Google uses web trackers on 86% of the top 50,000 websites. They do so because web trackers help companies understand their audience better, which helps it craft more targeted marketing materials.
Here, we cover the ins and outs of web trackers in 2022 so you can determine how your business should be using them to understand its website visitors more effectively.
Let’s get started.
What is a web tracker?
At a high level, a web tracker is a script on a website designed to help the company deploying it better understand its website visitors’ preferences and habits.
When users visit a website, they can encounter web trackers from both the company that operates the site and potentially other businesses they may have never visited before.
Understanding the different types of web trackers
There are several types of web trackers that a company can use to collect user data. We’ll cover the four most commonly used versions of this technology below.
Cookies are little bits of data that get saved to your browser by websites. There are first and third-party cookies.
First-party cookies only track a user’s data on the website they’re currently using. But third-party cookies can track users’ behavior across the entire internet.
Supercookies are essentially a beefed-up version of standard cookies. They’re permanently stored on your computer and can be challenging for a consumer to get rid of.
Websites can also embed various code scripts into their pages, some invisible. These can do everything from tracking the pixels on your screen to recording your IP address.
Fingerprinters are a type of script designed to scrape data from your web browser. They can read everything from what devices you’re currently using to potentially all of the apps you’ve downloaded on that device.
Is it ethical to use a web tracker?
Given the pervasiveness of some of these web tracking tools, you may be wondering if it’s ethical for your company to use them. The answer depends on how you leverage the technology.
Research indicates that 86% of consumers care about data privacy. But what matters to them is that you don’t use their data in unclear and potentially invasive ways.
If you’re upfront about collecting and using user data, that goes a long way towards quelling their fears. Many companies use opt-in forms to allow users who are okay with first-party cookies to state that preference instead of blindly capturing data from every website visitor.
But third-party cookies and cross-web traffic are likely on their way out. Legislation like the GDPR in the European Union has already placed strict limitations on how businesses in the EU territory can use this type of cookie.
How web trackers help companies achieve their business goals
Though web trackers have some privacy concerns, they can still be an impactful tool for companies who ethically use them. Your business may be able to benefit from using a web tracker in each of the following ways.
Understand what content matters to your website visitors
First-party cookies reveal which content on your website is most popular. This can be helpful because it indicates what type of material you should promote and create more of.
You might learn that a blog post covering one of the benefits of your tax software is the most popular page on your site. With that information, you might display the post more prominently and create new content that builds on it.
This can be useful for audience segmentation purposes as well. You can see which type of content is most popular amongst segments. Then you can focus on sharing more of that content with that specific segment.
Learn how people are getting to your site
Web tracking is also an excellent way to learn how people get to your website most often. This can help you figure out how you should be directing your advertising budget and focus in a few ways.
For example, you might notice that most of your audience gets to your site through SEO results on Google searches. That could incentivize you to invest even more into SEO. Or it might lead you to place more of your budget on attracting new users through channels that still offer a lot of room for growth.
Optimize your landing pages and website
Web trackers will also help you figure out the relative performance of different pages on your website and landing pages. You can use this to optimize your site and landing pages to give your company the best chances of converting as many website visitors as possible.
For example, a landing page with a certain call to action might receive more conversions. You could use that information to add that call to action to your other landing pages.
Determine the optimal time to reach out to a prospect
With a website visitor tracking tool like LeadLander, you can get real-time alerts for when a warm lead returns to your site. This shows they’re currently thinking about your product, making it an opportune moment to reach out to them.
In that way, website visitor tracking can help you make sure you’re contacting your leads when they have the time and interest to speak with you.
What to consider when choosing a web tracking tool or service
If you think that web tracking is right for you, many different tools and services can help you get as much out of it as possible. As you try to figure out which of these is best for your company, here are the main factors you want to think about.
Data privacy will only grow increasingly important as more governments pass laws about it. That’s why it’s important to choose a web tracker that allows you to control how you collect and analyze user data.
You don’t want a service or tool that blindly collects as much data as possible from your website visitors anymore. That could diminish your brand reputation and eventually put you at odds with regulators.
It’s also important to understand your business objectives when selecting a web tracking tool. Are you tracking to generate more leads? Or do you just want to improve your understanding of the leads you already have?
Once you know what you’re hoping to achieve with web tracking technology, selecting a tool with features that will help you reach your goals becomes easier.
Web tracking technology exists under several pricing models. For instance, you may be able to find a free service with limited data tracking capabilities.
You can also choose from products with one-time fees, monthly subscription charges, and unique pricing methods. It’ll be vital for you to select a tool with a pricing model that conforms to your company’s budget.
Intuitive data dashboard
Even the most powerful web tracker won’t be all that impactful if you’re not easily able to understand the data it collects and what it means for your company.
That’s why it’s important to look beyond the technical capabilities of the services and tools you consider. You also need to make sure it presents the information in an actionable way for your team.
Real-time alerts and repeat visitor tracking
It’s also great to choose a web tracker that makes it easy to act on individual-level user data from your website visitors. Tools that offer real-time alerts and repeat visitor tracking can be handy.
LeadLander makes it easy to leverage web tracking to boost marketing and sales
Adding a web tracker to your website is an effective way to capture value from your existing traffic. It could also give you the information to generate new leads from multiple channels.
LeadLander makes all of this easier to do. We give you complete control over how you collect data and present the information in an intuitive dashboard that everyone on your team will be able to work with.
Given that, our platform could be exactly what you need to benefit from web tracking technology.