10 Tools to Record Website Visitor Sessions for Invaluable Insights

It’s no secret that websites are a big part of our lives.

We go online to research purchases, read the latest news, and find out what’s going on in the world.

But how often do you look at your website from the visitor’s point of view? How much do you know about how your visitors behave, what they’re interested in, and where they came from?

website visitor session record tool

Our websites don’t just hang out in the cyber world, they are used by real people.

And what you can learn about those users through website visitor sessions is invaluable to your business success.

There’s a wide range of tools available for recording and analyzing website session data so you can better understand who visits your site, how much time they spend on it, and what paths they take.

In today’s article, we’ll talk about:

  • What a session replay software is,
  • Why you should be using it,
  • What you can learn about your website visitors, and
  • 10 best tools to use

So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into it!

What is Session Replay Software?

Session replay software is a tool that allows you to record user sessions on your website. It replays the recorded session just as if someone were there watching it happen in real-time. It captures all website activity, including clicks, mouse movements, and scrolling. That means you’ll be able to see exactly how visitors interact with your site and what they’re interested in.

So basically you’ll be seeing how long users are on each page, which pages they spend more time on, and where they go when they leave.

The best part is that session replay software records individual users, so you can see the behavior of different people on your website.

Other conversion rate optimization software, such as heat maps, show where a visitor spends the most time on a website, but they don’t explain why they spend so much time on a certain part of a website.

Session replay software solves this problem by concentrating on the question of why and developing relevant conclusions based on real user experiences and data.

It’s worth noting that a session replay isn’t actually a “replay”.

Session replay tools work more like simulators. They don’t record your users and/or their activity but rather calculate probable scenarios using the data at hand. 

how to record website visitor sessions

Why Should You Use Session Replay Software?

Now that you know what session replay software is, let’s talk about why you should use it. Here are some of the major benefits of using session replay software.

Discover how people  interact with your website 

Session recording tools let you see every mouse movement, click, and scroll that your visitors make on your website. That means you’ll get a good idea of how users are interacting with it. If they’re having trouble finding what they’re looking for, you’ll be able to see the problem areas on your website and make changes accordingly.

Identify problem areas on your website  

People leave a website for many different reasons. A site might be taking too long to load, or a user could have trouble finding what they’re looking for, or maybe the information is confusing. 

Session replay software allows you to see exactly where your visitors are having problems and find out how to fix them.

Find the best places for your CTAs 

We don’t use session replay software to stalk users. Seeing the data from these tools actually make a difference in the decisions we are making.

Like where to put a CTA for example.

With a session replay tool, you’ll be able to see exactly where your users click on the webpage and determine if those areas work well for your CTAs.

Boost Conversion Rates 

Session recording software can be very beneficial for boosting your conversion rates. You’ll not only find out how to improve the user experience on your website, but you’ll also be able to step into your users’ shoes and see the site from their perspective.

There are a lot of great things you can learn from session recording software, but it’s important to remember that it’s user data and you need to treat it accordingly.

The information, provided by session recording software, is extremely valuable and you have to know how to interpret it.

A session recording tool won’t provide a definite answer to your questions. Instead, it will give you all the data, and then it’s up to you to come up with the answers.

That’s why it’s important to understand what session recording software is and how it works before you begin using it.

Session Replay Software Features

By now you should have realized that session replay software are pretty cool and possibly that you might need one. But, what exactly do you need again?

What are you going to use it for? Why exactly do you need it? What features are a must for your business?

Here are some of the most important features you should look for in a session replay tool.

👉 Flexibility in the type of data captured

Different tools record different kinds of information, so you’ll need to make sure that your session recording tool records what you’re looking for.

👉 How the data is organized and reports are created 

It should provide access to all the information your session recording tool stores enabling you to easily create reports based on that data.

👉 Helpful documentation 

You’ll need to read all the documentation for your session recording tool before you begin using it, so look for one whose guides and FAQs are easy to understand.

👉 The ability to add notes 

You may find that you need more information about certain areas on your website. If a session recording tool allows for notes to be added, choose it – it’ll make your work a lot easier.

👉 Ease of use 

Session recording tools can be difficult to use, so the easier it is for you to get up and running with a session recording tool, the better.

👉 Traffic control 

It’s important to have control over the amount of traffic your session recording tool registers. If it captures too much information, it could make your reports bloated and difficult to read.

👉 Segmented recordings 

Session recording tools that allow for segmented recordings give you the option to track specific sessions and block out others.

👉 Filtered search 

If you need to search for certain users or visits, a session recording tool should allow you to filter your searches so that only the information that is relevant to you is displayed.

The Best Tools to Record Website Visitor Sessions for Invaluable Insights

Now that you know what to look for in a session recording tool, it’s time to find one.

Here are the 10 best session recording tools available on the market today.

1- Hotjar

session recording tools hotjar

Hotjar is one of the most well-known visitor recording and session replay solutions on the market.

It’s super easy to use, which makes it an excellent choice for beginners. Hotjar also has a lot of features that make it great for experienced users too.

With this tool, users can watch recordings of actual website visitors browsing your website, including clicks, taps, and mouse movements.

Once a session has been recorded, Hotjar users can tag the recording, write notes on user activities, share the recordings with colleagues, and, filter them by page viewed, landing page, exit page, and so on.

This application also allows users to build heatmaps, customizable surveys, and feedback polls. Hotjar records visitor sessions on-demand or sets up triggers to record visitors automatically.

For anyone who wants to improve their site, Hotjar is an excellent choice.

Key Features

  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Heatmaps and follow up surveys built into the platform
  • Filters for sessions, pages viewed, and more
  • Helpful documentation and tutorials available on the website
  • Customer support team is always ready to help you with all your needs

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at $39/month

2- Smartlook

session recording tools smartlook

Smartlook, with its distinct feature set, is a great option for anyone looking for a simple session recording tool.

Always-on visitor records show you what each and every visitor performs on your website or app, while the automated event monitoring shows you how (and how often) your visitors do certain activities.

There is also the option to focus on a single activity, view recordings of specific pages, and control the amount of traffic that is recorded.

Moreover, Smartlook allows for segmented recording, filtered searches to narrow down what you’re looking for, and timed recordings.

With Smartlook’s dynamic heatmaps, visualized feedback forms, and customizable surveys, you can get all the information that you need to know about your website visitors in no time.

You’ll also be able to view recordings on-demand or set up triggers to record visitors automatically.

If you want an effective session recording tool that gets the job done without all of the extra bells and whistles, Smartlook is an excellent choice.

Key Features

  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Customer support team available
  • Filters for sessions, pages viewed, and more
  • Recordings on-demand or set up triggers to record visitors automatically
  • Easily view recordings on the Smartlook platform or download them to your computer

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at €31/month

3- Mouseflow

session recording tools mouseflow

Mouseflow has some great features that easily make it one of the best session recording tools on the market.

With Mouseflow, users can watch a video-like playback of a website visitor’s entire session. This includes everything that they clicked, where their cursor went, and how long they spent on each page.

You can also filter recordings by specific pages, browser type, number of visitors to the site, and more.

Mouseflow can be set up to record on-demand or automatically record visitors as they visit the site. After watching visitor sessions, you can also generate heatmaps.

These show where visitors clicked the most and hover over elements of your site or app.

You can also add goals to specific pages so that you know when visitors land on those pages and how long they spend there.

Mouseflow is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a session recording tool that has it all.

Key Features

  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Heatmaps built into the platform to help you see where users click
  • Visualized feedback forms to see what elements of the site visitors click on
  • Customizable surveys that  collect information from website visitors
  • Recordings on-demand or automatically record visitors as they visit the site

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at €24/month

4- Contentsquare

session recording tools contentsquare

Contentsquare is a wise choice for anyone looking to record their website visitors and get actionable insights from those recordings.

With Contentsquare, you can track each and every website visitor, see where they click, what the drop-off rates are on your site or app, view heatmaps, and more.

You can also see where users are dropping off, pinpoint the source of your issues, and fix them before they become too big to handle. Contentsquare is also very customizable, so it’s perfect for everyone.

You can set up triggers to record specific pages or devices, filter recordings by certain pages, date ranges, browser types, and more.

You can also set up goals on specific pages so that you know when website visitors reach those pages and how long they stay.

This session recording tool is perfect for those who need a straightforward and efficient solution with detailed analytics.

Key Features

  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Recordings filtered by page, browser type, keywords searched for on the site, etc.
  • Customizable feedback forms to collect information from website visitors
  • Recordings on demand or set up triggers to record website visitors automatically

Pricing

  • Contact for pricing

5- VMO Insight

session recording tools vmo insight

VMO Insight is a smart option for those who want detailed recordings of their website visitors and the possibility to generate heatmaps.

VMO Insight can record visitors on your site or app in real-time, generate heatmaps to show where users click most, and allow you to see where users are scrolling.

You can also record visitors on-demand or automatically by setting up triggers for certain pages, keywords, etc.

These triggers will record your website visitors and send you notifications once their session completes so you can view the recordings right away.

You can choose to speed up or slow down the process, depending on your preferences. There‘s also a very helpful option to skip the timing strap when users are inactive. This saves you a considerable amount of time.

If you discover something that might be improved in the recording, such as a visitor becoming confused while filling out a form, you can add an observation mark at that precise point to address it.

Key Features

  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Heatmaps of where users click most on your site or app
  • Observation markers that allow you to highlight certain points in the recording
  • Triggers to record website visitors automatically
  • Skip feature that allows you to review recordings faster

Pricing

  • Free trial available
  • Contact for pricing

6- SessionCam

session recording tools sessioncam

SessionCam is another excellent solution for those seeking to record their website visitors and get actionable insights from them.

This session recording tool has a very simple interface making it easy for you to view the recordings, filter them according to certain criteria, see where they drop off on the page or give up entirely, analyze annotations you’ve made throughout the recording, and more.

There are also countless filters that can be applied to both recordings and heatmaps so you get an accurate picture of your website visitor’s behavior on the site or app.

This application offers a real-time API feed that may be used to run basket abandonment campaigns or pass customer data to other departments within your company. SessionCam’s advanced algorithm recognizes problems and generates a Customer Struggle Score for each recording, which is a feature that makes it stand out.

SessionCam is also very customizable, so it can work for everyone regardless of what their needs are.

Key Features

  • Real-time API feed
  • Recordings of website visitors
  • Heatmaps of where users are click most on your site or app
  • Filters to view specific recordings and heatmaps
  • Annotations to highlight certain points in the recording
  • Customer Struggle Score that analyzes website visitor behavior and highlights potential problems

Pricing

  • Free trial available
  • Contact for pricing

7- FullStory

session recording tools fullstory

FullStory provides high-fidelity session playback, but unlike other tools on this list, it also organizes user and event data into a fully searchable database.

That means you can search for all your sessions based on everything from URLs visited to buttons clicked, and you don’t need to do anything except installing the FullStory snippet.

In addition, FullStory indexes “frustration signals” such as Rage Clicks, Error Clicks, Thrashing Cursor, and more, allow you to isolate sessions in order to better identify where users have difficulty and improve the overall experience.

Since FullStory captures all sessions, once FullStory is integrated with your customer support and help desk tools, new tickets will contain links to session recordings, and so will bug reports. This means you can tell what a customer’s problem is without asking, and reproducing a bug is as simple as watching the replay.

Key Features

  • High fidelity playback of website visitors’ sessions
  • Indexes frustration signals such as Rage Clicks, Error Clicks, Thrashing Cursor, etc. to help you isolate where they have problems on the site or app
  • Advanced search features that allow you to filter sessions based on URL visited, buttons clicked, frustration signals detected, etc.
  • Integration with a number of customer support and help desk tools

Pricing

  • Free trial available
  • Contact for pricing

8- Inspectlet

session recording tools inspectlet

Inspectlet is one of the most well-rounded session recording tools on this list.

It records every user’s entire browsing experience and displays the data in a detailed report that includes heatmaps, scrolling maps, click-throughs, and more. This information can be used to identify the most common paths through your site or app and where users encounter problems.

Inspectlet also features advanced filters that allow you to isolate Traffic, New or Returning Visitors; Visits that Ended in a Goal Conversion (or Dropped); and Sessions with the Most Page Views.

It also offers the possibility to compare two different metrics, such as scroll depth or clicks per page, side by side.

Key Features

  • Records every user’s entire browsing experience and displays it in a detailed report that includes heatmaps, scrolling maps, click-throughs and more
  • Identifies the most common paths through your site or app and where users have problems
  • Advanced filters
  • Offers the ability to compare two different metrics side by side

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at $39/month

9- Lucky Orange

session recording tools luckyorange

While not as advanced as some of the other tools on this list, Lucky Orange is extremely user-friendly.

It allows you to record everything happening on your site, including clicks and page scrolling.

You can also record multiple sessions side-by-side, which is useful if you’re trying to compare two different types of users (i.e. returning vs new visitors), or two different versions of your website (i.e. A/B testing).

While Lucky Orange doesn’t provide the same level of granularity for analyzing your data that tools like Inspectlet and Clicktale do, it does offer a number of useful features such as heatmapping, conversion funnels, and form analytics.

It also has a real-time visitor map that shows you the total number of visitors on the platform at any given time. You can additionally filter and segment recordings in order to discover where visitors are leaving.

Key Features

  • Records everything happening on your site, including clicks and page scrolling
  • Allows you to record multiple sessions side-by-side
  • Provides heatmapping, conversion funnels, form analytics and real-time visitor map
  • Polls

Pricing

  • Free trial available
  • Plans start at $10/month

10- UXtweak

session recording tools uxtweak

UXtweak offers a number of unique features that help it stand out from the other tools on this list.

The UXtweak session recording tool indexes all user events and makes them searchable using SmartSearch filters. You can use SmartSearch to single out the users who might come from the United States,  use a mobile device, visit the “Contact us” page, or click on the “Schedule Call” button.

SmartSearch not only allows you to efficiently filter out user sessions but also offers search suggestions to save you even more time.

Finally, you can also view heatmaps of user activity on your site.

Key Features

  • Indexes user sessions and makes them searchable using SmartSearch filters
  • Allows you to isolate sessions based on duration, visitor location, browser type or page URLs
  • Offers search suggestions to save you time
  • Provides heatmaps of user activity on your site
  • GDPR and CCPA compliant

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at $70/month

Potential Issues with Session Replay Software

Although the benefits of using session replay software outweigh the risks, there are a few potential problems you should be aware of.

‼️ Firstly, while session replay software can show you exactly how visitors navigate your site, it doesn’t provide much insight into why they do so.

If you haven’t had any experience with website analytics yet, it can be difficult to know what your visitors are looking for and how they expect the site to function.

‼️ Secondly, session replay software can also carry an element of a privacy risk as it allows you to gain access to sensitive information that users fill out in your website forms.

To avoid this issue, some tools allow you to anonymize data before it’s recorded.

‼️ Lastly, session replay software can sometimes generate a large volume of data that’s difficult to manage.

Because of this, it may be helpful to have a dedicated person or team that’s responsible for regularly reviewing the recordings.

Software and Services Related to Session Replay Software

Here are a few examples of other tools and services that you may find useful if you’re interested in gathering more data about your website visitors:

Live chat software

Live chat software allows companies to communicate with their website visitors in real-time via chat boxes that are integrated into their site.

It’s extremely beneficial for users to connect session replay software with live chat software in order to more precisely analyze any difficulties that a client brings to the live chat. 

For example, if a client reports having problems checking out, the customer service representative accesses the session replay to see where the consumer is experiencing trouble checking out. This quickens the resolution of the customer’s issue, resulting in happier customers.

Surveys 

Surveying website visitors can help you get a better understanding of what they’re looking for and why they visited your site. It can also help you learn how they feel about your company and its products or services.

For example, an NPS survey can work wonders.

Heatmaps  

Heatmaps show the areas of a  page where users clicked or hovered over. This helps marketers see what users are interested in and where on the page they should place important information to increase conversions.

Analytics 

It’s useful to use session replay software along with analytics because it enables you to see actionable data about your visitors. Analytics will give you additional insights into user behavior on your website.

A/B testing 

A/B testing is a great way to test different versions of your website and see which layout or design converts better. For example, you can test two versions of your checkout page to see which one leads to more placed orders.

Conclusion

With so many tools and features available, it can be challenging to know which one you should use to get the most value from your data.

While we can’t make that decision for you, we hope our list of the top session replay tools will be a helpful starting point.

If you’re just getting started with a session replay software, it may be helpful to begin with a free plan so you can get used to recording your visitors’ sessions before making any major investments.

Above all, it’s important to use your session recordings together with other data you’ve gathered about your company and its website visitors, so you can gain the best insights possible.


Frequently Asked Questions


How do you record user actions?

To record and analyze user actions on a website, software like session replay tools are recommended.


How do I record a scrolling website?

By using a session replay software or other types of tools, it is possible to record a scrolling website.


Does Hotjar record every session?

Hotjar does not guarantee that a specific user will be tracked, but ideally, all user activity is recorded.

Alican Bektas

Alican is the Product Manager of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 2000+ companies trust in their user onboarding.

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