In our current day and age, data is all the rage. Business owners keep a close watch on their bottom lines, analyze statistics on worker productivity, and manage their schedules with meticulous precision to ensure that not even a minute is wasted. Naturally, this same obsession with data is carried over to digital advertising, where statistics like cost-per-click (CPC), bounce rate, and cost-per-action (CPA), are analyzed ad nauseum in order to derive insights to continue pushing performance in a positive direction.
Amidst this flurry of numbers, it is easy to lose sight of how your customers and prospects actually engage with your product or service. In the digital marketing world, the best option we have at our disposal to understand prospect behavior is site recording software. This is a tool, like Full Story (which we personally use), that enables you to review video recordings of what actions visitors took on your website. It’s privacy safe and anonymously records clicks & mouse movements of website visitors to understand the behaviors they take as they interact with your content. Through the use of this type of tool, we have solved a myriad of problems and uncovered a variety of opportunities that would have eluded us for weeks or months if our eyes were solely focused on the marketing data alone.
Here are the top three examples in which we have used video recording software to better understand the on-site behavior of our clients’ customers:
1) Diagnosing a Google Analytics Tracking Issue
1,000’s of clicks. 0 sessions. We were totally baffled as to why Google Analytics was reporting that users were engaging with our clients’ Search ads but not making it to their actual website. We confirmed that the URLs on the ads were properly set, that the client’s site was functioning fine, that UTM parameters were applied to all ads (UTMs are pieces of tracking code that send data to Google Analytics) and that our ads were serving. It wasn’t until we reviewed the video recordings on Full Story that the issue became clear: our client was using a redirect on their site, which was causing our UTM parameters to get stripped and negated.
This meant that every time a user hit the landing page, a URL like:
would be immediately converted to:
By doing so, the URL was stripped of the tracking parameters necessary for Google Analytics to track the user, making it appear that they had never made it to our client’s site. Once we identified the issue at hand, we were able to remove the redirect and our Google Analytics clicks matched our session count moving forward. As a result of this fix, our client now had reliable site data with which to work, enabling them to make better marketing decisions for their business.
2) Form Submission Problems
We had just launched a campaign for a client of ours, who was attempting to get buyers in foreign countries interested in U.S. real estate deals. The first few days saw a ton of traffic to their landing page, but no conversions. Since we had had a few hundred clicks at this point, we assumed something was amiss, so we applied Full Story to our landing page. After watching a few recordings days later, the problem became glaringly apparent: users were unable to submit our form due to an unknown default setting. The platform we had designed the form in, Unbounce, has a default setting on the “Phone Number” field where you can require that the submitted number is formatted as a ‘North American’ number. Since our clients were from outside of North America, they kept getting an error message when they entered their numbers and were never able to make it to the form ‘Submit’ button. Upon identifying the problem, we quickly corrected it and saw our first conversion come through the next morning, with many additional conversions coming through in the following days.
3) Users Out of Territory
One of our clients has a consignment and e-commerce startup that currently serves 2 U.S. markets. Since the business involves coming to your home or office and physically picking up the items, out-of-territory clients are a deal breaker and can’t be serviced. Our client knew from past experience that some % of traffic was from prospects who were out of territory, but he assumed that it was a negligible number of people and that they would immediately submit their info, see the prompt that ‘We are not currently serving your market’, and then leave. However, upon analyzing our Full Story recordings we noticed two interesting things:
1. The number of out of territory visitors was much higher than anticipated.
2. Many of these visitors were spending 3 or more minutes browsing the site before submitting their info and realizing that they couldn’t be served.
Based on this insight, we suggested that they adjust their Google organic listing (i.e. what someone sees on Google when they search your brand; not a paid aid) and second, that they change the header on their landing page to emphasize, ‘We specifically serve these two markets’, ensuring people would get the message and not waste time if they were out of territory. Consequently, we saw a drop in out of territory visitors in the following weeks, with those that did visit the site choosing to exit the site earlier.
As powerful as marketing analytics tools like Google Analytics can be, there are certain instances where a more comprehensive approach and view is required to identify potential issues and solve them before campaign performance, or even worse, user experience, is affected. At Stackmatix, we pride ourselves on exploring and staying up to date on all tool sets available to deliver our clientele with every available resource to ensure their campaigns are successful and profitable.
If you’re looking for this type of partner, Stackmatix could be your solution. From pre-seed to Series C, we aim to build integrated technology stacks that create consolidated data sets and analytics across all sales and marketing activities to maximize revenue and marketing return. Kick off an email thread at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free growth consultation to explore how we can help you to zero in your measurement and scale your business.