Session replays are one of the most important tools for the analysis of your website. They can give you the edge over your competitors in combination with other web analysis tools. Session replays answer one of the most important questions for a web developer: what are the users doing on my website? How do they behave?
What are session replays?
Session replay is a web analytics tool that helps web developers optimize their website better. They are a graphical representation of exact mouse movement, clicks, scrolling and typing made by the user during a session on your website.
It is a fairly modern tool that has become invaluable in recent years. It helps us see how users think; what is happening on the other side of the screen. It benefits us in many different ways. Firstly, it helps us increase conversion rates on our website. Secondly, it helps us understand our users better and thus enable us better optimization for the users. Lastly, it is an important tool to help us improve the user experience on the site.
Session replays are best used with other web analysis tools, and it actually complements other tools in such a way that it helps us to make the user experience better as a whole.
In this article, we will take a look at how to use session replays and how they can be helpful for you to gain the edge over the competitors and how you can use them to optimize your website.
1. They help you understand your users better
When you see how users navigate on your website, you get to understand them better. You can see all of their clicks, scrolls and mouse movements, so it can be a huge advantage for you to see how your visitors think. Not only that, but it can help you to understand the mindset of your users; what they like about your website and what they don’t.
How is this helpful for your site? Not only is this good for understanding your customers, but even more so for optimizing your site and its conversion rates. You can achieve that by recording several sessions (20 or more) to achieve relevant results and see where exactly the users are getting stuck.
2. Session replays provide the “why” behind the numbers
Traditionally, most web developers use some sort of web analysis tool that will measure the number of users that visit the website and analyze the results from there. They can also see behind the bounce rates from one of your pages – if the bounce rate is high, there may be an issue on your site.
This is where session replays come in. They can show you exactly where there is a problem on one of your pages with a high bounce rate, and you can improve on that information. This can become invaluable, especially if more of your pages have high bounce rates.
3. You can increase your conversion rates
This point is connected to the last point. This is probably the most important benefit of session replays. With them, the functionality of your webpage can become much better. It is in this aspect that this tool can give you a big boost over your competitors.
Identifying problems and potential bugs on your website is essential to provide a good interface that the users will be able to use easily. Session replays are important for you to see where your website has a bad spot where users don’t manage to find what they are looking for and leave the page.
Session replays will boost your conversion rates while massively decreasing your bounce rates too.
4. Session replay improves customer support
Good customer service is one of the best ways to gain traction. Because of the badly optimized page within your website, some users will run into problems and will thus turn angry. You can inevitably expect some angry customers that have run into some issues on your website, and you will want to provide the best customer support possible.
Session replays can be a massive help for that. They can provide context to what one of your customers has contacted your customer support. For example, a visitor may contact customer support and it may claim that it has run into some problems, but the information they give is not specific enough for you to resolve the problem. By looking at session replays, you can spot exactly where it has gone wrong.
5. Replaying sessions help you fix a bad UX design
In addition to helping you improve your conversion rates and lower the bounce rates on your site, session replays provide you with feedback on the quality of the design of your website. Users are generally quite demanding when it comes to design quality, so if they see a badly designed website, they might be turned off and leave.
If your website is an eyesore, then you can expect high bounce rates. If there are no bugs or broken links on that page, it can mean that the whole design of your page is not optimal and it may need improving.
6. It provides feedback on newly implemented features
If you have recently implemented a new feature on your website, and you don’t know exactly how successful it has been with users, you can get an idea by looking at session replays. You may find out that the new feature that you were hoping to be a big success, is actually not being used by the users at all.
This is an important feature if you have recently updated your website or you are changing the features of your website frequently. It helps you to get feedback on the new implementations that you would be unable to get otherwise.
7. User experience can be improved
Many websites nowadays have an option to log in or register on the website. Sometimes, these features of the website are so badly optimized, that you are sometimes unable to even log in or register. Session replays can improve the onboarding on your website.
You can avoid that happening on your website, though. You want to avoid it and to do so, you can use the help of session replays. For example, you can spot problems with users not being able to log in to the system or register. We all know how frustrating it can be when a website is not functioning as it should be, so session replays are really handy for that.
8. It can help you with presentations
Session replays are very useful when you want to implement an idea at your company, and you have to present it to your superiors. Showing these session replays can help you with presentations – they can be the graphical illustrations of some of the issues the users are running into, and they can make your presentation clearer and more precise.
9. Improve dynamic elements on your page
Not only you can improve your website to make it more user-friendly, but you can also figure out how the dynamic elements on your website work and how the users are interacting with it.
If you have a web app, this aspect is even more important. You want your dynamic elements to be working as intended; if they are not, they can ruin the whole user experience. Similarly, you can see if people are abandoning your site when they reach a form to fill – this can mean that the form is badly designed.
10. Hacking prevention
Session replays can also provide a safety measure on your website. Some tools on the market are sophisticated enough to detect attacks on your website that can harm your site. With the help of session replay, you can spot suspicious activity on your website such as scripting, URL attacks and other means that hackers can use on your website.
How to use session replays?
Setting up a session replay service for your webpage is quite easy and it can be done quickly. Firstly, you have to choose which service for session replays you will be using. There are more providers of session replays on the market; some are free, but mostly they require an investment, that is not that big and it will help you in the long run. Some of the providers are Hotjar, Mouseflow, Lucky Orange, Smartlook.
Then you install it and implement it on your website, and then you can start collecting data and after a few days or weeks, you will be able to view these replays.
Session replays are an important tool for any UX designer/developer to use and implement on their website. They are easy to use and clear and concise, and they provide you with invaluable information.
There are many benefits of using session replays for your website: they can improve your conversion rates and decrease bounce rates from your pages, they can help you with customer support, presentations, and they can even offer some security measures to prevent hack attacks on your website. Overall, session replay is a very useful tool that is best used in connection with other web analysis tools.