Click paths (also known as clickstreams or clickstream analytics) refer to the sequences of online actions (clicks) taken by a user navigating a site, or sequence of sites, including the links and screens they visit, the duration of their visit and the area they explore most. By analysing click paths, it's possible to discover how users interact with a digital platform (such as a website or an app) and then use that data to optimise user experiences, personalise offers and/or target marketing campaigns.
Click paths are often analysed in order to understand and measure user experience with digital platforms. That understanding provides insight into how customers (users) interact, which then leads to improvements in the customers' experiences when using the digital platform.
Usability and conversion rate of digital platforms can be increased by analysing click paths. This knowledge helps identify weak pages, on which users quickly bounce away, and strong pages, which maintain users’ attention for a longer time span. Poor performance can be assumed as due to difficult navigation or lack of compelling content, both of which can be improved by analysing click paths to understand how users navigate and interact with the site.
For example, if you find that a user clicks on a product page, but never adds the product to their cart, then this could suggest that the pricing, or the product description, content or images may be poor, or that customers don't find the buying process clear or engaging enough.
The click paths analysis helps to optimise the content and offers based on users’ behaviour and how they interact with the platform. A higher level of granularity can be achieved when analysing user behaviour from a page, to a section, all the way to a user level. This allows for improvements such as, for example, implementing a frequently-promoted button on every page of the website.
Analytics for click paths should normally consider factors such as:
• The number of user visits to a page or section,
• their behaviour within the page or section (e.g. clicks on product photos to display details),
• time spent on the page or section,
• user IP,
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• the click paths they take while navigating the site,
• actions taken (e.g. add to cart or purchase),
• frequency of engagement with a website or app,
• number of visits,
• frequency of content/pages viewed.
Where click tracking is being measured, user privacy must be taken into account. Google Analytics and other similar analytics platforms provide the means to monitor user sessions and analyse click paths to understand user behaviour and improve optimisation.
Using click tracking enables companies to gather data on user behaviour and understand how customers interact with their product, website, or app. It can be used to identify ‘pain points’, or areas of difficulty where a user leaves or fails to complete an action. Companies can then use this data to make changes to the design or content of their website or app. This could be in the form of redesigning or simplifying certain pages, creating clearer CTAs, or changing the messaging or content on certain pages.
Using click paths, companies can also develop ‘heat maps’ to understand where people most often click on a page. Heat maps help identify the most distracting or engaging elements on a page, as well as areas which could be improved. When used in conjunction with other forms of analytics, heat maps provide insight into the elements that are capturing, and more importantly, retaining a user's attention.
Click paths can also be used to track leads. When someone registers for a newsletter, signs up for alerts, or creates a profile, companies can track the whole journey from which page the visitor came from. By analysing the data from these click paths, companies can understand the process users took from being in the awareness stage, to being in the consideration stage, and then being converted into a customer.
Click paths can provide actionable insights at each stage of the sales funnel. By monitoring the click paths of leads, companies can see the individual’s journey and which pages or interests persuaded the user to take certain actions.