Improving Your User Experience With HeatMaps

Posted 16.04.2020

By Luke Pickering

Heatmapping is a technique that we use in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), it’s an area where we are focused on increasing the profitability of a website by making the most of the existing traffic. It means we analyze the journeys users take on your site in order to determine how the User Experience (UX) can be improved. There are a number of key factors to look at when using heat mapping; where users click, how long they spend on a section of a page and the route they take to convert. So when it comes to CRO, we ultimately aim to make the users’ experience easier and more enjoyable; making subtle adjustments designed to enhance user experience and encourage users to convert. There are a number of heatmapping tools and plugins but we’ll be using the example of HotJar to help you understand what to look for and how you can use this tool to the best of its ability.

Heatmapping tools

There are so many functions that software like HotJar can provide for you, and throughout this blog post we’ll break them down in more detail. However, before we do, we want to point out some other software that you can use instead; for example, Crazyegg, Mouseflow and NotifyVisitors. Google even offers a free chrome extension called Page Analytics which allows you to analyse the users’ clicks however it can’t provide the functionalities of more premium services. Some of the heatmaps to look at include:

Click heatmaps

This is probably the most simple and the most helpful type of heatmap. It enables you to track where users have clicked on the important sections of your site. This can be really useful for showing which on-page elements are attracting the most clicks and allows you to make design decisions such as the order of items in a navigation bar and the placement of CTAs.

When you combine this type of a heatmap with conversion path analysis you can figure out the steps that users are commonly taking from the landing page to the point of conversion. This then lets you see where users are dropping off and which paths enables users to convert easiest.

Click Heatmap

Move heatmaps

This type of heat map allows you to see where users have moved or hovered their cursors on your site. It’s very similar to a click heatmap however it allows you to pinpoint elements on your site that have briefly attracted users’ attention but didn’t quite do enough to be clicked on.

hotjar move heatmap

Scroll heatmaps

The final important heatmap tool is the tracking of how far a user scrolls down the page on your site. This tool is especially useful if you’re a site who puts up a lot of heavy content. If you can understand how far down a user gets on each page before leaving, you are able to understand their path and then effectively optimise your content to optimise their journey. If you combine a scroll map with Google Analytics metrics (bounce rate and average time on page) you can work out if the content is doing the job and actually appealing to the users who visit your site.

Scroll HotJar Heatmap

Making Improvements

Once you have gathered all of your data and now understand how users are interacting with pages and your whole site it’s time to start implementing changes that are going to help optimise your Conversion Rate. Usually, this is done through making alterations on your site to things called elements. These elements can be anything from a button with a CTA, a signup form or social media buttons.

How Accessible Is The Element?

If your drive is to get people to sign up for your newsletter it’s so important to ask the question of “How Accessible Is The Element?”. You want to make sure that the users can find what they need in a short period of time. Obviously, the higher up the page it is the easier it is going to be for the user, or just making sure it is big enough and visible enough so that they are able to have no issues finding it.

There are a number of things you can do to make it easier to make an element more obvious. For starters, you could place an element above the fold on your page. This means you’re making the user’s life as easy as possible. They don’t have to do a great amount of scrolling. It is there in front of them without having to search the entire page. It can also be done through simply moving around some other parts of the page. Make some layout adjustments to make your users’ life easier if you want them to find certain information then make it clear to them.

Sometimes you will have to add in new content or new buttons to improve the experience but sometimes it might just be a case of modifying existing elements. The best way to have the best experience is by imagining it is your first time on the site and how it easy it would be to do the one action you’re wanting users to do.

Hopefully, you now understand how you can be using heatmaps in order to better your User Experience. If you’re looking for some help with your Conversion Rate Optimization don’t hesitate to get in touch with us…

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