What is customer experience analytics?

Many of our customers often ask what we mean when we say "In Page" web analytics, a term we coined several years ago, or in other words, what is customer experience analytics. In this post, we'll take a quick look at what In-Page analytics is, how it differs from other types of web analytics and why you need to use it.

What is Customer Experience Analytics?

Most web analytics solutions capture visitors landing on a web page and monitor their movement from page to page within a site. This is great for collecting quantitative information about your website traffic, with pageviews, number of visitors and time on page being the key metrics. However, this traditional approach to web analytics can't tell you much about what visitors do once inside these pages.

That's where In-Page analytics comes in. It focuses on what is customer experience inside these pages, recording everything from mouse moves and clicks to actual keystrokes. This gives a much more qualitative, almost intimate, view into what your visitors are focusing on and interacting with inside the pages themselves.


What are the key differences?

Although technically a form of web analytics, InPage analytics differs greatly from traditional analytics in a number of ways:

  Traditional Web analytics In-Page Analytics
Information collected Traffic based: Page transitions, traffic sources, predefined events Interaction based: Mouse movements, clicks, scrolls, etc...
Types of Reports Primarily statistical: Charts, graphs, spreadsheets Primarily visual: Visitor recordings, site overlays, heatmaps
Focus Quantitative data: Impersonal Qualitative data: Intimate
Key Performance Indicators Pageviews, pages per visitor, time on page, bounce rate Engagement time, scroll Reach, page hot-spots, content focus

Some Examples:

When running a campaign with a landing page:

Traditional analytics will tell you how many people came to your landing page and what pages they looked at. InPage analytics will tell you how they engaged with the page, what content they looked at, and what elements they interacted with.

When optimizing an online form:

Traditional analytics will tell you how many people successfully completed or dropped out of the form. InPage analytics will tell you at which fields within the form customers drop out, how much time they spent filling in each field, which fields they left blank, etc...

When analyzing a conversion funnel:

Traditional analytics will tell you where people drop out of the funnel. InPage analytics will visually show you what visitors did within the page, so you can gain insight into why they left.

Traditional web analytics reports (left) vs. In-Page Analytics (right)


Types of In-Page Analytics Reports

There are four main categories of InPage Analytics reports. From the most qualitative to most quantitative these are:

  1. Session Playback: Actual playable recordings of visitors browsing your website. A must for improving website usability and discovering why customers fall out of funnels.
  2. Visual Heatmaps: Aggregated reports of visitor engagement inside the page. Heatmaps show what parts of a page are looked at, clicked on, focused on and interacted with by visitors. These are essential for creating persuasive design and understand your customers' interests.
  3. Site Overlays: Statistical data overlaid on top of the page content. Site Overlays are used to evaluate web links, call to action buttons and visitor navigation.
  4. InPage Statistics: Purely quantitative data such as engagement time, scroll reach, fold height, etc. Often used as KPIs and for analyzing page performance.


When and how to use In-Page Analytics

In-Page analytics can and should be used in every step of a website's product cycle - from design, development and testing, all the way to ongoing site optimization. How to use it, however, varies greatly depending on the objective of your site and each individual page.

As with any web analytics project, always define what you are looking to find before you begin. Clearly stating your website's objective(s), both from your point of view and your visitors', is crucial before embarking on any web analytics project.

With In Page analytics, you should define these objectives based on what is your customers' experience on your site. Ask questions such as:

  • "How easy was my site for visitors to use?"
  • "Did my visitors find what they were looking for?"
  • "Were there any usability or navigational issues?"
  • "Were my visitors ABLE to convert?"

And NOT:

  • "How much traffic do I have?"
  • "How many of my visitors converted?"

How to measure success

For starters, you need to define your KPIs by each page's objective. For example:

If you have an ecommerce website, your performance can be defined by how many visitors saw your call to action buttons, read product descriptions or were able to find the product they were looking for. Within product pages, how many people were able to find the "add to cart" button, and within your checkout form, how many people were able to quickly and easily purchase a product.

See for example the Trainline Case study.

If you have a content rich blog or news site, you'll want to look at heatmaps to find out which headlines and images grabbed your visitors' attention, what paragraphs get the most interest and what articles are actually being read as opposed to simply scrolled though. A "successful" article would be one with high engagement times and long, consistent scroll rates.

Whatever your site, In Page analytics lets you peek into the subconscious minds of your visitors and learn what is customer experience on your site. This takes a substantial amount of guesswork out of web design and testing, allowing you to build and optimize websites based on your visitors' actual In Page browsing behavior.


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