How to Use Heatmaps to Drive Your Website Conversions

/ October 28, 2021 | 6 Mins Read

How to Use Heatmaps to Drive Your Website Conversions

Looking for ways to boost your website conversions? Check out how heatmaps can help to drive your website conversion rates.

Have you taken care of getting the traffic to your landing page and are not yet seeing any results? It’s time to consider optimizing it for better conversion rates. Heatmaps can simplify this process and help you get the results you want. 

The data they provide can help you detect holes in your customer journey, allowing you to increase those conversion rates. 

For example, an isolated study of a Norwegian company using heatmaps to improve its customer journey was an incredible success. The business was able to improve its conversion rates, but more importantly, it managed to build a stronger connection with its customers.

Of course, the whole process took some time, but the result was clear: heatmaps played a key role in analyzing customer behavior and driving website conversions.

Let’s explore heatmaps and then explain how you can use them to get better results with your landing pages.

What is a heatmap?

Heatmap is a graphical representation of users’ activity on your website pages. Analytics software tools such as Hotjar create heatmaps. Of course, that’s not the only one, as there are plenty of Hotjar alternatives in the market.

What is common for all the behavior tracking tools is the way they represent the data. They are known as heatmaps because they display activity by showing colors on your webpage. The colors are blue, yellow, orange and red.

The blue color (cold) represents the lowest activity level, whereas the red (hot) represents the parts of the site that receive the most activity.

That way, with a brief look at a heatmap, you can immediately see where your users are clicking.

Types of heatmaps

When it comes to behavior analytics, there are several angles from which you can look at users’ activities. Analytics tools use different types of heatmaps to present various forms of activities. They are:

  • Click heatmaps
  • Scroll heatmaps
  • Mouse activity heatmaps (eye-tracking heatmaps)

Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

Click maps

Click maps

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Click heatmaps track where the users are clicking on your website. If we’re talking about mobile heatmaps, they show where the users are tapping with their fingers.

The relevance of this information comes from understanding people’s activity once they land on your webpage. 

Are they clicking on things that are unclickable? Perhaps they’re expecting something different when they click on a particular button. Do they easily find the call to action on your landing page?

These are all the questions you get to answer with a click heatmap. But that’s only one side of visitor behavior, let’s explore more.

Scroll heatmaps

Scroll heatmaps reveal a completely different type of behavior. Whenever a user lands on your web page, they will scroll to a certain point and take action. Deciphering that action will help you understand the relevance of your content.

Is the user only searching for a button to click? If so, place the button up and make it easier to find.

If we’re talking about a blog post, you might use this data to see whether your introductions are gripping. Or whether you’re keeping the reader’s interest high as they go through your text.

Scrolling heatmaps are a great way to answer all these questions and see how your audience interacts with your webpage.

Mouse activity heatmaps (eye-tracking heatmaps)

With a heatmap analytics tool, you don’t only get to see where your visitors are clicking. You can also see their mouse movement. It shows where the users are looking when they land on your website, as there’s a strong correlation between a mouse pointer and eye gaze position.

Use the data to analyze where the visitors are looking and try out implementing images to guide their gaze to the button you want them to click.

How to use heatmaps to improve your conversions?

Making the most out of heatmaps requires a little bit of creativity. You’ll find the following approaches to be very effective, but you can always think of your approach that would boost your conversion rates.

The best part is that heatmap analytics are available for both desktop and mobile platforms. That’s essential, given that more than half of consumers browse websites using their phones.

Here are a couple of tips to consider.

1. Detect the challenging pages

Before you begin implementing the heatmap analytics tool, consider first figuring out which pages are performing poorly. You need to detect pages that receive high traffic but are not converting as expected.

You can’t solve an issue before you single out the cause of it. Once that’s out of the way, it’s time to implement the heatmap tool and start exploring the results.

2. Optimize your buttons

Button placement plays a crucial role in the conversion rate of any landing page. It’s essential to make them stand out from the rest of the page. Additionally, adding visual elements such as pointing arrows will make it obvious where the visitor should click.

Optimizing this process is best done with a heatmap tool, as it provides a detailed insight into visitors’ behavior. Explore different options and monitor real-time data to grasp the effects of your changes. You could try:

  • Changing button placement
  • Using different button colors
  • Changing call to action wording

As time goes by, you’ll be able to optimize your website for the most optimal conversion rates.

3. Detect unused elements

Do you have unused elements on your landing page? Use heatmaps to figure out what the challenge is. Try moving around these elements, or rework them altogether.

If you still see that they receive low usage, it might be best to remove them for the time being. Unused elements might be cluttering your landing page with details that your visitors don’t need. Their removal might positively affect the conversion rates. The less distracting details there are, the better.

4. Lower the cart abandonment rates

ecommerce cart

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Cart abandonment rates say a lot about your checkout process. High rates point to an issue on one of the checkout pages. Implement heatmaps to see what kinds of challenges your users are experiencing.

Monitor the whole journey and detect whether it’s button placement, a payment method you’re not supporting or something else that’s causing the user to abandon the cart.

5. Run A/B tests

A/B testing is the best way to get close to perfection. The process requires you to create two or more landing page designs. The next step requires you to test them simultaneously and compare the results.

That’s the perfect method for trying out all the abovementioned optimizations. Whether we’re talking about repositioning CTA buttons, changing colors or a complete design overhaul, A/B testing is the option that brings reliable results quickly.

Remember, it’s essential to be patient with the process and take your time before evaluating data. That way, you make sure that the collected behavioral information is accurate.

6. User imagery to instruct visitors

Don’t forget that we’re primarily visual beings. Using imagery to guide your visitors is a great way to achieve higher conversion rates. While you can opt for the apparent approach such as using arrows or signs, be creative and find other ways to connect with your audience.

Try out different approaches and see what works best. The images you’re going to use will vary from one product or service to another.

7. Analyze and Repeat

Monitor analytics

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Monitoring analytics and optimizing your web pages is an ongoing process. You need to be constantly looking to improve your conversion rates. Therefore, heatmap behavior analytics should become a standard part of your optimization efforts.

Evaluate the current success of your conversion rate optimization, set new goals, and strive to achieve them. Then, repeat the whole process to get new ideas on how you can improve your conversion rates.

Pitfalls to consider

Heatmaps are an essential part of your analytics strategy.  Remember, though, it’s only a part of the big picture. No matter how well you optimize your landing page, if there’s no traffic, it’s all for nothing. 

You’ll have to consider the following to ensure your heatmap brings the results you want.

  • Sample timing — When are you running the heatmaps? If you’ve only begun and you’re in the holiday sale season, it might be better to wait for the normal off-season period. You’ll get more realistic data based on regular visitor behavior.
  • Using data in isolation — Don’t solely focus on the data coming from heatmaps. Tools such as Google Analytics or any other traffic tracking tool will show further information that you need to combine with the heatmap data.
  • Making quick decisions — Whatever adjustment you make with your page, don’t jump to conclusions too fast. Wait some time to pass so you can collect more information. When you have plenty of data, you can rest assured that it’s correct.

With these in mind, you can avoid the common pitfalls of relying on inaccurate analytics data. Remember to create a thorough strategy and be patient.

Concluding thoughts

High conversion rates are detrimental to the success of any business. Luckily, with the help of tools such as heatmaps, alongside all the other analytics tools, that goal is achievable. All it takes is a little bit of patience, creativity and experimentation.

Aside from driving more conversions from your landing pages, don’t forget to establish a social media conversion plan to get more customers for your business.

Hopefully, you now better understand the effectiveness of heatmaps and how you can use them to drive your website conversion rates. Once you start using heatmaps, you’ll be able to stay ahead of your competitors. But, more importantly, you’ll be able to make your customers happier.

Mohamed Sehwail is a pioneer investment and financial executive who capitalized strong entrepreneurial and financial skills through working in leading roles over the past decade.

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