Inspiration

Choosing the Best Heatmap Tool for Mouse Tracking

If you’re a regular visitor on this site, you might have noticed that I’ve been running a poll to ask visitors about their preferred heatmapping tool for mouse and click tracking. Now, a heatmap tool is a great companion for Google Analytics. Because, while Google Analytics often tell us where something goes wrong, it doesn’t really tell us the actual problem.

This is when a heatmap tool offers some more qualitative data. If analyzed thoroughly, you’re able to determine if you have problems with your site. Those problems often relate to page layout. Maybe you’re using distracting images, too much text or call to actions without proper visibility.

There is a tonne of different heatmap tools on the market. Some of them are dedicated solutions; they simply do heatmaps of mouse movements and clicks and taps and nothing else. And other tools come with a bundle of different analysis features such as form tracking, polls and even survey modules. So which should you choose? Well, instead of doing a full comparison and loads of free trials, just checkout the rest of this post. Continue reading

Inspiration

Chrome Extensions for Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager

Implementation and auditing of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager is essential when working with web analytics. After all, what good are reporting and analytics if you can’t trust your data? Usually, when setting up GTM and Analytics on a website, you’ll find yourself checking source code for the correct dataLayer or using real-time reports to see if data comes in. But Chrome Extensions for Google Analytics and Tag Manager makes it much easier.

The thing is, the whole implementation and debugging part is a cumbersome process. So is it possible to optimize that process? Well, yes – say hello to Chrome Extensions. Chrome Extensions are small plugins for the Google Chrome browser. And some of them are specifically for debugging the setup of Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. So in this post, I’ll introduce you to my list of the most essential and, IMHO, the best extensions for Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Continue reading

Data Collection, Inspiration

Event Tracking for Mouseover/Hover on Element for X Seconds

A client of mine recently asked me to track ‘mouse interaction’ with an iframe that they embed on several pages. By ‘mouse interaction’, the client basically meant that they would like to track whenever users hovered their mouse cursor over the iframe for a certain amount of time. I’ve previously posted that you can track any mouse or keyboard interactions with Google Analytics. As long as they occur within the browser.

Luckily, there’s a widely supported browser event called ‘mouseover‘. The mouseover event fires when a user moves the mouse cursor over a specified element – for instance, an iframe. But it can be used on any visible HTML element on the page. So, by combining this event with a timer, it’s possible to push a dataLayer event to Google Tag Manager. And then use that event to send an event hit Google Analytics.

In the end, we’ll end up tracking Google Analytics events whenever a user hovers his or hers mouse over our specified element. Continue reading

Data Analysis

3 Ways to Discover Customer Intent with Google Analytics

Do your website meet the actual expectations of your visitors? People rarely arrive at your website by chance. They have an intention and are there for a reason – regardless of what triggered their visit. And often times regardless of what you think their intention is. That’s why, it’s so important to understand those intentions so you can optimize for them. Perhaps your site navigation needs to be simplified. Or your homepage should have some different promotions. So by using Google Analytics to discover customer intent for your users, you’ll gain critical knowledge about your users. And you’ll get data showing where to optimize. Continue reading

Data Analysis

What are Users and Sessions in Google Analytics?

I do Google Analytics training sessions very often, and often for non-analysts. One of the questions that pop up most often is something that might seem basic for full time web analysts. Namely, just what are Users and Sessions? And what is the difference between Users and Sessions in Google Analytics? What do those metrics mean and how do Google Analytics track and count Users and Sessions?

Many people think Users are the same thing as people. Which – at its core – is wrong. Sessions are more easily understood. But the relationship between the two seems to be difficult to grasp for many. People who’ve been working with ecommerce for years also wonders whatever happened to good old metrics such as Unique Visitors and Visits. Not that they understand those two metrics any better.

So, in this post, I want to share the explanation I usually give in my training sessions and workshops. If you’re an analyst or consultant yourself, I hope this will make it easier for you to explain the whole Users vs. Sessions thingy to your colleagues. And if you work in Sales or Marketing and don’t consider yourself a Google Analytics expert, then I hope you’ll learn the definitions and differences here. Continue reading