Building a website is one thing. Figuring out if it is accomplishing its intended goals is quite another. To provide a comprehensive approach to the latter challenge, ClickTale, a web analytics firm, and Optimizely, a website optimization platform, are partnering to offer an integrated service.

The joint service combines Optimizely’s A/B testing platform with ClickTale’s tools for tracking user behavior on a page, which include anonymous user session playback, heat maps, conversion funnels and form analytics. By using both services, websites should be able to identify site sections with the most impact, test alternative versions and analyze the data.

What to Test, Testing Tools

While A/B testing is common, knowing exactly what elements to swap in or out has been mostly guesswork, the companies explained. Tal Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Israel-based ClickTale, described the partnership with Optimizely as a way to offer customers “a complete cycle of optimization, from observing user behavior through testing a hypothesis to understanding the results of the test.”

He added that ClickTale uncovers "the insights of what to test,” while Optimizely provides the testing tools. Then ClickTale helps in determining why one version is better than another.

Both services require that only a line of code be added to each page being tested. ClickTale’s flagship product, Core, captures every mouse move, click, hover or scroll, while Optimizely has a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor for developing A/B tests.

ClickTale Priceless

Early last month, ClickTale released a free version of its user recording and analysis technology. That product, ClickTale Priceless, is a reduced edition of the regular plan, which offers fewer page views, less extensive heat map comparisons, limited analytics and no advanced segmentation features or phone support.

In May, ClickTale updated its ClickTale Mobile user analytics service with ClickTale Touch for capturing taps, double taps, scrolls, tilts and pinches on touch interfaces.

San Francisco-based Optimizely was cited in the second-highest category of strong performers in a Forrester Wave report on Online Testing, released in February. The report cited its “rigorous, statistically trustworthy” approach, “ethos of simplicity” and intuitive user interface. The inclusion confirmed the company’s evolution from a no-frills testing tool for small businesses to a tool used by companies of all sizes.

Forrester did, however, recommend Optimizely expand its enterprise credibility with more advanced testing features. That's something the ClickTale partnership may provide.