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Visitor Recordings Feature

Actually seeing what your visitors do on your page

What it is all about

Visitor Recordings enables you to really see what your users are doing on your website. You can watch a real video of what a visitor did on your website during his session – where he clicked, how he watched the content, what his actions were. In order to give you a better overview of this feature, we divided the article into the following sections:

 

  1. Overview & Main Table of Session Recordings
    1. General Structure of view
    2. Available Filters
  2. Actions and Massactions for Session Recordings
  3. Feature specific settings
    1. Pages to be recorded
    2. Conditions to be recorded
  4. Detail view of a session recording
    1. General Structure of view
    2. Visitor actions shown
    3. Notes for a session recording

Set the time

Just right above the table you see a bar which enables you to choose a certain time range or even a day for which the data below should correspond to. It is important to constrain the displayment of data to certain dates or periods in which you ran potential campaigns or took other measures in order to measure how successful these actions were for future planning. 

Some general hints 

  • Alot of elements contain options to hover information or further actions. Just let your cursor run over various elements and discover how much data is actually packed into a tile.
  • Almost all views and some single elements have a little "i-icon" in the upper right corner, giving you yet more information about the view/element. Just move your cursor there and you will see more information.

Overview & Main Table

General Structure of View

This main view represents the core of the Visitor Recordings feature. In comparison to other features of Visitor Analytics, this one view contains a lot of information and seems fairly complicated at the first glance. However it provides you a very powerful overview of all the tools and information you need in order to navigate through your visitor session recordings optimally.

Important hints: 

  • as for all functionality of Visitor Analytics, you need to install the tracking code correctly in order to be able to record your visitor sessions.
  • You can always pause/continue the recording of new visitor sessions by clicking on the large radio button in the upper right corner of the view.

The screenshot on the right gives you a solid overview of the main elements hidden in this view. 

Each row of the table presents a session recording of one of your visitors with all its infos and actions. The main table is structured with the following columns:

  1. User & Date / time visitedIn this column you see some basic information about the visitor recorded like a label whether he is a "new" or a "Returning" visitor in the upper left corner of the line. Furthermore you see the country of the flag the visitors has been visiting from as well as the date and time of the visit. If you click on the little clock-icon, you will be forwarded to the visitors history view.
  2. Referrer: This column shows the URL of the website, from which the user was referred to your website.
  3. Entry & Exit Page: This column provides you with two URLs of your website. The upper line shows you the URL of the page that the visitor, who has been recorded, entered first on your website. The lower URL represents the URL of the page of your website, on which the user ended his session on your website. 
  4. PagesHere you are shown the amount of pages of your website that the visitor visited during the session recording. If you click on the green little arrow pointing downwards right next to the number, the line will open up downwards and show you more detail (exact URL, date/time/duration) about each page visited by this visitor. It also gives you a place in which you can leave a comment for this session recording for internal purposes (hint: this comment will not be shown when you share the session recording with someone else)
  5. DurationShows you how long the session recording is.
  6. Browser/OS/DeviceIn this column you will see icons representing the browser, operating system and device used by the visitor who has been recorded. Move your cursor across the icons in order to see more information.
  7. TagsYou can add individuall tags to the session recordings in order to better filter for them in the aftermath. The tags which you added to a session recording, can be found in this column. Clicking on the little icon containing the three horizontal dots (only appearing if you have added >2 tags to a visitor recording), will reveal all the tags you added to this recording.
  8. Actions: this column consists of three symbols:
    1. Camera icon: if the icon is filled with green colour and has the writing "unseen" right beneath it, you have not watched this session recording yet. If the icon is filled with white colour and has the writing "seen" right below, you already watched the visitor recording at least once. If you click on the icon, you will be forwarded to the actual video of the visitor recording.
    2. Star icon: here you can star a session recording, in order to identify the important session recordings more easily at a later point in time.
    3. Three vertical dots iconclicking on this icon will reveal further actions that can be specifically performed for a single visitor recording. Some of these actions are also available as mass-actions.

Available Filters

Hints upfront:

  • The filter is subdivided into three main categories "General filters", "Navigation filters" and "Tag filters". 
  • Please always click on the links/buttons  "+ general filter", "+ navigation filter", "+ tag filter" to add even another filter which should be applied to the shown visitor session recordings in the main table below. 
  • Try different variations for all three filter categories at once in order to quickly find exactly the session recordings you need.
  • The results/the shown visitor session recordings are always based on the concept "all filters must apply".
  • After you have set your desired filter combinations, please always click on the button "Apply all filters" in the lower right corner of the filter area.
  • If you want to clear all added filters in one go, please use the button "Clear all filters" in the lower right corner of the filter area.

General filters

This category mostly contains filters that refer to attributes of the visitor or the visitor recording session itself. The following general filters are available for you:

  • Country: Look for session recordings done by visitors from a certain country
  • Operating System (OS): Filter visitor recordings who used a certain operating system
  • Browser: Search for visitor session recordings that used a certain browser for browsing your website
  • Visitor Type: Filter for "New", "Converted" or "Returning" visitor session recordings
  • Screen Resolution: Let only session recordings appear in the table that were done with certain screen resolutions/sizes 
  • Stared: Look for all visitor session recordings you already stared
  • Watched: Search for all visitor session recordings you already watched
  • Devices: Filter visitor recordings who used a certain device
  • Page count: Look for visitor session recordings that have a certain range of pages visited during the session.
  • Duration: Look for visitor session recordings that have a certain range of duration.

Navigation filters

This filter category is mostly about information in regards to the URLs/pages of a session recording. You can filter for:

  • Entry Page: the page that visitors first entered/saw when visiting your website. See how they reacted on being confronted first with your content.
  • Does not contain page: filter session recordings for URLs that do not contain certain URL elements (i.e. "/prodcut-x").
  • Contains page: Search for visitor session recordings that do contain certain URL elements (i.e. "/en").
  • Exit Page: search for pages on which your visitors exited your website while browsing it. 

Tag filters

In this filter category you have the possibility to filter by tags that you created and linked with certain visitor session recordings. Just click on the link/button "+ tag filter" and type in the name of a tag that you linked with a session recording. You can add multiple tags at once to the filter. It will then show you all visitor session recordings that have exactly these tags linked to them.

Saving filter templates

You also have the possibility to save certain filter combinations you made as a template, so that you can apply this filter in the future way more easily. For this you have in the lower bar of the filter, as shown in the screenshot of the right with red marking, a button "Save as new template". Once you click on the button, you will be asked to name this filter template – choose any name which makes sense for you (i.e. "General filter Germany"). Then click on the button "save as new template" on the right side of the bar.

If you want to apply an already saved filter template, please click on the dropdown with the label "Choose template". In the selection revealed, you should see all templates which have been saved for this account. 

You can also rename or delete existing filter templates. For this either chose the "edit"-icon for editing (directly on the right side of the selection dropdown) and update and save the new name of the filter template. Or click the "trash"-icon when having a filter template selected. A new modal will appear asking you for confirming this action.

Actions and Massactions for Session Recordings

Overview

In the screenshot on the right you see the important fields for this section marked.

  • "1" marks the mass action dropdown: Some actions can be executed for multiple visitor session recordings at once. Just select the session recordings you would like to perform the same action for by clicking on the checkbox at the very left of each corresponding line. Afterwards select click on the marked dropdown in the upper left corner on top of the main table "Choose an action" and select one of the options appearing. The actions are explained just in the following bullet.
  • "2" Clicking on the marked three dots icon opens up the actions specifically available for each visitor session recording:
    • Add a tag: You can add individuall tags to the each session recordings in order to better filter for them in the aftermath. The tags you added to a session recording, can be found in a column within the main overview table.
    • Star: here you can star a session recording, in order to identify the important session recordings more easily at a later point in time.
    • Unstar: If you a visitor session recording should not be part of our "favourites" anymore, then you can unstar it with this action.
    • Mark as watched: If you do not want to watch a certain visitor session recording for whatever reason and want to mark it as watched, you can do so with this action.
    • Mark as unwatched: If you already watched a session recording and want to mark it as unwatched (i.e. to remind yourself of watching the video again at a later point in time), use this action.
    • Toggle sharing link: Should you have the need to share this visitors' session recording with colleagues of yours (i.e. if you want to send the reproduction of a described bug to one of your developers), you can create a sharing link for this session recording and distribute it to the persons you want.
    • Delete: If you are sure that a visitors' session recording is of no interest to you anymore or you have reached your recordings limit, you can delete a session recording with this action. Please be reminded that this action can not be reversed. 

 

 

Sharing a visitor session recording

There may be certain occassions for which you would like to share a visitor session recording with another person (i.e. if you want to report a bug to a developer or you want to underline to a graphic designer why the current userflow is not purposeful). Within the Visitor Recordings module you have the possibility to create a sharing link for each visitor session recording generated. You will just have to create a sharing link and send it to the person you want to have access to the session recording. The session recording will just open in another browser with some actions available for that other person as well (i.e. fast forwarding, etc.).

If you want to create a sharing link, you have to click on the three vertical dot icon on the very right side of a session recording in the main table and select the appearing option "Toggle sharing link". A new modal will appear. In the upper left corner of the modal you see a little radio button "enable sharing link". Activate the radio button in order to make the URL shown in the line below active. On the right side of the radio button, you are able to define whether you want an automatic deactivation of the sharing link (so that the corresponding visitor session recording is not available anymore via the generated sharing link). Just click on the dropdown and choose one of the given options (if you select "never" the session recording will be available for all times for anyone who has access to the sharing link).

Important hints: 

  • Whoever has access to an active sharing link of a visitor session recording, can view the corresponding video in his browser. 
  • Someone watching a visitor session recording via a sharing link, can not add any notes, tags or edit the video in any form. The person can only watch.
  • If you want to limit the access to a specific visitor session recording, you just have to deactivate the radio button in the "toogle sharing link"-modal

Feature Specific Settings

These settings are only specific to the module "Visitor Recordings" and do not have anything to do with your website settings or account settings.

You basically have two major topics for which you can individualize this module:

  1. Page recording options
  2. Conditions for recording

Important note: If you update your settings for the visitor recordings module in any way, you always have to click on the button "update" at the very bottom of the view.

Pages to be recorded

This section is basically about you having the possibility to define on which pages of your website visitor sessions should be automatically recorded by Visitor Analytics. You basically have two options:

  1. You want visitors to be recorded that visit any page of your website: no further options will appear if you select this option. Basically any visitor visiting your website will be recorded (also based on the preferences you set for the conditions to record a single visitor).
  2. You only want to generate visitor session recordings if a visitor visits a defined page within your website: having selected this option, only visitors to your defined pages within your website will be recorded. Two further options are available to you:
    1. "Select Page(s) from you pages list": If you want to record visitor sessions only for an by you already created dynamic page, please click on the link/button "+ dynamic page". A list of your already created dynamic pages for this website will appear. You can simply select from it. Continue to click "+dynamic page" until you have added all dynamic pages of yours for recording as you want to. 
    2. "Define a new URL pattern": Should you want visitor sessions only to be recorded for a certain URL pattern (i.e. URL matches exactly homepage.com/productXY), you can do so with this option. Just select the option "Simple match" from the corresponding dropdown and enter the URL pattern for which visitors you would like to be recorded.

Important note: Just click on one of the tiles in order to follow the according rules. You can only activate either one or another option for a website.

Conditions to be recorded

After you have set your preferences regarding the on which pages of your website visitor sessions should be recorded, you can also define the conditions per visitor to be recorded. You basically have two options here, which can be activated at the same time:

  1. Only record sessions with click and scroll activity: Now only visitors will be recorded that have either clicked or scrolled on your website. This helps to reduce the amount of spam in your main table of recordings and supports the focus on your active visitors so that you can take actual learnings from their recordings. Activate this option by clicking on the corresponding tile.
  2. Only record sessions with a minimum duration: If you only want to record visitors whose session lasted for a minimum of x seconds, you can define this here. Just activate this option by clicking on the tile and file in the amount of seconds you would like to set as a minimum duration before the recording sets in. Please note that the first seconds of this session will hence not be recorded. 

Important note: If you update your settings for the visitor recordings module in any way, you always have to click on the button "update" at the very bottom of the view.

Detail view of session recording

General Structure of View

After having analyzed the possibilities contained within the main table of your visitor session recordings, we will now move on to explaining the actual view of a session recording itself.

As already explained above, you find a camera-icon in the very right column „actions“ of the main table for each session recording. Clicking on this icon will forward you to the detail view of this session recording, in which you will actually see the video.

The main view and structure of each session recording is always the same and has the following components (as numbered in the screenshot on the right):

  1. Area 1: This area shows you the actual „footage“ of the anonymous visitor session recording. You see which pages the visitor visited during his session, how his cursor moved, which fields/buttons he clicked, where he left your page, etc.
  2. Area 2: This bar provides you with basic actions you already know from other video players (explained from left to right):
    1. "Play button": clicking this button will start/pause the visitor session recording
    2. "1x/2x/4x/8x": If you want to play the video at multiple speed, you can make the selection here. The selection „2x“ will play the video twice as fast as it would normally do.
    3. „Skip inactive“: Having activated this radio button, will make the video automatically skip the parts of the session recording, in which the visitor did not show any scroll or mouse activity, in order to focus on the stuff that matters.
    4. „Show mouse flow“: Activate this radio button, if you want the cursor to draw a tail within the video.
    5. „Autoplay“: If this radio button is activated, the video will start playing as soon as you open the detail view.
    6. „I-icon“: clicking the icon will show you some information about the bar.
    7. „4 arrow icon“: Clicking this icon will make the video play fullscreen.
    8. „Set a marking“: If you want to set a marking for yourself or your colleagues (i.e. if you want to share the visitor session recording) within the video, in order to emphasize important actions/happenings visually, you can click on this link. A marking will appear right at the current time spot the video is at. Clicking on the marking once placed, will directly forward you to the corresponding time marker. You can delete the marker at any point in time and add as many markings to a session recording as you wish.
    9. „Add a note within the video“: If you want to add a note to a certain time marker within the video, you can do so clicking on this link. A text box will appear in which you can add your note. It will be automatically linked to the time the video is at, when you clicked on the button. By clicking on the rider „Notes“ in the upper right corner of area 3, you will have a list view of all comments added to the visitor session recording.
  3. Area 3: This part of the detail view basically consists of three clickable riders, that each reveal more information:
    1. Info
    2. Visitor actions
    3. Notes

Info of a Visitor Session Recording

This rider provides you again with basic information about the visitor – of course, all anonymous. You are shown the following information (from top to bottom):

  • "Country/OS/Browser/Device": The flag indicates in which country the was when he visited your website. Clicking on the little location icon right next to the flag, will show you even more information about the location of the visitor. The icons on the right side of the row, refer to the operating system, browser and device type the visitor used when visiting your website. For more information move your cursor over the icons. The hover will reveal more information. If you want to see the visitor’s session history, please click on the prominent button „Session history“.
  • "Resolution": here you see the screen/display resolution of the device the visitor used when visiting your website.
  • "User ID being recorded": this is an automatically generated user ID by Visitor Analytics. It helps you to have unique IDs for each user and to more easily find certain visitor session recordings again at a later point in time.
  • "ID of recording": this is an automatically generated ID of the visitor's session recording by Visitor Analytics. It helps you to have unique IDs for each session recording and to more easily identify them at a later point in time.
  • "Recorded on": This line will provide you with the information on which day, date and time the visitor’s session was recorded.
  • "Referrer": this is the third party URL, which forwarded the visitor recorded to your website.

Visitor actions shown

Activating this rider will present you a list with all automatically tracked actions by the visitor during the session recording. On the very right of each action you see a time stamp when this action appeared within the session recording shown. Clicking on a tile fill forward you to the according time marker within the visitor session recording. 

Visitor Analytics differentiates between the following actions/colour-codes:

  • "Visited new URL / Blue colour“: the visitor has navigated to a new URL
  • "Input field change / yellow colour“: the visitor has changed the text in an input field
  • "Scrolling / Dark green colour": the visitor has scrolled the page or the container element
  • "Viewport size / Light blue colour": the visitor has resized his browser window
  • "Click / Red colour": the visitor clicked on an element or location within your website
  • "Double click / Dark red colour": the visitor double clicked on an element or location
  • "Focus / Orange colour": the visitor has focused an input field
  • "Touch start /Light purple colour": the visitor started toucheing the screen at a location
  • "Touch end /Purple colour": the visitor stopped touching the screen

Important note: You might have noticed, that the different coloring of actions is also displayed in the time bar of the video itself. It helps you to easily identify certain actions within the session recording. Clicking on the colored spots will forward the video right to the corresponding time marker. 

Notes for a session recording

If you want to see a list view of all the notes that were added to the visitor’s session recording, click on the rider „Notes“ in the very right upper corner of area 3. 

Each comment will consist of the following information:

  • username of the person adding the account
  • time within the recording to which the comment refers
  • comment itself
  • day, date and time at which the comment was added 
  • Edit icon (you can only edit your own comments)
  • Delete icon (you can only delete your own comments)

Use this feature to mark important parts of the visitor session recording for yourself or your colleagues.