, 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Fitzgerald, Anna. "A Beginner’s Guide to Web Analytics." HubSpot, 21 Sept 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Form Abandonment: How to Avoid It and Increase Your Conversion Rates." Fullstory Blog, 7 April 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Fries, Dan. "Plug Sales Funnel Gaps by Identifying and Tracking Micro-Conversions." Clicky Blog, 9 Dec 2019. Accessed 7 July 2022.

"Funnel Metrics in Saas: What to Track and How to Improve Them?" Userpilot Blog, 23 May 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Garg, Neha. "Digital Experimentation: 3 Key Steps to Building a Culture of Testing." Contentsquare, 21 June 2021. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“Global Web Analytics Market Size, Status and Forecast 2021-2027.” 360 Research Reports, 25 Jan. 2021. Web.

Hamilton, Stephanie. "5 Components of Successful Web Analytics." The Daily Egg, 2011. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Hammond, Patrick. "Step-by-Step Guide to Cohort Analysis & Reducing Churn Rate." Amplitude, 15 July 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Hawes, Carry. "What Is Session Replay? Discover User Pain Points With Session Recordings." Dynatrace, 20 Dec 2021. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Huss, Nick. “How Many Websites Are There in the World?” Siteefy, 8 Oct. 2022. Web.

Nelson, Hunter. "Establish Web Analytics and Conversion Tracking Foundations Using the Google Marketing Platform.” Tortoise & Hare Software, 29 Oct 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Product Analytics Vs Product Experience Insights: What’s the Difference?" Hotjar, 14 Sept 2021. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“Record and watch everything your visitors do." Inspectlet, n.d. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“Ryanair: Using Web Analytics to Manage the Site’s Performance More Effectively and Improve Profitability." AT Internet, 1 April 2020. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Sibor, Vojtech. "Introducing Cross-Platform Analytics.” Smartlook Blog, 5 Nov 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Visualize Visitor Journeys Through Funnels.” VWO, n.d. Accessed 26 July 2022.

"Web Analytics Market Share – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027)." Mordor Intelligence, 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

“What is the Best Heatmap Tool for Real Results?” Crazy Egg, 27 April 2020. Web.

"What Is Visitor Behavior Analysis?" VWO, 2022. Accessed 26 July 2022.

Zheng, Jack G., and Svetlana Peltsverger. “Web Analytics Overview.” IGI Global, 2015. Accessed 26 July 2022.

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