June 15 2020

Using Heatmap Tracking Data for Site Engagement Analysis

Using Heatmap Tracking Data for Site Engagement AnalysisSince it only takes users .05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, marketers must quickly learn how to meet the needs of their digital audiences. To keep consumers from bouncing off your homepage or any other key website page, you must first determine how they engage with your site. Thankfully, heatmapping tools simplify this process.

What is Heatmap Software?

Website heatmaps track user behaviors and display them visually through a warm-to-cool color spectrum. The red sections show how a majority of users have interacted with that part of the page, whereas the blue portions reveal segments where the engagement levels decrease.
There are a few different types of heatmaps, all of which tell you different information regarding your website visitors:

  • Scroll map: Indicates the percentage of users who have scrolled through the webpage section.

  • Clicking map: Measures where on the page users click.

  • Hover map: Shows where visitors hover their cursor when they are reading content on your webpage.

How to Improve Your Site with Heatmap Analytics

Learning how your audience interacts with your website is extremely helpful for any marketer – from understanding user preferences to evaluating site issues and opportunities. Heatmapping is crucial whether you are currently planning a site redesign or just want to improve engagement with your current site.

Find Issues

Wouldn't it be nice if you could take a microscope and identify key website issues affecting consumer engagement? Heatmapping allows you to collect reliable and often "hard-to-hear" information regarding website fluxes. This critical user-generated insight allows you to make the necessary site adjustments to meet user needs better online. For instance, if you want to discover precisely where on the page that you're losing your users' attention, follow the blue tones. Many times, these blue areas will help you locate if any elements, such as non-clickable or unrelated images, distract your visitors from the more valuable content on the webpage. Perhaps a heatmap will show that more visitors watch the carousel at the top of the page instead of scrolling down to read about the product. You can then adjust your promotional strategy or information hierarchy on the page based on these heatmap findings.

Heatmaps can allow you to do an in-depth dig into integral areas of your site. For instance, do users skip over your navigation because it is too confusing or doesn't work correctly? Are the visitors who search for a product ultimately able to find what they're seeking? Are your users quickly finding crucial contact information and calls-to-action? Heatmaps lay this information out clearly so you can get started on making necessary updates and revisions.

Evaluate Opportunities

If you’d like to assess opportunities for the above issues, it's smart to use A/B testing to determine the best way to get the intended results. For example, if many users are trying to engage with unclickable images rather than vital content, then test a version of the page with better content formatting. Then, use heatmapping for that updated page to see if these content tweaks help with engagement or not. If the problem persists after testing, perhaps it’s time to limit the number of images on the page, so users are less distracted. Another common issue that heatmaps can reveal is copy wordiness, which often deters users from reading it in its entirety. In this case, it may be wise to rethink your content UX and look into content optimization to determine the best verbiage and layout for your page copy. Scroll maps, specifically, can help determine how much your users read your content and where they lose their focus.

Heatmaps help tell the full story. Are you noticing minimal clicks on calls to action (CTAs) for your pages? Perhaps the color needs to be more defined or the buttons should be re-located. If many people visit your landing page, but no one converts, heatmaps will give you visibility into what they are clicking on, so you can try to improve those conversions.

Monitor KPIs

If you check in on the analytics of your website frequently, you probably track against a particular set of key performance indicators (KPIs). You may notice a couple of reoccurring, struggling conversions, but your typical website statistics won't offer many insights on how to improve them. That's where heatmaps can provide value. Heatmaps can show you the exact cause of those decreasing KPIs and ultimately lead you to determine methods for how to fix them.

Whether you wish to track engagement metrics on your landing page, product page or home page, there are many ways to utilize heatmaps to optimize your site for success. For example, heatmaps can help reduce your bounce rate by testing how certain pieces of content should be formatted. Through this, you may find that the header sections are not prominent enough to break up the information, leaving users uninterested. If you'd like to improve your conversion rate, try placing your CTAs in different areas on the webpage to increase visibility. Or perhaps, your CTA will gather more attention if it is on the right-hand side rather than the left-hand side, so you can test to see which your users prefer. The more you use heatmapping to help understand interaction with your website, the more insight you will receive on how to optimize your site’s performance.

Start Heatmap Tracking

Before jumping into your very first heatmap, it's important to determine which software best suits the needs of your company. Hotjar is a popular heatmapping tool because of its affordable price point, ease of implementation and ability to offer on-page suppression so that personally identifiable information is hidden from heatmap reports.

If you'd like to start making improvements to your current website or are engaging in a website redesign and want to analytically evaluate key area of concern, contact us. We would be happy to assist you with heatmapping and more.

  • Analytics
  • Website

posted by
Carley Corraccio
Carley Corraccio
Digital Strategist

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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