ClickTale

Watch internet users’ behaviour with ClickTale

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Israel based ClickTale provides a new service that bridges an important gap in the land of online statistic services. The service is in private beta for now but should be releasing soon. Until then you can register for an invitation at ClickTale.com We had the chance to get an exclusive private preview.

If you are a site owner, understanding your users is a primary concern to optimize the usability of your online service. Most statistic services, whether user centric (eg NielsenNetRatings) network centric (eg HitWise) or site centric (eg Omniture for websites and SiteMeter, Performancing, Mint or BlogBeat for Blogs), will generate very thorough reports on page views, inbound and outbound links, time spent, visitors profile and origins as well as most clicked links and other parameters. In some cases (Eyetracking, Google Analytics and MeasureMap) they will even generate “heat zones” of most watched or clicked areas. But no one, as far as I know, is able to explain precisely the dynamic behavior of an internet user on a given web page (think mouse gestures, dynamic browsing,…).

ClickTale, who claims that “every user has a story”, will solve that issue by offering to any website or blog owner the possibility of viewing in a movie individual browsing sessions (watch an example here).

Unlike traditional web analytics that produce only pure statistics, ClickTale gives webmasters the ability to watch movies of users’ individual browsing sessions. Every mouse movement, every click and every keystroke are recorded for convenient playback. With ClickTale, webmasters can improve website usability, enhance navigation, and increase website effectiveness.

Just as a store manager visually monitors his customers’ shopping habits, ClickTale gives website owners the ability to watch their visitors browsing habits.

But that would not be so much helpful if that raw data could not be analyzed and digested. Especially for highly visited websites. I would certainly be excited by the first 50 videos but would quickly get bored after a while, and worse, could not even learn from those tens of thousands of video sessions. So, the company has also designed the statistics tools to draw conclusions from all that rich data.

In addition to movies, ClickTale provides a unique set of statistics that address important usability questions. For example, the “Percent of Page Viewed” statistic can answer “how much of the webpage did users see and how often did they scroll to the webpage’s bottom?” and the “Active Browsing Time” statistic can answer “how long did users actively browse a webpage, as opposed to just having an open inactive browser?” And there is much, much more…

In a close future ClickTale will even include new analytical capabilities that will aggregate millions of customer’s recordings providing them with a unique global perspective and help you better understand behaviors of your users to improve your site.

The interesting point is that this service will be made available to everyone and not only to big corporations greedy in user stats. ClickTale is a hosted service, so no installation is needed on the server-side or client-side and setup takes only a few minutes. Webmasters add a small piece of javascript code to their webpages. The javascript collects browsing data and transmits it to the ClickTale servers for processing. ClickTale creates movies of browsing sessions almost instantaneously and webmasters can log-in securely at anytime to view these movies. This point is important: Indeed the technology is site centric, meaning not based on a panel of users but on the site total active user base.

Privacy is a high concern addressed by ClickTale. Only authorized website personnel can watch their website’s recordings. No activity is recorded outside of the webpage: no personal files, no internet history, no interactions with locally installed software, and users are not tracked between websites. Inside the webpage, passwords are never recorded.

I think ClickTale can be a good complement to existing statistics services as they will help understanding dynamic behaviors, in particular if they are able to aggregate raw data in a more digestible way. No precision yet on the business model, but we can assume that part of this service will go premium. More information on their blog.

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