One of every website owner’s unhidden goals is to improve their website’s user experience, or commonly known as UX. To properly design the user experience of your website, it is important to have some kind of web analytics tool that allows you to easily determine both the critical and the preferred areas of your website. A good way to do this is to use a heatmap, which I highly recommend if you want to be successful and have a lot of satisfied users.
In this article, I’ll tell you what heatmaps are, and which categories they fall into, and then I’ll share some tips and tricks that heatmaps can add to your website’s user experience. I will also talk about what other web analytics tools I consider important in addition to heatmaps, such as session replay or A/B testing, but I shouldn’t forget about user feedback. But it’s not just about heatmaps, it’s also about session replacement, A/B testing, and the importance of user feedback.
What is a Heatmap?
Heatmaps can be considered one of the most effective data visualization tools. It will show you which areas of your website you need to improve to achieve an effective user experience, you’ll see where they click, where they scroll, what they look at for longer, and what they ignore.
Heatmaps are a visual reflection of data that can be interpreted through the use of colors, namely hot and cold.
As I mentioned, there are several types of heatmaps – three to be precise. There are clickable, scrollable, and moveable heatmaps. Each of them is a very cool alternative that will help you create a better user experience. These heatmaps are easy to analyze with heatmap analysis tools and identify the necessary improvements.
They’re a catchy name, as they show you where users click on your website with their mouse on desktop devices or even their fingers on mobile devices. Where they clicked the most is shown in red, and where they clicked the least is shown in blue. Isn’t it simple, but also useful to find out which parts of your website are popular and which are less popular?
With this tool, you can see where the user’s mouse is moving while they’re browsing your site. The dark or red colors show you which areas of your website are considered hot, or popular, while the pale blue color reflects which areas of your website are considered less popular and viewed.
This is the type of heatmap I recommend to you most if you have a blog interface. Everybody with a blogging interface is concerned about the question of how long people read our blogs. Where should we place links? How many pages should you have per article that your audience is sure to read? These are good questions that scrolling heatmaps can play a big role in answering. They can help you find out how long users scroll down your website. What’s more, if you use the session replay tool, you can access even more information that can lead you to even greater success. But I will talk about session replay later in this article, so don’t miss it.
How do They Work?
The answer is that running heatmaps are the easiest thing in the world. Trust me. You can easily add them to your website, representing a single piece of code, so they can measure movements, clicks, and scrolls on your website, which you can then analyze easily based on color.
Today there are heatmaps for desktop and mobile devices. You can use these to see how things are going on your site across devices. Responsiveness is increasingly important these days, so I recommend you make sure your website works properly on all devices for an effective user experience.
How do you Analyze the Data you Get From Heatmaps?
To get relevant results and to draw the right conclusions, it is important that you work with a sufficient, i.e. large number of samples. I recommend that you obtain 2000-3000 page views per page for statistically analyzable data.
How long do you need to wait for this? There is no rule for this.
Your site may be able to achieve more than 2000 page views the day you start using the heatmap, but if your site traffic is slower, it may take longer. Be patient, as it can take weeks to reach the numbers needed for a large sample.
I hope this quick guide has given you an understanding of how heatmaps work and that you will feel comfortable using them. Now, here are some tips and tricks that heatmaps can help you create an effective user experience.
1. Use as many CTAs as possible, but only in the right places
You can get surprisingly good results in UX design if you use UX buttons properly. These tools are specifically designed to generate conversions on your website, and conversions indicate satisfied users. It’s important that users simply know how CTA buttons work and don’t hide them, or they won’t find them and you won’t have conversions and satisfied users.
It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?
Check out the heatmaps to see where you could most effectively place those CTA buttons to achieve success. Apply click heatmaps here. These can help you gauge which areas of your website are the most popular. You can see where users click the most, so it makes sense to place CTA buttons there to build conversions and UX.
Plus one more piece of advice, speaking of CTA buttons. I suggest you run A/B tests. There is a surprising click-through rate for the CTA text “Buy this” or “Don’t miss this”. Which would you click on? Ask yourself the question and try testing them; your site will generate even more conversions.
2. Measure how long users scroll down your website
Do you always scroll down to the bottom of your website? I don’t, but I’m guessing you’ve been scrolling down for a while and then stopped. It happens to a lot of people. That’s why it’s a good idea to put important information at the top of your site because a lot of people only get to the top and no further.
To get a full picture of how long your website visitors are scrolling down, use the scrolling heatmaps as I mentioned earlier. You will see a bar when analyzed. The red parts of the bar indicate the parts that users have scrolled down to while browsing, while the blue bar shows you the parts that users have not scrolled at all or have barely reached. It’s important to experience a transition between these colors because if the transition is sharp, you’ll need to design something different to achieve an effective UX.
If you do experience a sharp transition between the two color schemes, then it’s important to think about a few things:
- Did you place a contact form too soon?
- Is the article too long?
- Is the process too complicated?
- Are you getting lost in all the information?
If you use heatmaps alongside session playback, you can easily check back to see what might be the reason why users are leaving your site and not reading through everything. The more tools you use, the more information you can get about your users’ activities.
3. Optimize also the places where clicks are coming in unusually
You’ve probably noticed that there are often places on your website where you don’t understand why people are clicking. I have to tell you, these are sometimes misleading elements and that’s why they get clicked. Make sure you give more prominence to text and images that take users somewhere. Ensure that the places where you expect clicks are optimized to get more conversions.
Now you know that heatmaps can help you assess which areas of your website are popular and which places are less likely to be clicked on. Heatmaps can help you find misplaced links and make adjustments to improve the user experience of your website, as well as conversions.
4. It matters how big the screen is
Regardless of the device your website visitors are accessing your website from, be it a laptop, desktop or phone, it must work flawlessly on all devices, as only these can lead to satisfied users. While on a desktop you only need to scroll a few times to get to the bottom of the website, it’s completely different on mobile, so never forget that.
Responsiveness is now an important factor. The majority of users do not browse on a computer, but on their phone, because it is always at hand, easily accessible, and practical. Pay special attention to making sure your site works well on mobile to achieve the right conversions and UX.
5. Heatmaps are not the only thing
As I mentioned earlier, heatmaps give you access to great data, but if you use multiple analytics tools at once, you’ll have an even better chance of generating conversions and creating the right UX for your visitors. Yes, there are initial costs involved, but remember that these costs will be recouped very quickly thanks to the high number of visitors.
One of these options could be session replay.
The name of this tool is also evocative, as this tool allows you to not only see that a user left your website on their way from A to B, but also to watch a recording of why the user left. Fantastic. But not only can you track dropouts with session replay, but you can also look back at what users are doing on your website while browsing. All in secret!
So complex is this tool that you can get a complete insight into what’s happening on your site from a user’s perspective. You can also get data such as how long a visitor stayed on your site, where they scrolled to, what they clicked on, where they moved their mouse more or less, and so on.
What’s more, if you combine heatmaps with tools that can tell you whether users are coming from mobile or desktop, even better, more data, and more results. And results translate into conversions and satisfied users. It can also reveal whether visitors came to your website through links or searches.
In short, you can learn all about them, within limits.
Next to heatmaps, you can get feedback from your users.
This is the most valuable data. Users never lie, they will always tell you the truth, good or bad. Add a questionnaire to your site asking users what they think about what they see, and what they think are both the strengths and weaknesses of the site.
Of course, if you want to get more people to fill in the form, you can reward them with a gift or a coupon. You can do this by having users fill out a questionnaire that measures user satisfaction, then every 10th person who fills it out will receive a prize, a discount coupon. This way you can also encourage them and get more user reviews, which is a very important factor.
And the third one I highly recommend you do is none other than A/B testing.
I could say that heatmaps don’t exist without A/B testing. They are like brothers and sisters. With heatmaps, you can analyze both A and B versions to see which versions are more successful. Which ones will bring more conversions and effective UX?
It is always a good idea to develop two versions and test them to see which one works better and makes your target group feel more comfortable. As I mentioned earlier, I strongly recommend that you use A/B tests when placing CTA buttons. You can use a heatmap to see which parts of your site are getting the most attention from visitors. Then test which version is best, which will bring you higher conversions and more satisfied users.
6. Heatmaps can sometimes be misleading, so watch out
Heatmaps are fantastic data visualization tools that are easy to use and can provide you with relevant data. However, when analyzing, make sure you know what you want to analyze and what you need the data for. Use other tools to get the right information, such as session replay, and A/B testing, and don’t be afraid to ask users about the performance of your website.
I would also point out that when using heatmaps, check that they are not slowing down your website. Everybody hates slow websites, they are very bad for the user experience. Always keep your site fast and up to date. This is crucial because if visitors find that your website is not working optimally, is slow, and barely loads pages, you will immediately lose conversions and satisfied users alike.
There is a lot to be said about heatmaps as an excellent data visualization tool, but I recommend trying as many analytical tools as possible. Combine them to achieve relevant results. It is not a long process to learn how to use these tools, but the energy you put in will pay off because your website will be a success for you, I am sure.
Heatmaps can help you understand where people click most, how long they scroll down your blog page, and so on. Pay close attention to the location of your CTA buttons if you want to drive conversions and satisfied users.
Be brave, and don’t be afraid to use the tools mentioned above, as this will keep your site from being left behind. You will be able to generate conversions, not to mention your users will be more satisfied with your site than you think.
I am Adrienn Pusztai, the Content Marketing Manager of Capturly.com, a full-scale website analytics tool. Our mission is to make it easier for our customers to make those business decisions that will result in amazing business development. Contact us today to find out more.