Clarity: the Latest in Marketing Technology from Microsoft
Microsoft recently launched a new website analytics tool called Clarity that tracks and reports user behavior through heatmaps and session recordings utilizing marketing technology.
The tool’s features help advertisers understand how users interact on their site, what items perform best, and how far down users scroll.
The most interesting report in Clarity is the Recordings. Watch user visits on your site in video form, along with a detailed description of each session, duration, type of device, and more.
Before diving into the marketing technology features, let’s take a step back and review the interface first.
As you log into Clarity, you have an overview of all accounts assigned to your email. Each account or website is referred to as a “Project.”
You will have a unique project per domain. If you have a subdomain, you can have it under the same project.
As you access a project, you are welcomed with a simple and intuitive interface. This will show three items: Dashboard, Recordings, and Heatmaps.
The first tab is the Dashboard, which includes all session metrics such as pages per session and active time on site. This section contains Dead Clicks and Rage Clicks metrics, which report clicks with no effect and rapidly clicked areas, respectively.
This information influences web development and design, revealing how the website performs and how it works out for users. What differentiates Clarity from other tools like Search Console or Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools focuses on showcasing session activity using images and video marketing technology.
Every widget allows you to select either a heatmap or recording. These are the “flame” and “camera”’ icons right next to each metric. Filter your heatmap and recordings per device, browser, landing page, and other segments.
Clarity offers video recordings of sessions performed by specific users. A recording of each session includes cursor movement, clicks, page scrolls, and any other activity.
The list of all sessions will be on the left-hand side of the screen. Choosing a session will take you to a video player. It allows you to skip user inactivity.
Clarity’s marketing technology tracks each session’s “page events,” then translates each into the form of a video and generates a simulation video of page events.
Confidential information is not displayed. If a user is about to fill out a form and input their credit card at a shopping cart, this isn’t at risk. The data input or content is not a page event, and, therefore, Clarity does not and cannot display it in a video. The recording on Clarity will show asterisks in all of the fill-in-the-blank boxes by default.
In addition to the video, you have the following details per session:
Clarity allows users to filter or isolate all metrics or segments per session. For instance, filter sessions with Rage Clicks or Dead Clicks that occur on PCs only.
If you have multiple domains or specific pages that you report separately, add filters for sessions and pages.
It is important to note that there is no session recording but a video simulation based on page events. Therefore, there is no video file to download.
Though you may already be familiar with heatmaps, this tool offers this marketing technology without a fee. This displays two main page events in the form of an image. The metrics are Clicks and Scrolls.
The count of clicks on the page allows you to visualize engagement and popularity. In the example, some items below the fold are getting a high volume of clicks. It might be a good idea to rearrange the items with the most clicks.
The Scroll tab reveals the percentage of users who reached the bottom of the page. If it is low, you should consider updates to your content or page design.
Creating the Account
If you find this tool helpful and interesting, here are some easy steps to getting started.
First, head to the website www.clarity.microsoft.com. Click on “Get Started” at the top right-hand side of the screen. If you don’t have a Microsoft account yet, use your existing Google account or enter your Facebook credentials.
The next step would be to retrieve your tracking code manually under the Settings tab and install it on all pages of your website.
Clarity also allows you to set up your account with either Google Analytics or any of the following third-party interfaces.
In short, should you try Clarity?
The answer is yes.
This Microsoft Analytics has unique data reporting features that are not available on platforms such as Google Analytics, Search Console, or Bing Webmaster Tools. Ideally, the support you get from Clarity can complement the other tools you are using already, creating a much richer landscape of what’s going on with this new marketing technology.
For instance, if you notice on Google Analytics that the average session duration on mobile devices is low, why is that happening? Are these users just going back to the search result page? Did they open the contact form?
These are questions that Clarity can help you answer for free.