On the world wide web, with billions of websites, it can be super tiring to find proper content. We can even imagine the plight of people running these websites!
For them, each day is a fight in the Colosseum of the Internet. All websites trying to maximize their views, visitors, engagement and such juicy stats. So, how do they improve these stats? And, how to determine these stats in the first place?
Well, if you want to know how these website stats are tracked, which ones are useful, which ones to increase, and which ones to decrease, there are lots of articles you can find on the Internet.
For this review, we are merely concerned about how to obtain these stats. Well, the best way is to use a website’s own tracking features. If you are using a comprehensive website maker, you will be given some form of website analytics tool inside it.
Such a Website Analytics Tool helps a user to find out the stats on his website like the number of views, visitors, bounce rate, click rates, engagement time, heatmap, and many such analytics related data. Let us see how we can do all that with the help of one such website analytics tool.
- Straight forward UI with minimal learning requirements. The free trial version won’t require a credit card.
- It is focused on qualitative analysis of the website.
- It has lots of integrations from popular products like Wix, Shopify, Drupal, Weebly, Slack, etc.
- We can record the live activity of visitors. It can also be made to follow a specific customer.
- Heatmaps feature helps find the most engaging area of your page, be it order now button or thumbs down.
- We can generate certain events to monitor certain engagement activities of visitors with forms, surveys, orders placed, etc.
- Monitor the conversion rate of visitors with Funnels. It gives full details about the tracked event.
- It isn’t like an exhaustive traffic analytics tool. Limited on tracking certain events.
- The knowledge base needs to be updated for many detailed guides.
- The raw stats related to other website analytics data are missing.
- The heatmaps must provide options for lower visitor counts like 500, 300, etc.
- The trial version lacks the consent settings for EU visitors.
Learning about Smartlook and its Installation
Well, as alleged before, as one of the top site analytics tools, we have Smartlook on our hands to review.
Coming from Brno, Czech Republic, Smartlook is pretty new in the market. It was launched very recently in February 2016. Even then, they have gained a lot of attention from many prominent users.
It is operated by Smartsupp.com, which also offers a live-chat product for your website. They use a script similar to Google Analytics for tracking a website and its visitors. The best part is that visitor data they collect is encrypted via AES-256 bit encryption.
Since the website is focused towards analytics, in this review, we will check what kind of data we will be able to retrieve from their site.
As advertised by them, they offer qualitative analytics for websites as well as mobile apps. Yes! Their product also covers mobile applications. Currently, more than 200k websites and mobile apps combined are using their services.
It was only a recent occurrence when they started the mobile app analytics in 2018. Few of the branded customers of Smartlook are O2, Hyundai, Kiwi.com, etc. Their analytics revolves more around visitor interactions.
Smartlook has some unique features that determine last visitor action on website/app, event tracking for visitors, conversion funnels, heat maps giving information on click positions/ scrolls, and similar interactions within a page.
There is a lot of customization in what we can record about a visitor and what we cannot, which we will review later on. For now, we can skip it and see how we can setup Smartlook on our devices, or is it too tough to handle.
Installing Smartlook in your Website/Application
The entire process to setup Smartlook is for rookies. But, it would be better if you knew basic HTML. Since we may need to install specific scripts from time to time on our website, it would be just better to learn it.
Now, how does installing scripts works? Is Smartlook too challenging to integrate? For such queries, we can examine all of them here.
The first step after you have logged into your account is to look for a notification. This pop-up is especially shown for new accounts, as well as the ones who haven’t set any projects yet.
The script has to be placed between the head tag. Just go to your site editor. From there, copy the code given by Smartlook. Now, turn ON the HTML code editor of your website and then place the code in between <head> tags.
Save the changes in the scripts and now visit that page to verify. This is the most basic way of installing a tracking script on your website. The good part here is that even if you do not know HTML coding, this step is a no brainer and takes only a few seconds.
There are few methods too, using which we can install Smartlook on our websites. One of them is a direct plugin-based install. Popular sites like WordPress.com come with tons of plugins, among which Smartlook Tracker is one of them.
We can just head to the plugin section of our site, search for the plugin and then simply install it. Login into the Smartlook account and voila! Your website is now ready to be tracked.
There is one more method named NPM, used by advanced Java Programmers. All in all, the process is not that hard to learn and execute.
With this, we move to the Smartlook interface and see what data we can get about the site visitors and how it affects our website.
Reviewing Smartlook’s Interface and its Functions
Now that we have chosen a project and installed our script on the site, we can safely move to the dashboard of Smartlook.
There are some crucial tabs given in the navigation bar on the top of its UI. The leading five panels we see in this UI are Dashboard, Recordings, Heatmaps, Events, and Funnels.
Each of these sections is a part of exclusive functions accessible in Smartlook.
Smartlook’s Main Dashboard
In any console, exhibiting the most suitable as well as recent data regarding the visitors is a must. We can add more things to it, like checking the most used page, heatmaps, active links, and many more data.
Like any other tool for website analytics, Smartlook also gives a few crucial data on the first page. This data is collected as per the current month’s visitors.
It will also display active visitors as well as the number of page-clicks. There is a plus sign just below these basic stats. It allows the admins to add more options they want to see in the main panel.
These options were quite common, like in most website analytics tools. Although, you won’t find too many detailed raw data as we see in tools like Clicky, StatCounter, etc.
Overall, Smartlook is meant for elementary and quantitative website analytics. It may depend on future updates if they decide to include extensive raw data like the above products. For now, we have to suffice in current gears.
You can even view analytics data regarding top visited pages, as well as most visited countries. You can also view exit page data and even get information regarding the conversion rates.
All in all, this data is adequate, as revealed in the goals that Smartlook has marketed. Tools like Clicky, CleverTap, StatCounter, etc. have a much better dashboard with more raw data.
But still, the data we can configure here is impressive. Moving on, let us see the core three features of Smartlook.
Record Live Activity of Visitors with Recordings
With so many visitors going in and out of our website, it can be an annoyance to get complete details of their activities on the site. For that, we need to rely on the raw data like the number of clicks, most used links, links with most bounce rates, and so on.
Is there any other way to know more about visitor activities? Well, there is one way. If we are unable to understand much from the direct data given to us by Smartlook, we can choose to pick something more natural to grasp.
For that, how about seeing a video instead of raw data to analyze facts? Yes! We can now make videos of the activities a visitor does on our website, and even see them live.
To access it, just go to the Recording Section of this web analytics tool. In the recordings section, they have presented the website monitoring in a unique form, i.e. via live videos.
You can choose from the list of all visitors, active sessions, new or returning visitors. They have already given some sample videos for you to see. Of these samples, we can distinguish that they record even minute details like mouse clicks, hovering, right clicks, and many such things.
Let us see a recorded video and understand the details it can provide. Click a video from the list of all videos except the sample ones.
In the videos section, there is crucial information related to the visitors shown like the IP address of the visitor, a video section in the center of the interface, date/time and duration of interactions, etc.
There are arrow buttons on the top to switch from one recording to another. On the top right corner, we can view the OS used, browser details, and screen size.
The video player is optimized as per the website recordings. There are buttons like fast-forwarding and replay, as we see in regular video players.
The video player has even included small arrow icons on the player. These icons are indicators to recognize where the visitor has clicked. We can add notes too for a particular recording.
Overall, it is a nice feature. It gives us an insight into what the visitors do, how they behave on particular links, and many such minutiae. It is a unique feature for website analytics tools.
In our testing, Smartlook’s Recording feature worked like its expectation. We could see the live movement of the visitors on the page and their mouse clicks too.
You can even save these videos. For dedicated visitors, they have offered a database management system that allows information like email ID, name, IP, etc. for desired visitors.
We can even set alerts next time the same person comes on our website. Amazing, isn’t it! It is better that you experience it yourself to learn more about it. From our side, Smartlook has done an excellent job with this feature.
Checking the Heatmaps of your Websites
One of the critical portions in the process of learning information about the visitors, is their activities on your website. Getting a generalized idea of the clicks and most used links on your pages will allow us to modify our site content accordingly.
Heatmap is one feature in Smartlook that gives us an idea of these things. The heatmap provides information like a climate map. The areas which are in red are the most clicked ones.
Not only the heatmap from desktop visitors, but you can also view the heatmap for other devices like tablets and mobile phones. There is a drop-down menu too, which shows the list of pages in this heatmap tab. To set up a heatmap for a page on your site is simple.
Go to the Heatmap Tab from the top navigation bar. From here, select the option new heatmap. In the next pop-up, you will have to input further details for the assessment.
First, you need to input the URL of the website or a particular web-page. After that, insert some notations for that heatmap test.
In the advanced settings, we can adjust the parameters of a heatmap based on the exact domain match, or roundabout match. Next, you have to pick the heatmap precision level.
The precision level is based on the number of visitors on the site. The more visitor sample in the test, the better and accurate results we get.
There are only three views set here viz., 1000, 3000, and 10k views. Based on the number of visitors, you can pick one of them to generate a heatmap. It would have been better if Smartlook permitted us to check the heatmaps for sites with lower visitor ratings.
Currently, fulfilling the 1000 views is indeed troublesome work. Maybe adding options for 500 and 200 views will also allow the users to see the heatmap data quickly. Although the sample size will be too low to be deemed accurate, it will be suited for low-end users.
Once the test sample size is met, the results can be viewed anytime. If you have even decent website traffic, fulfilling it won’t be an issue. From the heatmap info, we can also know the percentage use of particular links on the page.
This can be useful in case of an E-commerce site like knowing how many people clicked on the buy link of a product and how many switched to other products in the recommended product below.
Such information is useful and can help significantly in optimizing the website and even change the entire trend of the site. The information about the click, mouse movements, and scrolls can be viewed too.
There is an ellipsis symbol on the side that has options to look into detailed specifics of the heatmap. We can even generate a unique link for these heatmaps and share it with others.
Overall, the entire process is rewarding, as well as beginner-friendly. It may take a while to generate the heatmaps, and so you will need to be patient. Also, it is better to get data finished in an organic way to get more practical perspective of the generated heatmaps.
Tracking Events in Smartlook
We have gone through a few of the crucial tracking features like visitor tracking, heatmaps, URL used, and so on. The next target that Smartlook helps us monitor is the Events.
The Events here simply mean a simple activity or interaction with any of the site’s elements. Out of numerous aspects of the site, we want our visitors to follow a specific pattern only.
This can be anything like filling forms, checking the search fields, clicking on particular buttons, or links. All of them can be configured to be events and be monitored using the Events Tracker.
This is to track a particular script or certain events precisely. This event tracker certainly needs to be explored, as it sounds fun.
Well, fence to the Events tab from the top menu. From there, we will move to the event tracker panel. In this panel, we can view the statistics of all the tasks we have allotted to be monitored.
From the drop-down menu above, pick an event you want to see the data of. Let us learn to add these events first. After that, it will be easier to understand the stats seen here.
From the Add New Event button, we can add any number of sites for monitoring. There are five main things allowed to be added as events in Smartlook.
These are all crucial. It includes monitoring visited URLs, specific clicks, interaction with any scripts, typing, and lastly, the union of all these. To our surprise, there are already two preset click-trackers given by them.
After setting them up, it becomes a piece of cake to monitor events precisely. Every time someone will fill a form on your site, or take part in the survey, or just use the feedback form, you will be able to get exact stats about their engagement.
Overall, this is another exhilarating feature given by Smartlook. Be sure to try it out in the trial version.
Managing the Conversion Rates with Funnels
As we have seen from the above examples, it is not that big deal to get the data about the visitors and their actions on your website.
The vital task is to know if the current new visitors are converted into loyal ones or not. After all, that is one of the goals of every website owner; to gather more dedicated visitors.
From modest bloggers to E-commerce sites, all of them want you to be spending more time on their website. Sellers want you to push that order button. Video marketers want you to finish playing the entire video. All of such actions regulate the fate of the respective websites.
For supervising all of these, we can use Funnels in Smartlook. So, what are these funnels?
Just like we walk on a staircase, step by step to reach up; here too, there are certain processes/steps that users need to take in order to accomplish a particular goal.
For example, if someone needs to order a product from your site, he will need to go through steps like login into his account, going to a product page, adding it to the cart, click the checkout button, and so on.
Out of the series of these steps, the visitor is likely to quit at any of the stages. Maybe he changed the mind, so he left before payment, or he went back to the product page and added more items, changed the current item, didn’t repurchase the product after payment error, etc.
Making Funnels for such steps in Smartlook allows site-admins to precisely find out which actions had most engagement while which ones made visitors quit. It can be a game-changer and a direct insight, especially for an E-commerce site.
The steps to produce Funnels are uncomplicated. The only mandatory requirement is to set up events first. As we have explained in the above section about events, you need to create a series of events you want to be tracked.
After that, go to the Funnels Tab and create a new funnel. The setup will ask to input the sequence of events to be monitored. Once done, it will return the data to Smartlook, which will be accessible in multiple forms to the site admins.
The funnel data is really discreet. The percentage number over each bar graph shows dropout rates, whereas the percentage over the top of this graph shows the net conversion rates.
The graphs are arranged in the same manner as the funnel was made. We can even watch the recorded videos of the dropout visitors. There is a drop-down button over this graph to quickly switch between various funnels. The entire data can be sorted based on dates.
All in all, Smartlook once again has delivered a fascinating feature to play with. With this, we will end the list of core things we can do in Smartlook. As seen from the sections above, we can observe that the setup is designed towards aiding E-commerce websites.
Smartlook has indeed managed to bring excitement in our review. Our initial expectation of it was more centric to sites like Clicky, StatCounter, etc. but it is way too different than those sites.
Smartlook, instead of giving all the raw data of a site, focuses more on getting info about a series of events and visitor interactions in them. This becomes more obvious if you use it for an E-commerce website.
All the features of Smartlook were working great. We could see the real-time data as live recordings too. The data in the events and funnels were getting updated fast.
We can add as many projects for monitoring different sites. Also, the trial version has only minuscule restrictions, so it might not trouble you in assessing the product thoroughly.
The best part of using Smartlook is its compliance with privacy organizations like GDPR, policy for EU like DPA, and so. There are different consent settings for EU and non-EU visitors. These settings for EU users are only allowed in the paid plan. You can read full privacy details on their website.
Now, for the recommendation part, we’d say that Smartlook is indeed worth a try. Even though it is relatively new in the market, it still has so many potential features to be explored. The pricing also seems quite feasible. It can become your one-stop solution for all the qualitative and quantitative analytics if your website.