How to use heatmaps to improve your website

Websites are driven by users. So, it makes sense right to create a good user-focused experience to get the most from your website. If you are looking to increase website conversions and keep users coming back to your website heatmaps can help you collect data on how people interact with your website.

How to use heatmaps to improve your website

Websites are driven by users. So, it makes sense right to create a good user-focused experience to get the most from your website.


You may already have a rough idea about user behaviour, Google Analytics is a great free tool for measuring page bounce rates, page views and even conversions. Sound enough? Well while Google Analytics is good it doesn’t tell you how to fix the problem of high bounce rates, low page views and poor conversions. This is where heatmaps come in.


If you are looking to increase website conversions and keep users coming back to your website heatmaps can help you collect data on how people interact with your website.


Heatmap data can help you think about whether your designs are correctly focussed. For example, if you have a promotional offer running but only a small number of people are taking advantage of this then you'll probably want to redesign or even move your promotion to a different position on your website.


 


What is a website heatmap?


Heatmaps are an automated graphic visualisation that makes it easier to view and understand how people are interacting with your website.


Website heatmaps are relatively easy to set up and analyse, the name comes from the colour-coding used to show which areas of your website are getting user attention (dark red for the most, light blue for the least).


 


What are the benefits of using a heatmap?


· Boost conversion rates and website sales


· Gain informative data on your website's usability · Improve the readability of your website (a must for product descriptions.)


· No confusing data everything is compiled for you


· Works with other methods of UX testing


 


How often do I need to use a heatmap?


Heatmaps are a really insightful tool, having a report set up and checked regularly is a must for all websites.


Here are a few reasons on why creating regular reports can be a huge benefit: -


· Save Money. UX professionals use heatmapping tools to understand how user behaviour is impacted by graphic elements like colour, contrast, and placement, ultimately driving a website to convert more effectively and reducing the need to pay out for an expensive new website.


· Bump up Conversions. Using heatmaps can give you instant insights into A/B tests. This can be the difference between success and struggle.


· Improve Content Marketing. See if site visitors are reading and engaging with your content.


· Understand Conversion Funnels. Heatmaps will also help you improve the way potential customers move down the conversion funnel.


 


Types of heatmap


Click maps -


Click maps display where users click or tap on a web page. They may also give you a number showing the percentage of users visiting that page who engaged with a given link.


Scroll maps -


These tell you how far your users are moving down your web pages (either by mouse scroll or swiping depending on the device). They display coloured horizontal bands across the page (red high activity and blue for low or no activity). The different coloured bars also show the percentage of users that reached each part of the page.


Mouse movement maps -


This type of heatmap shows which parts of the page users are hovering their mouse cursor over and which elements are getting the most interest. As touch-screen devices can’t (yet) detect where fingers are hovering above the screen this is not data you can get from phones or tablets.


Research has shown that mouse movement is a good proxy for eye tracking across the page, as the user's attention is usually where the cursor is.


 


What are the best heatmap tools?


There are a number of programmes out there that offer a whole host of useful heatmap tools, ranging from Click heatmaps, Scroll and Mouse movement heatmaps to Session recordings and form tracking, allowing you to effortlessly see just how your customers are interacting with your website.


Some of the most popular heatmap programmes are Hotjar (free & from $29/mo), Crazyegg (30 days free & from $24/mo), Mouseflow (from $29/mo).


 


What to watch out for


Be careful not to read too much into scroll behaviour data, this information is only part of the bigger picture. Remember just because users aren’t reaching the bottom of your page doesn’t mean that they can’t turn into a conversion still.


Clicks are potentially the most important piece of data indicating engagement and funnel progress. However even with this data you must also consider if the CTA or link was easy to find, how long it took the user to interact and so on.


Consider your sample size, it is recommended that to gather any useful user data you need at least 100+ users in your heatmap reports.


Always consider different devices, a website should be responsive, heat maps can tell you how user friendly your website is on different sized screens.


 


Conclusion


Heatmaps are a crucial backbone to any successful, high converting website.


Whether you use heat maps to showcase reports, increase conversions or get new design ideas, the invaluable insight you’ll get from this data will give your website approach the shake-up it needs to take your business to the next level.