There are a lot of solutions our there that allow us to track users behavior through heatmaps and session recordings. If I had an unlimited budget, I would go with Clicktale without much hesitations but guess what, I don’t have an unlimited budget, so I went out to look for a cheaper alternative. (To give you an idea of the cost, Clicktale was around $250/month with a yearly subscription).
After some trials, I’ve decided to pick Mouseflow and their 49 Euros monthly plan. For that price, you get to record 10’000 sessions with heatmaps, scrolling maps and the likes. It seemed good enough for what I wanted to do, which is tracking the impact of UI changes on users.
I was wrong, for a simple reason: Tracking customers on your site without the ability to segment by goals (conversions) is pretty much useless. There are only so many recordings you can watch before going crazy and I realized that what I really wanted to understand was how clicks were linked to each others, the flow on the site, rather than which buttons were clicked upon on a given page.
Questions I want to answer are:
- Are there links that are not used?
- Are there parts of the site that are not read?
- Where do people give up (funnel)?
- What path do people who are converting take?
- Do people come several time before converting?
- Do people coming from different channels behave differently?
Mouseflow helps with the first two questions but it is not built to answer the others (as of end of 2012). That’s why I find its value to be rather limited.
So if you’re really on a budget, this kind of solution and Google analytics is a good start but get your expectations right, you’ll get what you pay for. This will only give you a partial view of what needs to be improved in order to convert more customers. I’ll soon put more money for a more complete solution.