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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.
Last updated22 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:
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?
User source and medium
Session duration or time on page
Device type (i.e. desktop, tablet, or mobile)
New vs returning users
5 top website traffic tracking tools
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.
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).
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.
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.
💡 Pro tip: website tracking isn’t 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’ll get a good idea of what’s going on on your website—the most popular pages, where people leave from, and where they spend time browsing. Now, you’re 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
What it is: Hotjar (that’s us, hi there! 👋) is behavior analytics and user feedback software that helps you understand why visitors do (and don’t) 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.
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.
What is it: Hotjar Surveys are targeted pop-up surveys that give you insight direct from the best source of data: your users.
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.
Price: free (with limits), upgrade to the paid version (Optimize 360) for more features.
Hotjar + Google Optimize = 🔥
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 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.
What you can track: A/B, MVT, and split testing results to test variations of different landing pages and optimize performance.
Price: on request.
💡 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.
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?
Social media shares
6 website and product performance tracking tools
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.
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.
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.
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 🔥
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?