6 best next-gen web analytics tools to help understand user behaviour

While most sites will at very least have Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel installed, neither are very easy nor intuitive to use when it comes to understanding user behaviour. We look at some of the next generation tools which are disrupting the field and helping to make analytics intuitive, dare I say even simple….


Far from a glorified view counter, Heap tracks every single interaction users have with your website. Clicking, tapping, swiping and even staring is all captured without you having to explicitly program Heap to do so. Based on this vast dataset of user interactions, Heap models these inputs into actionable insights to help you do things like reduce friction in your funnel, improve conversion rates and segment users by behaviour to personalize their experience.

The key benefit to using Heap is that it’s constantly measuring everything, thereby surfacing valuable information that you thought you never needed and never checked Google Analytics for.


Questions are more important than answers. Knowing this well, MixPanel prides itself on enabling you to answer any question you like about your website and business rather than giving you a limited set of answers that may not be relevant. It handles the data collection and science while putting you in charge of querying for the right question (with no SQL knowledge necessary).

With MixPanel, you can query the dataset to find out nearly anything; from visualizing and monitoring KPIs to getting conversion rates of specific user segments (like users who use Safari to access your site). All these insights can then be integrated into the larger data pipeline infrastructure of your business, meaning you can analyze, understand and then change your website’s behaviour automatically using MixPanel.

However, with the power to ask anything you like comes the responsibility of having to make an appropriate query yourself. To take full advantage of MixPanel, you’ll need someone to understand your business’ needs and translate those into queries. You’ll end up getting the perfect data, but it may not be as simple as some of the other solutions out there.


With a slogan like “Your site is about people, not sessions. Your data should be too”, Kissmetrics focuses on the human aspect of web analytics, opting to make its data people-centric and extremely simple to understand rather than shoving confusing metrics down your throat. For SaaS products, Kissmetrics provides useful key metrics like time to signup, new subscriptions, and primary method of acquiring new customers among countless others. For e-commerce businesses, Kissmetrics can show you metrics relevant to each stage of your funnel process. From discovering the drop off points in your checkout flow to seeing how you acquired your biggest customers or even identifying exactly which products/categories are trending is a cake-walk for Kissmetrics.

Where Kissmetrics falls short is in integrations with other systems, set-up time and data visualisation. If your business requires an easy-to-set-up tool that can integrate easily with your business’ existing infrastructure, Kissmetrics might not be the tool for you. For the more tech savvy Zapier will enable you to set up these integrations.


Clicktale positions itself as the market leader in experience analytics which prioritises collecting information about customer experiences based on metrics like customer effort, satisfaction, brand loyalty and customer churn. The way customers interact with your website (down to the micro-gesture) is interpreted by Clicktale using human intelligence and clever algorithms. Based on these interactions, Clicktale provides you with behavioural insights, meaningful customer feedback points, heatmaps, and insightful funnel process diagrams. All this helps you understand your customers like never before, and ultimately add value in key areas made visible through Clicktale’s valuable data.

Clicktale has recently joined the ContentSquare family and it appears they are now offering one of the strongest experience analytics platforms, we will work on an in depth review in the future.


Another contender in the experience analytics game is FullStory whose main competitive advantage lies in making invisible opportunities very much visible and quantifiable (thereby giving you the ‘full story’). Why do customers get frustrated and leave your website? Why is your funnel only effective until a particular stage in the process? And which issues do you urgently need to fix rather than leave for later?

In other analytics tools, answers to these questions would require careful querying, and an extremely keen understanding of your user-base. FullStory eliminates the need for both; it analyses and understands (using a digital forensics suite) your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats while quantifying, visualising and prioritising them so you have actionable, visible steps to take rather than a swamp of data you’ll never use.

Although, due to its focus on actions as opposed to raw data, FullStory doesn’t give you reporting and querying tools that are as powerful as other competitors such as MixPanel.


HotJar combines marketing, product-creation and user experience analytics products into one simple suite, without compromising on any areas. Heatmaps, session recordings, conversion funnel diagrams, and feedback integration (in the form of surveys, polls and comments) are some of the tools HotJar uses to translate user behaviour into insights. Marketers can track a variety of metrics based on feedback integration. Product developers or managers can see their product being used actively by users instead of guessing based on oversimplified click diagrams. And designers can eliminate user friction based on these recordings or heatmaps of user interactions. Most importantly, HotJar keeps it simple with an easy setup, small learning curve and visual insights that you don’t need a 4-year degree to understand.

HotJar is the most well-rounded package for understanding your users as well as flexibly providing this data to work with any department in your business.

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