Little kids often think there is someone watching them from the other side (or
even the inside) of the TV screen. It makes sense, actually – if you can see
them, they should be able to see you! Of course, as we grow up, we learn that
those “people” are actually electronically transmitted images, and unlike in the
novel 1984, the TV set cannot “see” what you’re doing.
Of course, the
same holds true for the Internet – not! Believe it or not, the folks on the
other side of many websites can see exactly what you are doing at any given
moment: what you’re looking at, where you’re clicking (or not clicking), how
long you are watching a page, the thing you find most interesting on their site
– in other words, just about every aspect of your interaction with their site!
No worries, though. Unlike in George Orwell’s nightmarish world, the people
“watching” you from the other side of the Internet aren’t interested in your
political opinions; they’re interested in selling you stuff (or using your
presence on their site to otherwise earn money or some other reward). They work
night and day just to get you to visit their web pages and take the specific
action their sites seek – fill out a form, buy a product, watch an ad or click
on a link.
A whole industry – web analytics – has sprung up to help site
owners figure out what it takes to keep you surfing on their site, analyzing
information about your Internet session (checking out where you were before you
came to their site, what you clicked on while visiting, how long you stayed on
the site, etc.).
But while most analytic systems “essentially just do
visitor counting,” the system offered by Ramat Gan-based ClickTale
) is far more comprehensive, says Shmuli Goldberg,
ClickTale’s senior technology evangelist.
“We don’t focus on how many
people came to a page, or even where they came from. Instead, we analyze
everything a guest does on the web page, allowing site owners to improve their
sites, increasing the conversion rate for the site significantly.”
websites, it really is all about the “conversion rate” – getting a visitor to
the site to take a specific action. On some sites, that would entail getting
someone to buy a product. On another, it could mean holding a user’s attention
longer in order to enable the site to serve up more ads. On a third site, it
could mean promoting a user to download a document, click on a Facebook “like”
or sign up for an e-mail newsletter. In all cases, says Goldberg, ClickTale has
what the site owner needs – detailed information on what a site guest did or
didn’t do, complete with statistics, graphs, heat maps (showing the areas that
users found most attractive, known as the “hot” parts of a webpage) and even
video recordings of specific web sessions!
ClickTale does all this by supplying
speed, the company says) that captures every mouse move, click, scroll and
keystroke that a visitor makes inside a webpage. The script rechecks the
movement of the mouse every few milliseconds, and keeps track of all actions. It
then sends this information back in a highly compressed package to the ClickTale
servers (the company hosts all the information and does all the work), where it
is sliced, diced, and otherwise analyzed in dozens of different ways.
should be stressed that the information is sent back anonymously; ClickTale does
not record IP addresses or any other data that could identify individual
So, if a commerce site wants to know why they are getting a lot of
users checking out their product on their site, but are losing them before they
pay at checkout, they can examine ClickTale reports showing where they drop out.
If they see that many users closed the page before clicking on the “checkout”
button, it could be that the design of that pre-pay page is unfriendly or has a
bug. If they find that most users actually filled in their name but dropped out
before filling in their credit card information, they might need to examine
their credit card info box – maybe it only has room for 15 digits, instead of
the required 16!
The information provided by ClickTale lets the site check out
the problem and fix it. In fact, if they want, site owners can watch the actual
session of a particular (again, anonymous) user and see the user experience from
the “other side”- thanks to ClickTale’s video recording of user
“It’s a great tool for site owners to see how users interact
with their sites, finding the one or two bugs that prevent customers from using
the site the way the owner is expecting,” says Goldberg. “The whole ClickTale
system helps them understand what users do or don’t do with their sites, giving
them information on problems – and advantages – they can use to improve their
user experience,” increasing that all-important conversion rate.
works, says Goldberg, who points to thousands of case studies ClickTale has
gathered showing conversion rate improvements of between 20% and 200%!
everyone expects a firstclass user experience on every website, and if they
don’t get it on the first or second try, they’re gone,” says
“Our aim is to keep users on the site to accomplish the thing
they set out to do, ensuring that site owners can give users the experience they
But for a real indication of Click- Tale’s abilities, all you
have to do is look at the company’s client list. Right now, ClickTale has
a whopping 70,000 customers all over the world – including some of the biggest
and most important websites in their fields, from LinkedIn to Groupon to Proctor
and Gamble to Target to many, many others, even bigger and more
“We’ve been doubling in size every eight months, and we soon
expect to hit 100,000 customers,” says Goldberg.
Moreover, a new
filtering system being introduced by ClickTale that allows site owners to track
users anonymously over time and “type” (lurkers, researchers, etc.) will sweeten
the pot even more for sites that aren’t yet members of the ClickTale
ClickTale is a true Israeli success story, with all its
operations, including back-end and sales, taking place in its local offices.
Click- Tale was founded in June 2006 by Dr. Tal Schwartz (CEO) and Arik
Yavilevich (CTO) in a garage in Haifa.
It grew slowly for its first
couple of years, and then ballooned in 2008 and 2009. Now, ClickTale is a major
international player in web analytics, keeping users on sites longer and making
sure they enjoy themselves while they are there.