By Carl Heaton

Real Time User Research

The ability to know who you users are, where they come from and where they are going is a very powerful tool for any web manager, SEO’er and site owner. Real Time User Research allows you to instantly know what works and what does not.

Voyeurism In Web Design

Being able to instantly react to things happening on your site gives you an instant advantage to those site owners who simply design and desert their site.

with your users every step

How Real Time user Research Brought Me New Customers.

web courses user flow

Example: I was on Facebook one evening and I noticed a post by the Adobe Photoshop official page sharing a post about button design. We had recently published our very own How To Make a Sexy Button so I thought I’d let the 224 people already commented about our contribution to the how to world.

As soon as I posted my comment, containing the link to the article on our site, 52 people instantly came to our site. Of those 52 4 people instigated a chat and 2 of them booked a Photoshop Course with us that same day.

Time to conversion 15mins!

Tools of the Web Voyeuristic Trade

How can I know how many people are on my website?

web courses live zilla

Right now, Livezilla is showing me where you are, where you came from, what computer your using, if you have been to our site before (and how many times) and much more:


Mouseflow is recording your current visit so I can find out where you clicked, where your mouse hovered and how far down you scrolled down the page.

chat with web courses

Lastly to capture your questions and help us turn you into a trainee at our centre, SnapEngage is prompting you that one of our team is online ready to help. You’re cornered!

How To Use This Information

Livezilla Shows Your Instant Social Reach

livezilla on web courses

If you just posted anything on any network then you can see how many clicks you instantly get. For example we know that Stumble is almost instant for us now, so we can see if we posted the right article at the right time. If we reply to a new comment on a potentially popular post then we can see the instant interaction with that.  We can see the instant reaction to a tweet, try re-wording it and see if there is a better response.

What Your Current Visitors Can Tell You

Now all this information is also available in Google Analytics, but that is old data, with Livezilla it is live and alive.

  • It shows the search query they used in say Google or Bing to find your specific post. You might be surprised to see exactly how you are being found.
  • You will see that some users stay on your website for days/weeks. Why? Because macs don`t need restarting and often people leave tabs open for a long time.
  • What country is currently awake, you can see which country each users is in and even zoom down to their approximate location on a map.
  • How many pages that user has visited, have they been on your site before and how long have they been here.
  • Browser, resolution, operating system and internet speed.
  • Co-Browse. Now this is the part where people get uneasy. Yes I can actually watch you use our website live. I cannot see what other tabs you have opened, where you have been etc. All I can do is see through our webpage and see what you are looking at. For example you maybe on a form that you need help with, with co-browse I can lend a guiding hand.

Now all this data means little alone but if you trace it back to a recent tweet, facebook post, radio advertisement or even TV ad, then you have a great insight to how well your marketing / interactions are working.

use the information to benefit users

Know the Flow of your Users

Mouseflow is one of many ways of recording user users discussed in my post User testing in your Sleep.  It constantly re-fills each month allowing me 100 recordings. I just let it run until such time as I have a question about my users. For example: “are users seeing the comment section” this question stems from the fact we have over 60,000 visitors but only small percentage actually leave a comment. Mousefow gives me a heat map in relation to the distance users scroll on our website.

web courses heat map

I can see that only 14% of users make it right to the bottom and often stop at the conclusion of the post. So we learnt from this and now we always ask if we missed anything thus promoting our users to comment.

You can also learn:

  • What part of your website people spend reading the most
  • Which buttons they prefer to click
  • How the interact with your website such as baskets, applications or even games

Again it is important to learn from this data and use it to constantly improve your website.

Calls to Actions and Actions to Call

So we have seen where users are come from and what they are doing, so how do we turn them into customers.

First of all your website needs to have clear calls to action. For example a booking form, add to basket, subscribe or even tweeting and sharing on facebooks are call to actions that benefit the underlying business to the website.

web courses snap engage

Secondly we use a new chat system SnapEngage. Already our bookings for web design, graphic design and online marketing have gone up 24%. The reason is very simple; we are able to directly answer questions of potential customers in real time.

We will make a post on how we use the chat feature soon, so stay tuned by following us on twitter, liking our facebook or registering for our newsletter.

New Course – Real Time Web Consulting

web courses consulting

We will give you advice on how to implement real time user statistics for your website. The course lasts 6 hours of 2 separate lessons.

  • Lesson 1 – installing and registering for real time tools
  • Lesson 2 – using the data to improve your website and increase conversions.

To find out more, contact our consultant [email protected] or call 02-679-8607.

Did We Miss Anything?

Have you used any of the applications discussed in this article? Did you make any changes that brought real results? Or do you need advice on how to do this yourself? If yes, yes or yes, then please comment below.


About The Author


He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.