The Top 4 Tools to Understand Website Visitors

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April 10, 2024

If you’re responsible for your company’s website, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about your website’s visitors. What they’re looking for, how they found your website, and definitely whether they’ll become leads or customers. It’s not an easy job, but some tools can make it easier. 

At Hivehouse Digital, we’ve tried just about every digital marketing tool and app under the sun. Some are great, some not so much. The following four have been stamped with our seal of approval. Every day, our team is using these tools to improve website experiences and drive real digital marketing results. Here’s why we love ‘em and why you should use ‘em. 

Google Analytics

If you’re a marketing manager or business owner dipping your toes into your company’s digital marketing, Google Analytics is the place to start. It provides essential data like the number of visitors over time, how many of those are returning or new visitors, where they came from, whether they are converting into leads, and just about everything else you could glean from an anonymous website visitor. 

Outside of raw data, Google Analytics can also provide reports that can be linked to other assets on your website. You can track how much revenue your website is generating, the value of each visitor, and more. 

Google Analytics is also great for looking at the overall trends of your website. Is the number of visitors trending up or down over the past 6 months? Have external factors affected your typical visitor amount?

All of these questions can be answered, assuming you know how to navigate Google Analytics. It’s a beast, and the sheer amount of information can be a tad overwhelming. Luckily, Google offers certification for taking their free training

Overall, Google Analytics is a core tool for any digital marketing leader and one of the first resources we use to understand a website’s visitors.  

Hotjar

Hotjar is a subscription-based tool (with a free version) that tracks how far visitors are scrolling pages, where they are clicking, and even whether they’re smashing their mouse in frustration (sort of.) 

Our favorite feature in Hotjar is the Heatmap. Heatmaps can be configured to show where users click, how far they scroll, and the most used areas of every web page on your site. They show this activity from the past 24 hours, all the way to many years prior, depending on when you started using Hotjar. 

Here’s a Heatmap of clicks on our homepage over the last 3 months.

screenshot of the hivehouse digital homepage in hotjar

True to its name, Heatmap activity is represented by an overlay that looks like thermal vision goggles or how the Predator sees Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead of fictional military veterans, Heatmap allows you to see which areas of your webpage are getting the most love. From this Heatmap, we can quickly tell that our Our Services and Search buttons are receiving the most activity, while we may want to rethink our Book a Discovery call to action

And that’s the beauty of HotJar and its Heatmaps, they quickly compile a ton of data into an easily digestible graphic. From there you can make changes to optimize your website and visitor experience. 

Hotjar’s capabilities go beyond just its heatmaps, though. It can show you full replays of a visitor’s mouse movements on your website — see where they get frustrated or which areas they focus on. Seeing how a user browses your website can give you experiential data that can help support what your larger datasets are telling you. 

Hotjar also gives you all of the typical website data goodies, total sessions, average session duration, pages visited, where your visitors are coming from, etc.

Google Search Console

While Google Analytics is all about your website’s overall performance, Google Search Console is focused on your website’s performance on Google. Since Google Search drives somewhere around 93% of all internet traffic, it’s important to understand how our great search engine overlord views your website. 

Google Search Console will show important search results like how many times your website gets a click, how many times it showed up in results, the type of keywords and queries you’re showing up for, and more. 

While it covers less information than Google Analytics, it’s valuable for those companies interested in inbound marketing and SEO.

Semrush

Speaking of inbound marketing, if you’d like to dive even deeper into SEO and attract more visitors, try Semrush

Semrush is a robust tool that lets you analyze just about anything you can think of regarding your website’s SEO — where you rank on search results, the SEO-friendliness of your website, critical backend issues that could be affecting your rankings, and more data that real SEO-junkies can leverage to create a website that attracts more visitors. And more importantly, visitors that are actually interested in what your company is doing. 

Let Hivehouse Analyze Your Website

Digital marketing takes time. And a lot of expertise. At Hivehouse Digital, we’ve been building websites and marketing B2B companies for over 12 years. Interested in finding out what your users are doing on your website and how to improve their experience? Schedule a quick chat today! 

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