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17 best website tracking tools to measure traffic, user behavior, and performance

A website tracking tool will track, measure, and report on website activity and visitor behavior including traffic, user clicks, and performance (e.g. conversion rate). Tracking tools show you what’s happening on your website so you can learn what is (and isn’t) working and optimize for improved UX and business goals.

PX insights and behavior analytics

Last updated

22 Sep 2021

Whether you’re new to website tracking or looking to get deeper insights than the usual traffic stats, you’ll find the best tools here, broken down into three categories:

  1. Traffic tracking tools

  2. Behavior tracking tools

  3. Performance tracking tools

5 popular free website tracking tools

If you’re looking for free web tracking tools, here’s a cheat sheet of the most popular ones covered in this guide:

Website traffic tracking tools

Traffic is usually the first thing that gets tracked on a website or app, by using web analytics tools. Traffic metrics can tell you how many site visitors you have, how they found you, how long they spend browsing different pages, and how frequently they’re converting into customers.

What traffic metrics can you track?

5 top website traffic tracking tools

  1. Google Analytics

  2. Adobe Analytics

  3. Matomo

  4. Clicky

  5. Fathom

1. Google Analytics

What it is: Google Analytics is a popular website analytics tool; the latest version is called GA4.

What you can track: new and returning users, engagement, revenue, retention, demographics, conversions, and events.

Price: free (with limits); upgrade to the paid version (Google 360) for more features and unlimited traffic.

ūüí° Using WordPress?¬†Google has an official plugin called¬†Site Kit by Google¬†that helps you set up and monitor Google Analytics from your WordPress dashboard.

2. Adobe Analytics

What it is: Adobe Analytics is a traffic analytics and multichannel data collection tool, designed for advanced users and enterprise companies.

What you can track: business intelligence (BI) and traffic data from websites, emails, and apps, including pageviews, unique visitors, purchases, order attribution, segmentation, and customer journey analytics.

Price: on request.

3. Matomo (formerly Piwik)

What it is: Matomo is an open-source web traffic analytics application.

What you can track: unsampled traffic metrics, ecommerce and event tracking, custom dimensions, goals, and segments.

Price: free (self-hosted).

4. Clicky

What it is: Clicky is a real-time website traffic analytics tool.

What you can track: real-time data, including visitors, pageviews, and events.

Price: from free for 3,000 pageviews/day.

5. Fathom

What it is: Fathom is a simple, privacy-focused analytics tool.

What you can track: site views, unique views, average time on site, bounce rate, goal completions, referrers, country, user device, and browser type.

Price: from $14/month for 100,000 pageviews.

ūüí° Pro tip:¬†website tracking isn‚Äôt limited to websites you own; you can also track traffic on competitor websites with tools like SimilarWeb, Ahrefs, and Semrush. The data isn't 100% accurate but should give you a relative understanding of how your¬†website traffic compares¬†to other sites.

Website behavior tracking tools

By tracking traffic, you‚Äôll get a good idea of what‚Äôs going on on your website‚ÄĒthe most popular pages, where people leave from, and where they spend time browsing. Now, you‚Äôre ready to track¬†how people interact with your pages.

What is behavior tracking?

Behavior tracking shows you where your users click and how they scroll or navigate between pages. The main goal behind user behavior tracking is to measure user experience, find opportunities to improve UX and, as a result, increase conversions and revenue.

What tools can you use to track user behavior?

  • Heatmaps: see an overview of where visitors click, tap, and scroll on a page.

  • Session recordings: view how each user browses across multiple pages.

  • A/B testing: create page design variations and test which performs better.

  • Surveys: get direct feedback from users and track sentiment and satisfaction over time.

  • User testing: interview users as they navigate your site.

5 user behavior tracking tools to improve your website

  1. Hotjar

  2. Google Optimize

  3. Crazy Egg

  4. Optimizely

  5. UserTesting

1. Hotjar

What it is:¬†Hotjar¬†(that‚Äôs us, hi there! ūüĎč) is behavior analytics and user feedback software that helps you understand why visitors do (and don‚Äôt) take certain actions on your site, and get voice of the customer (VoC) feedback from them.

What you can track: product experience insights like aggregated visitor clicks, scrolls, and mouse movement with heatmaps; individual user browsing behavior with session recordings; and user feedback with on-site surveys and an Incoming Feedback widget.

Price: from free for 2,000 pageviews/day.

Tracking user behavior in 4 simple steps

Hotjar isn’t technically a single website tracking tool, it’s four tools in one: heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, and user feedback.

1. Heatmaps

What is it: Hotjar Heatmaps measure aggregated clicks, taps, scrolls, and mouse movement on any page (from a website or single-page application).

When to use it: use heatmaps to track user behavior and get a visual overview of what content is getting seen and what’s being ignored. Use this insight to make changes to your pages and improve UX.

2. Session Recordings

What is it: Hotjar Recordings are renderings of browsing behavior from individual visitors across one or multiple pages.

When to use it: use session recordings to track how users really experience your site, and see what led to a conversion or exit.

3. Surveys

What is it: Hotjar Surveys are targeted pop-up surveys that give you insight direct from the best source of data: your users.

When to use it: use surveys to track customer satisfaction (CSAT surveys), customer effort (CES surveys), and how likely they are to recommend your products or brand (NPS surveys) over time.

4. Incoming Feedback

What is it: Incoming Feedback allows users to tag and comment on any part of a page.

When to use it: use Incoming Feedback to get user insight on any page without setting up a survey, so you can track what people love and hate, identify issues, and find opportunities for improvement.

2. Google Optimize

What it is: Google Optimize is a website experiment platform that integrates with Google Analytics.

What you can track: using A/B testing, split testing, and multivariate testing (MVT), you can test variations of different web pages and measure how they perform.

Price: free (with limits), upgrade to the paid version (Optimize 360) for more features.

Hotjar + Google Optimize = ūüĒ•

Hotjar automatically integrates with Google Optimize so you can filter Hotjar Session Recordings by Optimize experiment ID and see exactly how visitors browse, click, and scroll on each test page.

3. Crazy Egg

What it is: Crazy Egg is a website optimization, heatmap, and A/B testing tool (see how Hotjar and Crazy Egg compare).

What you can track: A/B test variations of different web pages and measure how they perform with heatmaps and website recordings.

Price: from $288/year.

4. Optimizely

What it is: Optimizely is a website optimization tool that allows you to run website experiments.

What you can track: A/B, MVT, and split testing results to test variations of different landing pages and optimize performance.

Price: on request.

ūüí° Get more from Optimizely:¬†Hotjar integrates with Optimizely¬†so you can filter Session Recordings and trigger Surveys by page variant, giving you more data to understand why some pages outperform others.

5. UserTesting

What it is: UserTesting is a usability testing platform that recruits people to test your website.

What you can track: measure qualitative user experience by watching test participants use your app, product, or website and answer questions.

Price: on request.

How to use Hotjar to find user testers on your website

Instead of using a third-party user testing platform, you can recruit usability testing participants directly from your website with a simple on-site survey. An incentive such as a gift card can encourage users to get involved, and follow-up questions will help you collect the contact details (i.e. name and email) of interested users so you can invite them to a moderated usability testing session.

Website performance tracking tools

Once you’re tracking website traffic and user behavior, the only thing left is to measure how your website is performing in relation to your business goals.

Tracking website performance is about measuring the metrics that matter most to your business. For an SEO team, that might be website speed or keyword rankings; for a product team, it’s likely customer churn or retention.

Whatever metrics matter to your business, there’s a tool to track them.

What performance metrics can you track?

  • Churn

  • Retention

  • Page speed

  • Keyword rankings

  • Ecommerce sales

  • Backlinks

  • Social media shares

6 website and product performance tracking tools

  1. Mixpanel

  2. Google Search Console

  3. Chartmogul

  4. Ahrefs

  5. Kissmetrics

  6. Salesforce

1. Mixpanel

What it is: Mixpanel is a product analytics tool that tracks performance on mobile and web applications.

What you can track: product metrics like activation, retention, and churn.

Price: free for up to 100k monthly users.

2. Google Search Console

What it is: Search Console is a free search optimization tool from Google.

What you can track: measure SEO performance, view keyword impressions and clicks, see your backlinks, and check for crawling and speed errors.

Price: free.

3. ChartMogul

What it is: ChartMogul is subscription and revenue tracking software designed for SaaS companies.

What you can track: MRR, ARR, CLV, churn, revenue, sales, and subscriber numbers.

Price: from free for up to $10k MRR.

4. Ahrefs

What it is: Ahrefs is a suite of SEO tools to monitor and grow website traffic from search engines. (We're big fans of Ahrefs, ourselves!)

What you can track: keyword rankings, backlinks, website speed, and broken links for your own and competitor websites.

Price: from $99/month.

5. Kissmetrics

What it is: Kissmetrics is product and marketing analytics software for SaaS and ecommerce websites.

What you can track: product metrics like sign-ups, churn, and MRR; ecommerce metrics like sales, revenue, and cart-to-purchase conversion rate.

Price: from $299/month.

6. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

What it is: Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an enterprise-level CRM (customer relationship management) analytics platform for marketers with several add-on tools, including Customer 360 Audiences, Loyalty Management, Social Studio, and Advertising Studio.

What you can track: email and ad campaign performance, customer journeys, and website engagement.

Price: on request.

Ask for feedback on your website today ūüĒ•

Grab a free Hotjar trial, start collecting feedback on your website, and answer burning questions such as: why is my website not converting? Why are visitors leaving without buying? How can I improve?

FAQs about website tracking tools