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Updated Oct 23, 2023

What Is Website Visitor Tracking?

Tracking visitors to your website can improve other elements of your broader marketing strategy.

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Rachelle Gordon, Contributing Writer
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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Website visitor tracking offers valuable, in-depth information that marketing and sales teams can use to refine their efforts and obtain quality leads. It also helps drive user experience (UX) efficiency because tracking visitor activity can reveal strengths and weaknesses on any given web page.

Examining website traffic behavior and demographics can help companies improve conversion rates, make the most of their digital ad spend, and consistently grow visitor numbers. Read ahead for a guide on what information is most important to track and some advice for choosing the right website tracking analytics software. 

Why is it important to track your website visits?

Web visitor tracking offers businesses a more nuanced understanding of their potential customers, as well as how their audience reacts to their content. Teams can retain detailed information about visitors. Depending on the exact modality deployed, they may even be able to obtain company names and contact information, which sets up warm leads for sales teams to follow up on. This provides incredible value because sales reps can strategize accordingly as opposed to relying on cold calling.

On the marketing and UX side, website tracking lets companies know if their approaches and content are working and to what extent. For example, media platforms can discover who clicks on what content (and what’s left behind), while online stores can identify the exact moment customers abandon their carts or experience issues during checkout.

Many website tracking tools offer user flows, which illustrate the way most visitors engage with your website and how they move from page to page. This data indicates the current success rate of a website and can highlight areas that need improvement or a complete overhaul.

Every type of business with a website can benefit from tracking visitor data. These are some of the most common goals associated with website visitor tracking:

Additionally, marketers can reduce reliance on media spend and build on what’s currently working. Sales teams can start their days with leads they know are ready to take the next step. Even product development can be improved by harnessing data about how current customers are interacting with the company. 

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
Tracking website visitors enables businesses to gather contact information for other marketing campaigns and improve user experience, which drives more conversions.

What visitor activity should you be tracking?

Several types of data can be obtained through website visitor tracking, including identifying information, user behavior and overall performance analytics. Depending on your company’s core goals, you may want to consider gathering the following types of information:

  • Visitors’ locations, demographics, and depending on the software, the companies they represent and their contact information
  • Click rates and user flow
  • Overall page traffic
  • Bounce rates
  • Source of web traffic

Businesses can develop more effective strategies when they understand these categories. Marketers can find out which ads are the most enticing, while sales teams can discover exactly who is browsing their catalogs.

To inform your marketing efforts, you may want to track user locations and demographics, user flow, click rates on various elements, bounce rates and sources of web traffic.

What is website visitor tracking software?

Website visitor tracking software typically focuses on three categories of data: website analytics, user behavior and visitor identity. These areas offer unique value depending on the goals of the business deploying the software, providing easy-to-understand reports with actionable information that can be disseminated between departments to maximize ROI.

While some provide high-level overviews of traffic, others are capable of providing in-depth user insights using advanced technology. Many also integrate with CRM platforms for a seamless experience.

Did You Know?Did you know
Website visitor tracking software helps gather and contextualize web traffic data into insightful reports that can improve marketing efforts.

How does website visitor tracking software work?

Most tracking software uses a reverse domain name system (rDNS) and/or a website script to gather data.

Businesses can stack current software solutions with website visitor tracking software to create a suite of tools accessible across departments. Those already storing lead data in CRMs may learn even more about prospects due to the additional data tracking software can provide, for example. Many major tracking software providers integrate with leading CRM platforms and may even alert clients when a dream customer is currently browsing their site. [Read related article: Best CRM Software]

Here’s how visitor tracking technology works:

Reverse domain name system

Every device connected to the internet has a unique internet protocol (IP) address, and most also have a reverse DNS record. Website visitor tracking software that uses an rDNS analyzes a user’s IP address to collect information, which is then supplied to the appropriate teams. It’s similar to searching for a phone number in a Rolodex, but with internet traffic instead.


Website visitor tracking software may also install a script on a website that collects user data automatically. The software then analyzes this data to determine which companies are visiting, turning them into warm leads. This publicly available information may include the following about the company:

  • Address
  • Website
  • Social media accounts
  • Relevant contacts, including phone numbers and email addresses
FYIDid you know
Website visitor tracking software relies on a reverse domain name system and/or script methods to capture visitor information.

Is website visitor tracking software GDPR-compliant?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prevents website tracking in the European Union (EU) without the visitor’s express consent. Businesses that receive web traffic from EU users must follow the GDPR’s guidelines; otherwise, they risk incurring extremely large fines. Many website visitor tracking software providers offer tips on how to comply with the GDPR. This includes displaying a policy on privacy, terms of use and cookies that is clearly visible to users and outlines how their information is being collected and for what purpose.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that companies disclose data collection to website visitors, especially data used for targeted marketing. Consumers have the right to deploy “do not track” settings on their web browsers, but there is no federal law addressing website tracking in the United States. Some individual states have enacted laws about consumer privacy, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah and Virginia. 

To avoid potential GDPR or U.S. state privacy law violations, be sure to have the appropriate policies in place. Obtain user consent before using website visitor tracking software.

Track your way to success 

Website visitor tracking is an important tool if you want better insight into your customers’ behavior and preferences. The data you acquire from website visitor tracking can help you make improvements on all levels, such as your marketing and product teams. As long as your organization’s visitor tracking processes comply with local and international laws, they can help you boost engagement and better understand your customers. 

Natalie Hamingson contributed to this article. 

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Rachelle Gordon, Contributing Writer
Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based content writer who has written extensively on topics such as finance, marketing, cannabis, sustainability and tech. Her work has appeared in Benzinga, SlickDeals, and High Times. Prior to her career in journalism, Rachelle was an educator and has a passion for sharing knowledge. She enjoys helping businesses maximize efficiency while staying true to their core values.
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