Introduction to Website Visitor Tracking
Are you curious about who keeps showing up on your website like a mysterious ghost? They linger for a few seconds before slipping away into the night. In an ideal world it would be nice if every website visitor left their contact info and where they came from — but that's not always possible. You've likely found yourself rummaging through mountains of web data hoping to gain valuable insights.
This guide will provide an in-depth exploration of website visitor tracking, surpassing that of the typical event tracking. We will show how to identify unknown website visitors and what software is available to aid in the process, showing that discovering who is viewing your website is not as difficult as it may appear. We also share one of our TOP solutions for website visitor tracking - Traffic Intel. Keep reading below or check out our page here on Traffic Intel.
What is website visitor tracking?
Website visitor tracking refers to both reviewing user behavior data like page views and overall website activity, as well as the process of getting visitor information on your traffic. While every marketer can and should be using tools like Google Analytics for understanding visitor behavior, page visits, conversions, and event tracking, that's not enough. Tracking software should be more than the same behavior tracking tools over and over.
Sorting through website visitor behavioral and demographic filters that typical web traffic data and analytics companies provide is just a start. A modern website visitor tracking tool doesn't just focus on tracking user behavior. Rather, your technology stack should be telling you who is visiting your website.
Uncovering visitor data to the level of visitor identification is a process that involves compiling data on website users such as IP addresses, DNS records, and email hashes (more on this later).
Instead of relying solely on the small percentage of leads that convert into opt-ins or purchases, marketing teams can capitalize on 10x more traffic through the right website visitor tracking software. Additionally, you can enrich identities with contact information, social intelligence and more, resulting in an increase of conversion rates and an optimized use of inbound traffic.
Why would you want to track web visitors?
Wouldn’t it be nice if sales teams and marketers had better, more accurate information to enhance their efforts? Of course! Knowing who is visiting a website is essential for understanding how the marketing messages are resonating and where conversion rates can be improved.
Traditional tracking software has been around for a while and provides insights into the way visitors interact with your website. However, new website tracking tools do more than track visitors' engagement. Modern tracking software now acts as visitor identification tools, gather data on customer journeys, and support the whole customer experience.
Traditional Web Analytics
Website visitor tracking in the past has been limited to...
- How many pages a web visitor viewed
- Number of website visits per user
- What landing pages convert the best
- Demographics of website traffic
- Overall user behavior on the website
The second generation, so to speak, of website visitor tracking started with technologies like heat maps. Using tools like Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity, you can filter session recordings to see exactly what individual visitors do while they engage on your site.
Modern Website Visitor Tracking
While the tools above are fantastic (we'll never say you shouldn't use Google Analytics!), they have limits. In this newer generation of website visitor tracking, we can measure the entire customer journey, leverage data collection from multiple sources, and identify people and companies visiting your website.
Website visitor tracking can reveal the identities and contact information of each anonymous website visitor, giving sales teams a leap ahead by optimizing their approaches based on real-time data as opposed to guesses. Doing so not only helps identify who can be talked with further but also helps reduce rising advertising costs in an effective way. In all, tracking each website visitor allows companies to make the most out of their inbound traffic and get more bang for their buck with sales conversions.
There isn't an enterprise organization that has website visitor tracking capabilities surpassing Google Analytics data alone. Every marketing team has invested into website visitor tracking software, but it's only recent that visitor tracking has become within reach for SMBs.
Create your own marketing insurance.
No matter what industry you're in, customers in 2023 are getting more expensive to acquire. Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) will continue to rise in years to come, without fail. The reasons are numerous, from inflation to social platforms jacking up their costs to SEO algorithms changing monthly.
Website visitor tracking tools aren't a "nice to have" in 2023 and moving forward. Rather, using website visitor tracking is your insurance, or hedge, against rising costs for sales and marketing efforts. Visitor identification enables you to capture every visitor on your site without traditional opt-ins and email forms. Set yourself up with a plan to grow regardless of...
Rising Advertising Costs
2023 is predicted to see a continued increase in digital advertising costs, with many companies allocating larger portions of their budget for online campaigns. The growing competition as well as the increasing demand for targeted ads are among the main drivers behind these rising costs.
As such, companies will need to be more strategic when it comes to their advertising efforts and focus on solutions that guarantee better ROI and higher visibility for their brands. At the same time, brands can invest in a website tracking tool that converts every website visitor into an email, dramatically decreasing costs and putting lead generation on autopilot.
Google SEO Changes
In order to provide the best search experience for users, Google constantly tweaks and updates its SEO algorithms. From small adjustments such as adjusting the weight of certain ranking factors, to major overhauls like replacing its keyword-based algorithm with a semantic one, these changes act as a cornerstone for ensuring that quality content is highlighted in the SERPs.
As a result, businesses might have incredible traffic one day, then have it fall apart the next day. Google cares about user experience more than they do your company's SEO investments. Using a visitor tracking tool, you can capitalize on every lead to prepare for the dives in SEO ranking that occur for everyone.
Conversion rates have been dropping due to increased competition and noise. With so many businesses vying for the same audiences, it becomes difficult to stand out from the crowd and capture their attention. As a result, companies must take extra measures when creating campaigns and ensure that their messaging is tailored for each audience segment in order to maximize their chances of success.
If you're able to reach your leads and provide a better customer experience because you were tracking website visitors, it's easier to beat the competition. Your competitors will continue to rely on website traffic volume for lead generation, whereas you're already emailing the same audience and staying in front of them with resonating messaging.
To summarize, while every marketer has a behavioral analytics tool used in growth stack, few are going to reach their key performance indicators (KPIs) with that alone. Rather, the one that can send the most resonating messaging to their prospects consistently will win the battle. The right website tracking tools will help you skip external factors that change your marketing budget, and skip right to closing deals.
Types of website visitor tracking tools.
Navigating the technical space of website visitor tracking can be tricky. Finding out who is accessing your site and what their inputs are can be a daunting task, but you can use a website visitor tracking tool to make it easier. Finding the right visitor tracking solution for you takes careful consideration - make sure you evaluate all your options before investing!
IP Address Tracking
When you use marketing tools like HubSpot, Pardot, ActiveCampaign, etc., they can sometimes tell you who was on your website out of the leads in your database. They do that through one of two methods:
1) Tracking Email Link Clicks
When you send someone an email, whether from cold outreach or through your system, your marketing tool (if it's a marketing tool worth having!) will be able to capture the IP address that clicks on that link, and then follow them throughout the site. Therefore, you know who visited what page, for how long, etc. The caveat? It only applies to leads that have clicked your email.
2) Opt-In Tracking
When someone submits an opt-in or contact form on your website, your analytics tools also collects the IP address and associates it with the contact details associated with the form. This will provide very detailed tracking, but doesn't yield any results for those that haven't explicitly opted in on your site.
In addition to inherent limitations to both methods above, there's one more caveat: matching IP addresses to a contact doesn't work across multiple devices. Every device has it's own IP address, so you have to capture every device someone uses to get true coverage.
Reverse IP & DNS Lookups
Reverse IP lookups, as well as reverse domain name system (DNS) methods, can be used to identify companies on websites. This process involves taking the IP address of a website and using it to search within DNS records to identify other domains that are hosted on the same server.
By doing this type of lookup, users can uncover additional domains owned by the same company and have an idea of what products and services they might offer. On top of that, IP and reverse domain name system searches are fairly cost effective and within reach for any company.
This is what tools like Clearbit, Leadfeeder, and other large lead intelligence companies use to tell you which company was on your website. However, a reverse IP lookup does not provide data on which person was on your website. Therefore, if you get an email in the morning saying Microsoft was on your website, you have to figure out who out of 120,000 employees that might be.
Digital fingerprinting is the process of collecting behavioral activity, device information, and other attributes that might connect the dots between leads. As mentioned with the IP matching process above, that process doesn't work with multiple devices, browsers, currently on your website.
A practical example of digital fingerprinting would be matching data across Google Analytics, product tools like Mixpanel and Amplitude, as well as CRM data from Salesforce and HubSpot. These tools will have very different data, but you can combine them into a clear picture that marketing and sales teams can use in their campaigns.
Compounding device information with behavior tracking across the customer journey is how technology, AI and otherwise, can start to make these complex matches with a high degree of accuracy.
Reverse Email Hashing
Reverse email hashing has been used in fraud departments and government agencies for a while, but its application in marketing has only just become possible through the work of companies like the Enterprise Sales Institute and our Traffic Intel product.
A hash is an encrypted email address stored in your web browser. For example, if you're logged into your corporate Office 365 account or personal Gmail mailbox, your browser shares the hash, or digital identity, associated. Reverse hashing takes that long, random string of characters and turns it back into an email address. That email address can then be validated and enriched.
Working within privacy restrictions.
With the prevalence of privacy laws, it can make marketers worried about breaking a law without realizing it. With emerging policies like the CCPA, CAN-SPAM, and NYPA, privacy is becoming a more sensitive topic. Companies and marketers must find ways to work within their privacy restrictions while still getting the data they need to make the most out of their inbound traffic.
Fortunately, there are visitor tracking tools available on the market today that can help capture valuable insights without breaking privacy laws and regulations. These website analytics tools allow businesses and marketers to gain powerful insight into their audiences' preferences by uncovering anonymous web visitor's identities and contact information – all while respecting privacy restrictions – so that conversion rates are maximized.
Identifying companies that are on your website is not only legal, emailing a corporate email is allowed in every state and Europe, despite GDPR. It's consumer data that requires opt-ins and more compliance work (disclaimer: we're not legal experts). As for tools that reverse hashes and identify specific people's emails, tools like Traffic Intel only provide email addresses that have been 100% verified as having opted into partner marketing.
This keeps you compliant regardless of privacy laws in the United States. This method does not work in GDPR and other regions.
Top visitor tracking software.
Trying to uncover the identities and contact details of your anonymous website visitors can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are several top tools available to help you take full advantage of your inbound traffic. Traffic Intel, Leadfeeder and Clearbit are some of the best when it comes to website visitor tracking - have you tried them yet? They'll reveal valuable insights into who's visiting your site, and maybe even surprise you with the quality leads they generate.
Our website visitor tracking software at the Enterprise Sales Institute, Traffic Intel, is second to none based on our ability to reverse email hashes and then enrich that data to identify web visitor emails, names, social profiles, and more.
A long time veteran in the web visitor tracking space, Leadfeeder has made a name for itself as one of the best tools to reverse IP addresses and DNS lookups. It's affordable for every company, regardless of size, but only shows companies on your website.
A technology giant, Clearbit is known for it's enrichment capabilities. It has been enriching leads by sorting through billions of data points for years. Like Leadfeeder, Clearbit will show you the company that was on your website, but it will then enrich that data and tell you who the key decision makers are at the company you should contact.
Best practices for using website visitor tracking software.
It's no surprise that understanding your anonymous web visitors and turning them into viable leads is an essential part of marketing success. With the proper email lead enrichment techniques, such as leveraging past web behavior to build profiles and lookalikes, you'll be one email campaign away from converting curious web browsers into customers. Marketing campaigns can be used across email, sales outreach, and advertising.
To maximize success, these campaigns should be tailored with engaging email content that makes a lasting impression on your leads – no cookie-cutter copy allowed! Craft marketing messages specifically designed for each individual anonymous lead – it's the best practice for sales outreach.
Depending on your industry and the industries you serve, it's often best to be up front and let leads know that you're an advanced technology company and you saw that they were viewing your website. That transparency is a pattern disruptor that catches the attention of leads quickly.
Next, if you combine website tracking, data enrichment, and lead scoring, you end up knowing which prospects your sales team should call, email, and message on LinkedIn. Of course, this has to be done tastefully. No one responds well to spam. But, with the data mentioned, you're able to craft messaging that resonates with prospects quickly.
While everyone can manage to create a retargeting campaign from website visitors, it often ends up being too generic. Every persona you market to and industry you sell to requires a different message. One message to everyone tends to land flat. If you identify your website visitors, track their behavior, and enrich the data, you can create extremely detailed, segmented audiences for each of your advertising platforms.
Investing in Visitor Tracking Software
All of this technology might be overwhelming at first. While specific tracking software you can implement is listed above, that doesn't make it sound cost effective or easy. That's far from the truth.
Tracking Software ROI
While we can't speak for Leadfeeder or Clearbit, customers that use Traffic Intel average a 6x return on investment (ROI). Like all companies, Traffic Intel has volume-based pricing. The more traffic you have, the less each lead costs. Our tracking software costs $1 per lead when you start, and decreases from there.
Implementing Website Visitor Tracking Software
Whether you're implementing Clearbit, Leadfeeder, Traffic Intel, or something completely different, implementation is easy. In almost every tool, you will have to simply place a HTML tag onto your website. This is how website tracking gathers data. That is followed by using pre-built integrations to dump your lead generation directly into your marketing tools.
Work smarter in your marketing efforts.
Although it may seem like a difficult task, understanding and implementing website visitor tracking is an absolute necessity for businesses today to stay competitive. Not only do web tracking tools provide invaluable insight that let you know where your leads are coming from and what content works best, but it also helps you engage with more leads in a personal way.
Most importantly, with the vast array of tools available for web visitor tracking today, taking advantage of the functionality of anonymous data has never been easier or more accessible. With all of these benefits, investing in website visitor tracking is definitely worth considering if you want to refine your marketing and increase conversions.