Guide to Website Visitor Tracking & Top 10 Tools for 2023
Updated on 20th Jan, 2023
Websites have now become the biggest asset for acquiring customers. When visitors come to your website, you get complete control over how you create an amazing customer experience for them.
Every business is now leveraging account and buyer intent data to not only qualify leads but also to understand visitor motivation and serve highly relevant content at every stage of the buying journey. As a result, website visitor tracking is now a crucial requirement of every data-driven business. Companies use website tracking to understand how visitors interact with various aspects of your website, connect marketing campaigns with conversion and identify strategies that bring the best leads.
Tracking your website helps you take visitors through a predictable sales process while serving highly relevant content.
Only 10% of your website visitors sign up. An account deanonymization strategy can help you identity around 15-30% of your visitors. What about the rest? Proper visitor tracking can help you work on every qualified visitor on your website.
Website tracking needs can vary across departments in your company:
- It helps marketing teams analyze campaigns, serve relevant content, and qualify leads.
- It helps sales teams understand lead motivation and know when leads are ready for close.
- It helps product teams optimize the user experience and increase retention.
Defining website visitor tracking
Website Visitor Tracking is the process of tracking the characteristics and behavioral patterns of visitors on your website. This process helps you get key insights and metrics about your site’s traffic, analyze visitor engagement, identify qualified leads with buying intent, and personalize user experience.
Tracking needs of B2B vs B2C
While the fundamentals of website tracking is the same for all businesses, B2C businesses primarily need the data purely for analytical purposes. This includes collecting visitor metrics, attribution of customer data and revenue, conversion tracking, visitor experience optimization, etc. On the other hand, B2B businesses need the data not just for analytics but also for individual customer acquisition efforts.
Let’s take an example. Will a B2C company with 500,000 visitors a month be interested in knowing what each individual visitor is doing? They won’t unless it is for customer support. They however would definitely like to get metrics and holistic information. B2C businesses need answers to questions like:
- How many visitors have checked out a particular article? How much time did they spend on the article?
- How many of those are from a particular demographic? How many visitors out of these signed up?
- How many signed-up users purchased a product?
- Which marketing campaigns are bringing the most customers?
- Which particular ad keywords or ad copies bring leads that purchase?
- What are common behavioral traits among customers?
To sum up, B2C businesses usually need data en masse and on a statistical level. B2B businesses, however, because of the nature of their deals (high ticket price and less volume), need data at a ground level to fuel their sales and marketing processes. They need answers to questions like:
- Which companies are signing up through this campaign?
- Are these leads qualified? Can we personalize the experience of qualified leads?
- Can we have sales reps directly contact qualified leads when they are active?
- Which individual visitors are showing buying intent through their actions?
- Can I create a lookalike of visitors who have buyer intent?
- Can I retarget a specific set of visitors?
- How did a particular visitor engage with a video or a case study?
- Can I track the entire customer journey of a lead and send the data to assigned sales reps?
B2B businesses need answers to these questions along with answers to questions we mentioned for B2C. We have covered the differences in the tracking needs of B2B businesses and B2C businesses in this article.
Data B2B businesses need from website tracking
Now that we have cleared the differences between the tracking needs of B2C and B2B businesses, let us have a closer look at what needs to be tracked.
Behavioral Activity Tracking: Website tracking directly correlates to activity tracking i.e activities your visitors perform while engaging with your website. This can be page visits, link clicks, button clicks, custom events, visit duration, etc. The data you get depends on the software you use. The activity data is heavily used to analyze buyer intent.
Since the tracking data needed by B2B is at individual level, the information connects to both sales and marketing. For example, knowing if a lead has visited particular pages, watched webinars or performed any desired sets of actions helps Marketing qualify leads and nurture with targeted content while helping Sales analyze entire customer journeys and understand their motivations.
Campaign Tracking: A proper website tracking system also helps you connect your visitors to respective marketing campaigns. Did your visitor come from any particular PPC keyword or ad campaign or did they come from Google Search? You got to know how they came to your website not only for analytical purposes but also for understanding lead interest. If a lead came after searching for a feature keyword, wouldn’t your sales and marketing approach for the lead be related to that feature? This can be automated on any scale.
Lead Acquisition and Tracking: A sales and marketing enablement focused website tracking system should be able to detect and capture leads from different acquisition channels. So, if a visitor has signed up by filling out a form, the system should be able to capture the lead information and reflect it in the contact. This starts the nurturing and acquisition process. In an ideal scenario, the system should be able to capture and track leads from any acquisition channel like forms, live chat, email campaigns, etc. and track them. This can get a little tricky and not all website tracking tools will have this. But fear not. Read on!
Different types of website visitor tracking tools:
Website tracking tools come in all sizes and forms because different types of tracking software serve different purposes and bring different datasets to marketers and website owners. Therefore, it is important to choose a tool that meets your specific needs. The tools available in the market can be grouped into these categories:
Website Analytics Tools:
Web Analytics tools track visitor engagement from your website and provide you key metrics and insights to track behavior and also the performance of your websites. A web analytics software would track visits, pageviews, events, etc. and provide you holistic data of your visitor cohorts. You will know things like how many people visited a particular page, what are demographic and other characteristics of these visitors, which specific website elements they have engaged with, etc.
Our recommendation for website analytics tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Salespanel, and Piwik.
Customer Journey and Behavior Analysis Tools:
Customer journey and behavior analysis tools analyze the entire journeys and behavior of your visitors and provide you key data to analyze their actions. These actions include pageviews, event engagements, button clicks, etc. Tracking customer journeys helps you track an individual visitor’s actions end-to-end.
The key difference with analytics tools is that the data is qualitative instead of quantitative. Depending on the tool you use, you can connect the activity data to each individual visitor. This is especially important for B2B businesses that work with a lower volume of high-ticket leads. And, as such, focusing on every lead individually is important for them.
Here are some key use cases:
- Track entire journeys to understand how customers engage with your website throughout the buying cycle.
- Track behavior to understand pain points, and motivations, and improve the customer experience.
- Show dynamic content and personalize the experience of qualified leads.
- Send behavioral data to your sales reps to help them understand their leads better.
Our picks for behavioral tracking tools are Salespanel (for B2B), Google Analytics 360, and Mixpanel.
Heatmap and Session Recording Software
While the two are different things in their own ways, you would often come across tools that do both.
Heatmap tools help you create visual representations of where users click on a website. This helps you learn what parts of your website visitors are clicking on. Interactions with buttons, links, and other elements can be tracked with this functionality.
Session recording tools record the session of your visitors. They will show you exactly how individual visitors engage with your website. And, as you might have already guessed by now, using this functionality can pose a privacy risk and issues with GDPR and other regulations. Additionally, reviewing each session individually can be time-consuming. These recordings are helpful if you have a small volume or need to view sessions to diagnose user experience.
Our picks for heatmap and session recording tools are Hotjar, CrazyEgg, and Lucky Orange.
A/B Testing Tools
A/B testing tools track interactions on your website and help you test different versions of your webpages and optimize for the best user experience and conversions. A/B testing tools help you test different layouts, copies, and elements on your website and compare performance to pick winning strategies. This helps you identify what works, improve conversion rates, and also personalize as needed.
Our recommendations for A/B testing tools are VWO, Optimizely, and Google Optimize.
Feedback Collection Tools
While not website visitor tracking software per se, feedback collection tools help marketers and website owners collect visitor feedback from their websites and implement some form of tracking. This helps them gain direct feedback from their visitors and users and work on key improvements. Feedback collection tools are primarily used to address user pain points, identify areas of improvement, personalize, and also improve products and services.
Our recommendations for feedback collection tools are Hotjar, SurveyMonkey, and UserTesting.
Real-time tracking for proactive sales and marketing
Not all website tracking tools provide you data in real-time. Many would claim to while in reality they only update info a few times a day. With delayed tracking, you can only take a reactive approach. Leads visit your website and later you check the data to find out what happened. Proactive marketers on the other hand, leverage data in real-time to automate crucial marketing functionalities.
Real-time tracking opens a plethora of sales and marketing use cases. Here are some examples:
- Qualify leads in real-time and prioritize high-value leads
- Track activity in real-time and serve dynamic content
- Notify sales in real-time when qualified leads perform a desired action
There are endless possibilities. Another big advantage of real-time tracking is that it also tracks your customers as they complete milestones of the customer journey and brings the data to you. You can then flag them for retargeting, push promotional offers in real-time, and fast-track qualified leads.
To know more about the usage of real-time tracking in proactive marketing, please check out this article.
Set up free real-time B2B visitor tracking in 10 minutes
Setting up tracking for your website is not hard, at least not with Salespanel. Our core tracking philosophy is to have a seamless data-driven B2B tracking system between sales and marketing that just works with one tracking code. No additional setups or integrations are required. We have talked about this in detail here: Avoid Getting Locked Into Any Product’s Ecosystem And Create the Best Customer Acquisition System With Pluggable Economics
To start tracking, all you need to do is sign up for Salespanel and insert the tracking code that is provided to you on your website. You can also send the code to your developers if you do not manage it yourself. On WordPress, it can be installed with a few clicks. Tracking starts as soon as the code is installed. Nothing else needs to be done. You can later set up connections with your email marketing tool and CRM or any other software for workflow automation.
If you want to try out tracking with other products, we will recommend some tools and also explain what they are good for later in the article.
Setting up real-time data sync with other sales and marketing applications
Once you set up tracking, your goal should be to use this data and infuse the information into your sales and marketing system. For proactive B2B marketers, tracking is not just for reporting and analytics. Marketers track leads and their data and use it to qualify leads and then transport qualified leads to Sales. Marketing can also set up automated alerts for sales or trigger automated events or workflows when a lead’s data matches a condition. For example, when tracking shows that a lead is product-qualified for an upgrade, an automated email sequence can be sent. Or, based on a visitor’s activities and firmographic characteristics, marketing can show dynamic website content or run highly targeted remarketing. Sales can use tracked data to analyze lead behavior, sales qualify them, and understand their motivation which ultimately helps them close more deals.
Salespanel is a very pluggable software and it can infuse tracked information into any platform. Having a proper tracking system helps you create a closely tightened sales and marketing space to let your team produce better results.
Top website tracking software for 2023
It is important to understand that different website tracking tools can serve several purposes. You may need to use a combination of multiple tools to serve your requirements. For example, the tracking data your sales/marketing needs is not the same as the data your product team needs.
We have already talked about Salespanel in the previous section. To sum everything up, here’s what you get:
– Real-time website tracking for free
– No integration lead capture and tracking from any form, live chat, and email marketing software
– Single customer view combining data from your website, application, and warehouse.
– Website personalization and dynamic retargeting
– Lead scoring based on website tracking data
– Email tracking
– Campaign, UTM parameters, and referrer tracking
– Custom events creation and tracking
– Page view, video view duration, custom website event tracking
– Lead scoring and segmentation
– Real-time CRM sync (Pipedrive, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.)
And, much more…
Outfunnel is all about connecting sales and marketing data. Their web tracking functionality is built to work in tandem with CRMs such as Pipedrive, Copper, and HubSpot CRM. You can use Outfunnel’s web tracking to see a feed of your contacts and leads that visit your site and record these web visits in your CRM, along with key data about the web sessions.
With web visits logged in the CRM, your salespeople have the full context of what leads are interested in and can strike when the leads are warmest. You can also make use of Outfunnel’s lead scoring, which takes into account web visits as well as other marketing engagements to calculate automated scores. This makes it easier for salespeople to decide which leads to prioritize.
Google Analytics is undoubtedly the gold standard for visitor tracking and analytics for both B2B and B2C businesses. Remember when we said B2C need data as a whole while B2B businesses need data on an individual level? Well, you still need grouped data for statistics and performance monitoring.
With Google Analytics having over 30 million users in the world, there is no reason for you to not keep Google Analytics for your analytical needs. The data it provides is unmatched on a statistical level and it makes the top of our list of tools to have.
Mixpanel is a product and behavioral analytics tool. When we started the list, we mentioned that different products help different teams while serving the same core functionality. While Mixpanel also helps you track behavior, its purpose is for marketing and product teams to analyze and understand how users are engaging with the website and improve customer experience and conversions.
Hotjar is another website tracking tool that helps you analyze data to understand product engagement. Hotjar provides you features like Heatmap and Session Recording to let you understand where your visitors are clicking and how exactly they are engaging with your website.
This is extremely helpful for analyzing funnel conversions and UI updates. Hotjar has a free plan for you to check out its various features.
VWO is an enterprise A/B testing and conversion optimization tool. The goal of VWO is to help you increase your conversions. So, it helps you optimize your landing pages, lead magnets, and conversion funnels and run tests to get the most conversion possible and thereby increasing the number of leads you capture.
VWO also provides various customer engagement features like surveys and push notifications that truly makes it one of the best conversion improvement platforms in the world.
Kissmetrics provides advanced analytics features for saas and e-commerce businesses. The tracking tool helps businesses dive deeper into user behavior metrics on a greater level than analytics data like bounce rate, or time-on-site would provide. This means that marketers can attribute data to a real person, get a detailed view of individual users across different devices and identify weak spots in the customer’s buying journey. Kissmetrics’s behavioral analytics feature also shines more light on the most valuable product feature by tracking the key characteristics of each user.
SimilarWeb provides a robust digital intelligence tracking that provides insights on your industry, competitors, and customers. You can measure website traffic and key performance indicators such as engagement rates, traffic sources, and rankings. Also, its website rank feature enables you to spy on your competitors, know their category and how they rank globally.
Netfactor’s company surge feature uses a combination of visitor identification with B2B intent data. This means that you can identify anonymous web visitors, how they interact with your web content and pinpoint visitors with high buying intent to improve sales and marketing efforts.
Are you looking for a precise and up-to-date data solution? Clearbit provides fresh and real-time customer data like industry classification, employee count, and even job change updates. This helps you get a bird’s eye view of specific customers and figure out how to personalize marketing messages to these prospects. Clearbit has also launched its website tracking product last month and it is something that can be tried out.
Clearbit’s paid plans can, however, be a bit pricey, with subscriptions starting at over $999 a month (as per reports). But, if you need the most accurate customer data (not talking about tracking data here), Clearbit is one of the best options.
Update: Clearbit has now launched a tool that provides account data for companies visiting your website for 7 days.
The tracking product or the set of tools you need is unique to your business. In this article, we have covered 5 different website tracking products that you need to use. For an extended list of 10 products, please check out this article.
If you want a very simple solution that can start tracking immediately and provide you sales and marketing-focused data, please check out Salespanel’s free plan. You can also try out Google Analytics if your tracking needs are purely analytical. There are also product marketing and optimization focused tracking tools like VWO, Hotjar, and Mixpanel. Different products serve different purposes and you might need to use a combination of a few to get your desired outcome.
Here’s a TL;DR:
- Website visitor tracking is the process of tracking the characteristics and activities of the visitors on your website.
- Tracking website activity helps you:
– Understand how visitors interact with your website and visualize the entire customer journey.
– Get richer analytical data across long sales cycles.
– Personalize content and show highly targeted ads.
– Segment and qualify leads based on buyer intent data.
– Identify high-intent prospects and send the data to sales reps.
- Tracking website activity helps you:
- The website tracking requirements of B2B businesses differ greatly from B2C. While B2C businesses need holistic data for analytics and for enabling cohort-based strategies, B2B businesses need data on an individual level as they usually deal with smaller volumes and higher ticket prices.
- Data acquired from website visitor tracking would include visitor information, page visits, campaign/source data (fetched through UTM parameters and referrer information), content engagements, visit duration, live chat engagement, form submissions, etc.
- Popular visitor tracking tools are Salespanel, Google Analytics, Clearbit, Hotjar, VWO, and SimilarWeb. We have covered these tools and some more in this article and have tried to explain how each of them can help you.
- Website visitor tracking can be set up in a few minutes with tools like Salespanel. Salespanel helps you use real-time data to generate analytical reports, segment and score leads, pass the data on to the sales team, and personalize the experience of your customers.
Sell more, understand your customers’ journey for free!
Sales and Marketing teams spend millions of dollars to bring visitors to your website. But do you track your customer’s journey? Do you know who buys and why?
Around 8% of your website traffic will sign up on your lead forms. What happens to the other 92% of your traffic? Can you identify your visiting accounts? Can you engage and retarget your qualified visitors even if they are not identified?