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5 Ways Website Visitor Recording Will Help You Understand What’s Truly Happening in a Website

by    |    May 18, 2019    |       4 min read

Gaining adequate insight into what is really going on under the hood of the website you consider for purchase means going beyond sheer numbers that often swamp you when using analytical tools. Visualization of analytical data is not a mere buzzword today, as it provides an intuitive way with which you can study the behavior of visitors that come to the website that you have been planning to turn into a profitable endeavor. And what can be more hands-on and immediate than seeing such a website with the visitor’s eyes, making it possible for you to track their entire user’s journey and user experience as a whole? Do not miss out on the potential of website visitor recording.

Visitor Recording as a Visual Troubleshooting Tool

n a nutshell, website visitor recording is the ability to record, replay and observe sessions of individual visitors to a website. This activity is nowadays recognized under numerous varying names, including “session replay”, “visitor behavior analytics” and others. In any case, all of these have to do with the feature that allows you to track clicks and mouse movements made by the user in order to determine their manner of interaction with the website you evaluate for buying. Together with increasingly popular heatmaps, this allows for studying the way in which visitors browse through each page and on which they spend most of their time. Naturally, you do not want to see that they spend most of their time trying to find their way through crammed content, squishing technical bugs or navigating unintuitively placed buttons. That’s where the website visitor recording steps in as a visual way to trace various issues with the site itself, while simultaneously offering insight into its commercial potential.

Most Natural Way to Get into the Visitor’s Mind

Since the visitors are the “meat” in the meat-and-potatoes of website evaluation business, getting into their minds can be an invaluable resource in performing due diligence of the website of your interest. Even better, all of this is made possible in a fully “natural” environment, as the users you observe are not formally engaged in any type of formal experiment. You can observe them at their most relaxed manner of interaction with the website. Recording tools provide raw insights into the site’s visitors’ behavior, unlike artificial testing environments, such as polls and tests, can provide. This is confirmed by various experts in the field, who also see visitor recording as a way to avoid confirmation bias in studying visitor behavior patterns. The reasons for this are the occasional discrepancies between what visitors claim in these researches to what they actually do in real life. Consequently, website visitor recording is one of the best ways to discover the authentic synergy they achieve with the website you’re looking to buy. That way, it helps you streamline the decision-making process.

heatmap on screen

Source: Dribble

Evaluating Conversion Rate Optimization Potential

Another way in which visitor recording may help you in website assessment is by allowing you to evaluate its conversion rate optimization (CRO) potential, as it is today’s essential marketing metric. Gathering all data offered by basic web analytical tools is only one side of the coin that involves the assessment of this parameter since most of them help you identify the issues without necessarily giving you answers as per why they emerged in the first place. Visitor recordings can give you a hands-on overview of the stumbling blocks visitors encounter on their path of conversion, as well as of the way in which they strive to overcome them. Meaningful assessment of the website’s CRO potential by means of visitor recording tools can help you with determining its authentic value, as well as with planning for its potential post-purchase improvements.

Why Are They Leaving?

In the age when people evaluate websites in a manner that puts a proverbial goldfish above humans, the ability to put yourself in their shoes can be an essential tool in approaching site assessment and its due diligence. Visitor recording helps you keep an ever-vigilant eye on the site’s basic functionality and design which can figure highly in your evaluation of its potential. Watching video replays of the users’ sessions on the website makes it possible to determine the sources of their frustration which leads them to hit the dreaded “leave” button. No matter if these are problematic fields that take too long to complete, crammed sign-up forms or unnoticeable CTA buttons, you’ll want to check the website’s navigational and functional capabilities before you pull out your wallet.

Streamlining the Buyer’s Experience

Talking about wallets, visitor recording allows you to study how often and why visitors actually use theirs, especially if you are evaluating an e-commerce website. This is particularly useful when analyzing the percentage of users who complete their checkouts properly. Having a high number of early quitters means that it can be highly useful to get recordings of the way the visitors interact with their shopping carts. That way you may determine if they quit due to prolonged order processing, confusedly placed fields, poorly visible error notifications or some other reason. The starting point for this investigation can be user reviews that can serve as leads in your session replay investigation of what went wrong with checkout proceedings. Their playback capacity helps you identify issues with the website you evaluate for purchase, particularly if you are focused on its future monetization.

heatmap illustration

Source: SessionCam


In the end, it is easy to see why visitor recording provides numerous ways to determine the holistic interaction between the visitors and the website you assess for acquisition. It offers vital insight into what drives visitors while they stay on the site, helping you identify key problems in its functionality and design, conversion rate optimization potential, quitting patterns and shopping behavior. Most importantly, your evaluation of this interaction can be performed in the most natural setting possible, as the visitors engage in it outside of the context of artificial test and poll environments. Understanding the site’s audience via visitor recording tools means that you can plan your potential site purchase more studiously by making a better-informed decision on its true potential. At the same time, visitor recording makes it possible for you to gain valuable preliminary insights that may drive your future strategy of establishing fruitful and profitable interaction with the site’s audience.

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