12 Sep 2017
Knowing what users are doing whilst they are on your website is absolute gold dust when it comes to succeeding at conversion rate optimization.
By finding out how users interact with your website, you can start to build insights into what works and what doesn’t.
One way of finding out how users actually use your website is by using user recordings.
User recordings let you watch users whilst they use your website.
Not in a weird way.
You are only to able to view their browser screen whilst they are on your website.
Sounds great right?
They are. And if this isn’t in your CRO toolkit, then they should be!
User recordings aren’t anything new. They’ve been around a while, but they used to be out of reach for most businesses due to a high price tag.
In recent years, the pricing has come down significantly and this brilliant tool is now much more affordable for users.
The primary purpose of user recordings is to find issues between a user and a website. But they can also be used to view user journeys and for user experience analysis.
Each recording shows a user’s session whilst they are using your website. So any issues that a user runs into, can be seen via a video recording.
This can really uncover game changing issues with websites.
The main thing to look for is friction between the user and the website.
Friction is one of the biggest conversion killers and by eliminating it as much as possible, should result in a better user-experience and higher conversion rates.
But, in order to get the most benefit from this tool, you need to have a plan.
There really isn’t any point watching 2000+ users using your website and hoping that you can just go and spot each issue.
Not only will you be wasting time, but you’ll be potentially making false assumptions.
The way that we at Conversion Hut will approach analyzing user recordings is by firstly deciding which device we’re going to be investigating (Desktop, Tablet or Mobile).
From our Quantitative Analysis, we’ll usually have found several pages that we feel could have potential issues on them.
So we’ll brew a fresh pot of coffee and start working through around 200 – 300 recordings of users using a particular page.
Always try to keep Google Analytics open in another window. Anything that you find from the recordings, see if you can back it up with actual data.
It’s important that the tool you decide to use allows you to segment recordings. Otherwise you are just looking at a load of videos of with no real meaning to them.
You should be able to segment your recordings by browser at the very least but a good tool will allow you to segment by :
*Optimizer Note – always make sure that you have a big enough data sample. There’s no point watching 1 video of a user abandoning your shopping cart and thinking that you need to redesign your entire checkout flow.
More advanced users may decide to fire the tag only on a particular page or when a certain event takes place.
The hardest part of getting something out of this technique is the time you will need to dedicate to viewing to the recordings. You’ll usually be able to speed the recordings up, but time will still be required to go through them all.
Be patient, it’s easy to lose concentration after watching large volumes of recordings. When watching the recordings at fast speeds, issues can easily be missed. The next big find could be right around the corner!
There’s a large number of companies which provide this as a service, we’ve put together a few of them here :
Because user recordings still relatively in their early stages, there is a lot of data to sift through without any automation at the moment. But we’re predicting that Artificial Intelligence will start to play a bigger part in the analysis of the recordings in the coming years.
As we are sure you’ll agree from this post, user recordings can provide a great deal of insights when you are optimizing a website.
If you strategically put in the work, you should be able to get some real juicy insights from them!
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