A Peeping Tom Tool For Webmasters

You might remember hearing about Winning the Web‘s contest wherein one of the top prizes was a paid review on John Chow dot Com. Well, the winner of that review is Ron from dotdriven.com and he’s decided to cash in his review by promoting ClickTale, an online service that records every action of your site’s visitors.

More Than Just Metrics

There are a lot of stats for bloggers and webmasters to keep track of. We want to know where website traffic is coming from, what keywords are driving them our way, how many unique visitors we’re getting, and so forth. All of these numbers are important, of course, but they fail to measure exactly what your site’s visitors are doing while surfing your blog or website. Yes, you can track page views, but you fail to observe their actual surfing patterns.

tryclicktale-threesteps.jpg

That’s where ClickTale comes into play. The main service that they offer is the ability to create “movies of visitors’ every mouse movement, every click and every scrolling action.” In a nutshell, you’re shown a video of what a single visitor did while they were on your site, from scrolling down the page to clicking on your affiliate links. It’s actually pretty neat and gives you an “inside look”, as it were, into the minds of your visitors. They are real people, after all, and not just numbers on a graph.

Generating and Implementing the Script

When you start a new project in ClickTale, you will be presented with a simple form to fill. Although it may look like you have more options available to you, the only variable is the percentage of website visitors you would like to record. If you have a relatively low level of traffic, you can probably get away with 100% recording, but if you’ve got John Chow dot Com kind of traffic, you might want to dial it down.

tryclicktale-newproject.jpg

You might be wondering why you wouldn’t want to record 100% of your traffic anyways. Well, that’s because not all of ClickTale’s services are free. There are four pricing plans and only one of which won’t cost you a penny. The free plan gives you 100 recordings each week and a maximum of two domains. The personal, standard, and professional plans are $19, $49, and $99 a month, respectively.

tryclicktale-pricing.jpg

After setting up your project, there is a screen where you can pick up the Javascript for implementation onto your website. There are two parts to this script: the first goes right after the opening <BODY> tag (if you’re using WordPress, this should be in your header.php file), and the second goes just before the closing </BODY> tag (should be in footer.php). The first recording should come in within a few minutes of implementing the code.

Voyeurism: Dot Com Mogul Style

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m invading on the privacy of my visitors when I watch the videos of their surfing habits, especially since they don’t know that I’m doing it. Even so, the ClickTale movie tool is very useful, because it lets you see what a real visitor is doing on your site. I set up the code for my fighting games blog and learned that visitors typically don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of a page. I guess that makes sense.

tryclicktale-movie.jpg

There are a handful of options and tidbits of information for you to enjoy about each and every visitor that’s recorded. For starters, you see what country they’re in, how long they stayed, where they came from, what page they arrived at first, and exactly where they clicked on your site (it records left, right, and center mouse button clicks). You can watch the video in real-time or accelerate it up to 10x.

Beyond the Videos

The above-described videos are the main product offered by ClickTale, but there are also ClickTale Heatmaps (included with your account) that show you how much time people spend on each portion of your site. As you collect more data from more visitors, this information becomes a little more accurate and more reliable. Using these two tools in tandem, I can definitely see some value in ClickTale. There’s no harm in giving the free account a whirl. Heck, there’s even an affiliate program!

Click Here To Sign Up For ClickTale


66 thoughts on “A Peeping Tom Tool For Webmasters”

  1. Kolby Bothe says:

    Wow, very nice! 🙂

    1. hmm interesting – but this guy ron did a good choice on promoting a very good service, smart move on his part – nice for a good choice of review me for the public earning him some income as well!

      congrats ron

      1. This is very reminiscent of CrazyEgg. Dunno what it is about it but I can’t stop thinking “CLONE” even though the service itself is different in the sense it focuses on mouse interaction with a page.

        Maybe it’s the signup forum (which is practically identical) or maybe it’s the name. I can’t put my finger on it. The service looks good all the same! 🙂

        1. I like the idea of recording every movement of a visitor, but has time to watch these videos? 🙄

          1. Faisal says:

            wow..this is great..however I still dont understand..does it record the user screen activity or does it only show how much visitors com by at different time?

  2. Alan Johnson says:

    I believe that the person who has won the review has stated that his/her website was still new and didn’t have enough content yet, so that he/she has decided to promote this product instead.

    Alan Johnson

    1. David Chew says:

      If the website is not getting any much hits and promoting a product might help to increase the visitor.

    2. MizHizzyFitz says:

      Alan,
      Just saw your site…Well done. I’m impressed. :mrgreen:

  3. bob cobb says:

    I tried it out when it first came out. It was definitely cool, but almost creepy watching what that person is doing. I took it off because I didn’t really have a need for it, but its definitely innovative.

    1. David Chew says:

      If you want to know what your readers did then is fun but what you say is right too. 😀

  4. youfoundjake says:

    I would imagine all the Adsense publishers would love this since it could show what ad was clicked on that paid $5. Maybe… heeh

    1. Will says:

      don’t they already have this within adsense itself?

  5. voyeurism dot com mogul style…excellent line

    kind of scary but i might try it out

  6. Is that your new blog John: http://www.hadoukenonline.com/ ? Looks new according to Whois.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Try checking the byline on this review.

      1. Doh! I missed that one.

    2. MoneyNing says:

      Man people have too much time on their hands!!

  7. Mr. Javo says:

    Cool nice tool, thanks for sharing. It could be used to learn where your users stop, which section is the most striking…

  8. Will says:

    interesting, you should do a follow up and see how this service is doing in regards to signups etc. Would be cool to know the response people have towards this new tech.

  9. Pete says:

    Nice tool.
    Do ad blockers block the functionality of this tool though?

  10. Mike Huang says:

    I’m not sure if you guys already know about this, but John recently just posted about Neil Patel and John also linked to http://www.crazyegg.com

    Well, why don’t you guys take a look at CrazyEgg and compare it to ClickTale…seems kinda familiar 🙂

    -Mike

    1. DotDriven says:

      Crazyegg is a great heatmap tool and I like it as well. But it doesn’t take actual video of users floating around your site which is pretty powerful once you see what you can learn from that. The more tools the better ;).

      Plus the free account version of clicktale is usually enough to really get a good idea of what you may or may not need to do on your site/landing page.

  11. Andrew says:

    Very interesting….Is this tool legal?

    1. MoneyNing says:

      What makes you think it’s not?

  12. DotDriven says:

    Thanks for the great review Michael, John and of course thanks to Gyutae for the great contest :).

    Yeah, I’m a bit too much of a noob as far as my blog and there isn’t really enough content on it to really justify a “John Chow review” but I was really excited about clicktale and haven’t seen many people talking about it. I posted a bit more about that here: http://dotdriven.com/index.php/21/super-a-list-celeb-review-of-little-ol-me-what-a-waste/

    As far as “creepy” I admit I felt the same thing at first myself as it’s kind of like you are standing behind the visitor just watching what they do. But it’s completely anonymous and it doesn’t follow them off the site so once you realize that you start to see the real power. It’s amazing to be able to see exactly what users are doing on your landing pages for example…rather than go through dozens of itterations tweaking a landing page you can see specifically what users are clicking right away, what they are avoiding and where they seem to get stalled. Makes it much easier than just trying to guesstimate what is keeping the conversions from coming. Or for more “regular” sites, it’s a great way to see how well your site is laid out and the most viewed parts of your specific site rather than just rely on the usual ad placements. Or, like in my case on one of my sites, realize how annoying and dumb your sites navigation may be and driving users away lol.

    Anyway just wanted to thank you guys for the review! I hope to get my blog going a bit more so it can actually be reviewed sometime in the future but for now was happy to find an affiliate product that I have actually used and really like that can also be really useful for others here.

    1. seo audit says:

      The tool is perfect.Thx for sharing

    2. Poker Sharks says:

      Its a good idea to get a review on an affliate product if your own site isn’t big enough yet.

      However…

      There are no affliate links in this post so you arent going to get credit for the signups???

      1. DotDriven says:

        The domains being linked to are mine 😉

    1. Pete says:

      Ooh, free. Free is good.
      Though I do wonder how the three of the compares — you get what you pay for, right?

      1. nickycakes says:

        this blog is run on wordpress…how much do you think that costs?

        1. Poker Sharks says:

          This is free too.

        2. Pete says:

          That’s a good point. There are definitely a lot of quality freeware out there nowadays. I’ll give robotreplay a try, too, and see how it plays out. Thanks for sharing the news about it, nickycakes.

    2. DotDriven says:

      Clicktale is free too. They have upgrade options for people that want more videos or to add more than 2 domains but the free version is pretty generous. Clicktale also has “regular” heatmaps and stats and all that already integrated as well.

  13. That’s really neat. I’ve never seen anything like this service before.

  14. David Chew says:

    Thanks for showing.

  15. seo audit says:

    Creepy? Yes Useful ? definetly.I already see ways to optimize my page.

  16. Liviu Pantea says:

    Yes it is a useful tool but i just feel that somehow it`s invading the readers privacy.

    1. David Chew says:

      Speaking of that ya it feels like invading the privacy of readers.

  17. Pabloo says:

    Very Interesting tool thanks

  18. Nicole Price says:

    And since a week I have been hoping to find something just like this. Google analytics and regular web stat tools are just not enough.

    1. David Chew says:

      Then you can try it since they got a free plan.

  19. Hmmm… I’ll have to take a looksee for myself. Interesting review.

  20. MizHizzyFitz says:

    DotDriven You are too clever! 😎 A JC review for an affiliate program! Now the newbies can utilize John’s reviews AND It would also appear to be an endless number of review revenue sources for John also. One webpreneur can buy multiple reviews over time witout being redundant…it’s a win-win.

  21. MizHizzyFitz says:

    Sorry..forgot my name for a sec 🙄

  22. Patrick says:

    That is one slick tool. I may sign up and use it for awhile. I can see a lot of value in it. Wish it was a little cheaper but I understand we all have to make money! :mrgreen:

  23. David Chew says:

    Is free so sign up for a try is good. I visited the website and the feature are easy to use, there are no software need to install which is some people prefer not to use, and the setup take less than 5 minuets which is ok and you can also know what your readers click on your blog the most which is important. Anyway i will be giving free review, you all can email me if you are interested. 😆

  24. jitesh arora says:

    I am a new blogger i will surely use this service when i will start earning from my blog.

  25. I just tried it out and found that it records key strokes in the comments box. You see the reader back spacing etc. That’s a little creepy.

    1. MoneyNing says:

      That’s probably too much info!

  26. Laymybet says:

    That’s a fantastic find.. albeit slightly creepy!

    You’re probably watching me type this comment in too – just ignore my speliling mistaeks as i go along.

    I too use Crazy Egg and the parallels are very obvious. Nice find and will give it a whirl.

    Are you watching me know???

  27. It certainly would be interesting to take a weeks worth of results and run an analysis on the surfing patterns and habits by country and by any other demographics or geographics that make sense. I’m going to take a run at implementing this, though I wonder whether it is legal. It is like inviting someone into your house and having a video cam in your bathroom. Not very nice and certainly not legal.

  28. DotDriven says:

    lol, what are the chances. Looks like the affiliate network is down. So much for getting leads lol. First time I have ever seen it down…John Chow effect maybe?

    1. MoneyNing says:

      Maybe we should call it John Chowed it instead of the John Chow event 🙂

  29. It is pretty creepy to think the every mouse move is recorded by this tool, but it is good info to see exactly what your visitors are clicking on.

  30. I remember realizing that wherever clicked on the playback video was like YOU clicking on your website… so if a user clicks on an AdSense ad, it’s like you clicking on your own ads.

    Be Careful.

    Sammy
    Fka200

    1. MoneyNing says:

      I think I need to use it to understand what you are talking about so I will go sign up now 🙂

  31. Reminds me of crazy egg 😈

  32. horatio salt says:

    i installed clickmap on my site and tried it out. the default speed is 2x. when i slowed it down and set it to real time (1X), that’s when i felt like i was looking over somebody’s shoulder on the subway while they surfed my page. (you can skip over dead spots of inactivity with a quick click that hops you directly to the visitor’s next mouse move.) i imagine the ‘thrill’ will wear off soon and looking at a heatmap will be a quicker way to get a sense of where people are spending time. but for now, this is plenty cool. thanks, john.

  33. Benny Ong says:

    This tool looks promising and very useful. Gut feels tell me that it is more than a handful and quite complicated for my liking. My statements might be baseless but that is my first impression by reading this blog… don’t know why….

  34. I have to give this a try sometime.

    Great review to. 🙂

  35. jims varkey says:

    In the future, someone will invent a software that will show your reader digging his nose. I think this sort of snooping goes overboard. 😡

Comments are closed.