Types of User Behavior to Track on Your Website

Updated: Mar 2

Two people discussing a website layout.

The key to improving user behavior is giving them what they want. But how will you know what your users like? One way is to ask them directly - read the comments they leave on your website or ask them to fill out a questionnaire. But not everyone will have the time, energy, or desire to do that. So what you can do instead is take a look at what people are doing when they visit your website. There are different types of user behavior to track on your website, revealing what's working well and what needs improvement. So what should you focus on?

Why should you track user behavior on your website?

When you create a website, you don't do it for yourself; you do it for others - so they can learn more about your business, purchase your products or read your blog. So your users' experience should be your priority. And the best way to get a good measure of user experience is to know what your users are actually doing on your website. Tracking user behavior will tell you who your users are, where they come from, what they do on your website, and what makes them leave. It's a way to get an honest and unbiased review of your website, both what's good about it and what needs work.

What type of user behavior to track on your website

You can track almost any type of behavior on a website - how people find it, what pages they spend time on, which links they click, and more. In an ideal world, you'd want to know absolutely everything about your users. After all, knowing more about your users will make it easier for you to tailor your content and your marketing to them, especially when you're just getting started with online marketing and don't have a good grasp of who your customers are. But that's a lot of information to keep track of, so you should probably focus on the most revealing user behavior.

#1: Why do people visit your website?

One of the most important things to know is how people get to your website in the first place. Do they know your URL and simply type it in, or do they Google your brand name instead? Do they Google something related to the goods and services you offer and find you that way? Or do they perhaps follow a link on a different website? Or maybe they find you through social media instead? It is essential to know where most of your traffic is coming from. That way, you can identify which aspects of your online marketing are working and which you need to improve. If, for example, you're getting a lot of hits from Google but none from social media, you can assume that your SEO is on point, but your social media engagement is lacking.

#2: Why do people leave your website?

Getting people to visit your website is only the first step. You also want them to spend some time browsing your products, engage with your content, and hopefully become your customers. Unfortunately, that's not always how it goes. It is, in fact, quite possible and even common to be able to attract a lot of visitors but to struggle with keeping them interested. If you notice that your website has high abandonment and low conversion rates, this is something worth investigating.

You should look for clues as to why users leave the website quickly and without converting. Some level of abandonment is typical, and you can't convert everyone. But if most of your visitors leave as soon as they open the homepage, that's a major red flag. It could indicate that your website is too slow to load or too complicated to navigate. The solutions to this are simple: to make your website more user-friendly, you need to speed up your homepage and make it easy to use. But before you can implement those solutions, you must identify the problem. And that is precisely why you should track what makes users leave, which pages they abandon, how quickly, etc.

#3: What type of content do people respond to?

It's just as important to know what you're doing right as it is to know where you're making mistakes. After all, you need to understand what your users like in order to continue doing it. So keep an eye out for high-performing pages, posts that get many hits, parts of the website that people spend the most time on, and popups that convert the most visitors. These will tell you what users respond to and what you need more of.

#4: What makes visitors convert?

Arguably the most important thing for the growth of your business is converting users into customers. There are various strategies to do this, with the most effective ones usually being giveaways, discounts, and exclusive content. But which one of those will work for your target audience? Will your visitors prefer an offer listed on the homepage or showing up in a popup ad? Or do your users respond better to email campaigns? These are things you need to find out. Once you've gotten them to subscribe or make their first purchase, you can use or online presence to keep them coming back. But first, you should figure out what path your customers take from finding your page to purchasing something. Then, focus on the techniques and strategies that work best to maximize sales.