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If you’re scratching your head wondering why your site’s traffic is rising but your sales are not, you can benefit from using heatmaps. Traffic is just one piece of the puzzle in making sales, but it’s one of the most important pieces.
You can use this traffic to gather data on user behavior using heatmaps.
When you have this data in front of you, you’ll be able to:
- Make changes based on actual data
- Reduce your stress and anxiety
- Not put the blame on your marketing team
Heatmaps will provide unbiased, clear data that you can use to make your site more intuitive, improve user experience and even boost sales.
What are Heatmaps and What Information Do They Provide?
Never heard of heatmaps before? These “maps” sit in the background of a user’s session on your website. When users scroll, click or even stop on a page, the heatmap will gather this information and compile it in a database.
Over time, a “heatmap,” or visualization of the user actions on your site, will be made.
The graphical representation will show:
- Hot areas in red
- Cold areas in blue
And there’s a color spectrum here, so green would be in the middle, while yellow means the users are spending a decent portion of their time on this part of your page. Red is “hot” and where the most activity on a page is recorded.
You or your marketing team can begin using heatmap data to really get a firm understanding of how users are interacting with your site.
How is Heatmap Data Useful?
Let’s assume that you have a “buy now” button on the middle-right portion of your website. You thought that this area was a natural location for the button because users read from left to right, and you filled the page with engaging content.
But no one is actually buying.
After you run your heatmap for two weeks, you open it up and see that the right side of the page has very sparse areas of blue. No one is looking at this area of the page, but they are looking at the top-left portion of the page.
Moving the buy now button to the top-left would:
- Increase visibility
- Promote higher activity
And, while no one will buy if the product is subpar, they will at least see the offer and the button. You have to make your copy and offer enticing, but you know where you can place your call-to-action and copy to make sure that people see it.
The data that you collect helps you do two main things:
- Identify trends
- Optimize your site for more engagement
If you look at the heatmap and don’t optimize, the data will be completely useless for you.
Taking Heatmaps to the Next Level with Recorded Sessions
Recorded sessions are like heatmaps on steroids. What these sessions offer is a full recording of the user’s behavior. This information can be invaluable because you’ll be seeing exactly what the user is able to see.
Let’s assume that you received a complaint or two from users that your buy now button wasn’t clickable.
You contact your web developer and go to the page yourself, but the button works. A few days later, someone else complains of the same issue, but you can’t seem to replicate the problem. Recorded sessions allow you to see what’s happening on your site in real-time.
The data from recoded sessions will empower you and your development team to:
- Improve usability
- Correct site issues
- Gain insight into user behavior
Heatmaps have been around since the 90s, and the data collected still remains some of the most valuable available for studying user behavior and interaction on your site.
Are Heatmaps Really Useful? The Data Says “Yes!”
You have analytics, know your page’s dwell time and bounce rate, so do you really need to use a heatmap? It’s recommended. The more data you have on how users interact with your site, the better.
But don’t take our word for it. Let’s look at some data.
Hotjar Case Studies
Hotjar is a leader in the heatmap industry, and they have a lot of case studies and data that you can refer to when considering heatmaps for your site. We won’t cover all of these studies, but we will discuss a few:
- TomTom is a leading navigation company that was stuck trying to A/B test pages to drive more sales. The changes were made without concrete data and the team felt completely in the dark when making changes. The team used heatmaps and recorded sessions to identify issues that they couldn’t see otherwise. The team uses Hotjar daily to gain insights and increase conversions.
- Matalan has over 200 stores and an ecommerce site, but they struggled to improve sales. They used Hotjar surveys, session recordings and heatmaps to improve checkout conversions by 1.23% and resolved site issues, leading to a 400% ROI.
- CCV is a SaaS company that used Hotjar on their landing pages, primarily working with heatmaps, to improve conversion rates by 38%.
CrazyEgg Case Studies
CrazyEgg offers a robust set of tools that can help you better understand user behavior, and one of those tools is an in-depth heatmap solution. A few of the great case studies from the company include:
- WallMonkeys used heatmaps and A/B testing tools to increase their conversions by a staggering 550%. The team used heatmaps to understand user behavior before A/B testing elements to achieve these results.
- Happy Trails used individual session recordings to find issues, optimize their site and improve sales by 30% to 35% while also saving $90,000 in sales.
These are just some of the real-world examples of using heatmaps and recorded sessions to improve sales and/or conversions.
Who Are the Leading Companies Offering Heatmaps?
A lot of companies offer heatmaps and related tools, but the following are among the leading companies in the world offering heatmap services:
You’ll find a lot of great companies to choose from with heatmaps, but we suggest spending the time looking over all of the features these platforms offer to choose the right solution for your business.
Example of Using Heatmaps Using Hotjar
Since we have experience with Hotjar and already mentioned the platform quite a bit, we wanted to explain how to get up and running with Hotjar.
Note: We’re going to cover a quick setup of Hotjar, but this doesn’t leverage the full power of the platform.
Before you begin with the setup process, be sure to allow for 30 minutes or so for the entire process to complete. We’re going to assume that you’ve already signed up for the platform or can handle that process on your own.
Once you’re ready, you’ll need to do the following:
- Install your tracking code. Hotjar provides this for you. You’ll want to add this code inside of the <head> element on your site. You can view specific guides for each platform here.
- Once installed, head to the Site Dashboard and verify the installation. There may be a slight delay.
- Create heatmaps for your top landing pages. You can do this by logging into your Hotjar dashboard, clicking on “new heatmap” and then entering the heatmap name. You can choose how many page views you would like to capture and then add in the page information in the Page Targeting section. Make sure to save the settings by clicking on the “Create Heatmap” button.
- Next, if you want to begin recording sessions, you can do so from the dashboard, too. You’ll want to find “Sites & Organizations” in the Settings tab at the top of the dashboard. Choose the site that you want to have session recordings. Toggle on the session capture button.
This is all that you have to do to get your heatmaps and session recordings working properly. Since Hotjar allows you to verify the coding install on your site, it’s a rather straightforward process.
But if you want to leverage the full power of these platforms, you’ll want to use the advanced features, which require more in-depth tuning and settings.
Heatmaps, session recording and user data are all key elements to optimizing your site for higher conversions. When you have user data to go off of when making changes to your site, you’ll see rapid results from A/B testing and site optimization.
For many sites, they’re able to solve the problem of having traffic that simply doesn’t convert by adding heatmaps to gather user data.