Tracking user behavior via funnels

Just a bit more ‘building’…

Screenshot of www.haveibeenexpired.com/ssl/adrukh.medium.com, showing the SSL cert expiration and the domain expiration details.
That’s what you get on haveibeenexpired.com today
  • Logging. I’m using Papertrail as a Heroku addon, and dump a single line of log for every request served by my app. Making note of the User-Agent string, the URL that was requested, and some data on the response being sent — all goes in the log. This is a very blunt way to see what the app is handling, but I fully control the detail resolution, noticing whatever errors occur and so on.
  • Uptime. I’m signing up with updown.io and have their service poke my app once a minute so I can rest assured it is up and running. I expose a specific endpoint for this check, so that it doesn’t mess up my logging, and doesn’t masquerade as a user trying to get some value from my app. The free tier of updown.io can suffice for several apps at a high monitoring frequency, check them out!
  • Security. I’m adding helmet to my app to gain a bunch of security best-practices for a web app. CSP is driving me up the wall a bit, but I get around it with some more time. Security is table-stakes, and gets harder to do well the longer you wait!

Enough building, let’s see what the users think

Paying tribute to the SEO gods

A graph of pages on my site indexed by Google
Crawling sitemap pages

Analytics and funnels

Funnels rendered by HeapAnalytics, tracking user behavior on my site
Tracking user behavior on a site with basically one page
  • A user landing on the homepage is 55% likely to check on a specific hostname
  • A user landing on a specific hostname check is 32% likely to check on another hostname
  • Both types of users are almost equally likely to ‘click through’ 4 additional hostname pages — 9% of the users go that far
  • The means I took to make it easier to stay on the site (present users with popular or somehow related hostnames for single-click navigation) are very negligible in contribution — between 2% and 5% of users actually click on those

Automating the reach-out function

What did I learn?

  • Going wide to offer domain expiration monitoring was an interesting decision. It definitely increased the app’s ‘addressable audience’, but probably cost me a bit in diluting the message of what the app is about.
  • Setting up the tech bits that give me peace of mind (monitoring, security) was a nice touch to leave the building stage aside for now. It helped me ‘turn the page’ in my mind to seeking user value with the existing offering. Don’t be afraid to ‘build just one more thing’ as long as you can see how it allows you to move forward to the next goal.
  • Seek out actions in how your users interact with your app! Finding that bit where someone used a URL in the field where I expected hostnames has gained me a few more points, instead of users giving up because the app didn’t understand what they wanted.
  • Analytics is a big deal! Many solutions, many different use-cases. Comparing the different alternatives out there was educational — I learnt what I can expect from analytics solutions. Having a reliable comparison benchmark in my own logs helped validate the analytics data I was seeing. Still a lot of ground for me to cover here, I’m sure I’m making rookie mistakes.

 by the author.

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Tech Executive Mentor. Previously VP Engineering and GM Israel at Snyk.

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Anton Drukh

Anton Drukh

Tech Executive Mentor. Previously VP Engineering and GM Israel at Snyk.

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