Website Visitor Tracking 101
User Research

Published on August 2, 2022

Website Visitor Tracking 101

Today, we’ll take a closer look at website visitor tracking and examine all the crooks and crannies of this topic, so you can get a better understanding of how visitor tracking works and how it can help you improve your website’s UX.

Let’s get started with the basics first, and then we will continue explaining all the things you need to know about website visitor tracking.

What is website visitor tracking?

Website visitor tracking is the practice of tracking and visualizing the activity of your website visitors with the help of a specialized visitor tracking tool. The goal of website visitor tracking is to understand the users and their behavior better, as well as uncover new ways to improve your website’s user experience. 

What it basically means is tracking everything your visitors do or don’t do on a website and then visualizing it in a way that is possible to analyze. 

With website visitor tracking software you can track every click, mouse movement, and every scroll without recording their screen. You can also track other things that were done outside of your website, like where the user came from, and what company they work in (in certain cases). 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s discuss the multiple types of visitor tracking.

Different types of visitor tracking

Website visitor tracking currently operates in three different categories. You can track users’ behavior, analytics of your visitors, and in some cases, you can employ the use of visitor recognition tools.

Let’s take a closer look at the three types of website visitor tracking.

1. Behavioral tracking

Behavioral tracking takes a closer look at how visitors engage with your website and how they use it. You can track clicks and their position, how far users have scrolled through, and where the user’s mouse moves. 

All this information is visualized in a form of website heatmaps. Namely, click maps, scroll maps, and move maps.

website visitor tracking: move map

Heatmaps are a visual representation of information collected via behavioral tracking softwares. In the image presented above, you can see the example of how one looks.

The blue and clear areas are those that are engaged with the least. The green and yellow colors symbolize the areas that are commonly interacted with, and the red spots are the ones that grab your users’ attention the most. 

Heatmaps are very good at interpreting information in a way anyone could understand, making them a great tool for showing mistakes or successes to those who do not understand the technical underbelly of the data.

UXtweak’s Session Recording tool is a great example of a behavioral tracking software which generates heatmaps and follows user’s activity on the website.

Try Session Recording with UXtweak

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2. Analytic tracking 

These can help you in getting to know the most precise demographic information with their own dedicated type of software, for example, the most used and the most well-known being Google Analytics

This type of information is later used by your marketing & sales department. You can also track the precise (or at least close to precise) numbers of visitors, how long they were browsing your website, how many people have signed up, and more.  

3. Visitor recognition

Visitor recognition software is mostly used by websites that operate in a B2B (business-to-business) sector. This type of software uses various methods of in-depth research of your visitors and finds more than the usual demographics. It allows you to look up the company that the visitor came from, as well as other useful information for the sales department. 

Combine Behavioral and Analytic tracking for better results

After combining behavioral tracking and analytic tracking, you can bet that your website will be monitored and will always gather useful information about your visitors and their journeys on your website. By using both at the same time, you can pinpoint everything you need to grow exponentially. 

website visitor tracking

Should I be afraid of using visitor tracking software?

No, visitor tracking software isn’t real, so it cannot hurt you; physically, that is. 

That was a joke of course. If we’re talking about the lawfulness of this kind of software, visitor tracking is used by millions of companies worldwide, so if you follow every legal obligation there is, you should be okay. Most of the tools taking advantage of this kind of software must be operating legally with FDA regulations and GDPR laws in mind. 

How can I be sure that these tools are 100% legal?

Well to start, almost all legal software using session recording doesn’t actually record anything. It only creates a pixel-perfect playback, meaning no data beyond what users are clicking, scrolling, or hovering over is collected. On the other hand, have you ever called a company, and while on hold, they informed you that the call is recorded for whatever purposes they deem fit? Well, this logic also applies to visitor tracking software. If you inform your users that their existence on your website is being monitored, it is completely legal. 

However, there can be problems if you fail to disclose the tracking ability of your website or fail to give users the ability to opt out of being tracked. If these options are not met, you may face serious legal consequences, since this action will be seen as breaking numerous laws on consumer privacy. 

Please note, that we are not lawyers and you should regard this as a helpful tip, not legal advice. If you have doubts about this kind of software or are not sure how to use it, please contact your lawyer, or be prepared to look for one in the near future.

Nevertheless, the least advice we can give is to follow the rules, regulations, and laws of all the countries you will be operating in. Not only visitor tracking-wise, but also business-wise.

website visitor tracking

Why should you use website visitor tracking?

As mentioned before, by using this software, you can make informed decisions about your design. This can bring you many benefits and make your users feel like they are welcome on your website.

Let’s take a closer look at all the benefits of website visitor tracking.

With visitor tracking software you can:  

  • make informed design decisions based on obtained insights
  • improve your navigation and avoid confusion from users
  • find usability issues that need to be fixed
  • lower bounce rates and cart abandonment rates

By looking closely at your website, how users interact with it, and fixing the issues, you will improve your overall user experience, sell more products, resolve issues, and lower bounce rates.

Want to track your visitors with ease?

With the UXtweak Session Recording tool, you can do just that and more while being GDPR and CCPA compliant. 

With our tool, you can be more than prepared to take your UX to the next level while not paying high-level prices. UXtweak tracks every click, scroll, and mouse movement of your visitors and provides you with pixel-perfect session playback to analyze, as well as insightful heatmaps.

Just copy a piece of UXtweak code into your website, launch your study, and observe what users do. It’s as easy and quick as it sounds. What’s great about UXtweak is that you can also use 10 other tools in combination with Session Recording to better your UX.

Try Session Recording with UXtweak

The only UX research tool you need to visualize your customers’ frustration and better understand their issues

Register for free
Try Session Recording with UXtweak

Users leaving frustrated? Take action!

Visitor tracking is a crucial part of maintaining your website and we strongly recommend using it to evaluate your website and make decisions based on your users’ opinions, not only hear-say. 

After all, you are trying to appeal to the users more than to yourself. So what are you waiting for? Register now and find out how users interact with your website with UXtweak’s free Session Recording tool!

Patrik Taliga
August 2, 2022
All author's articles

Content Producer @ UXtweak and sometimes a writer, if he feels like it.

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