The Top Benefits of Using Heatmaps on your Website

author
Anna RubkiewiczApril 29, 20218 min

In a report by Career Foundry, Microsoft UX Designer Joanna Ngai admits that ”design-driven businesses have outperformed the S&P by a whopping 228% over the past 10 years. The bottom line, good design = good business”.

Needless to say, if you aren’t using a way to track user engagement and website performance, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business growth coming from good UX. Without a doubt, one of the best ways of gaining insight into your audience is using a heat mapping tool. Among others, heat maps help to expose any possible issues with your website so that you can ensure that things are running as effectively as possible. They also help to boost on-site engagement by verifying whether users see the most important information and are guided purposefully through content.

In the following article, we’re going to shed light on these and other top benefits of using a heat mapping tool.

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8 reasons why it’s worth using a heat mapping tool for your website

Heat map tracking brings various advantages to your business – from website auditing, all the way through to making more informed business decisions. Let’s now discuss them in more detail.

1. A quick audit of your website user experience

Heat mapping tools are a great starting point to auditing your website, as they provide you with a bird’s eye view of your users’ on-site interactions. While it may initially seem like a complicated or high tech tool, it’s actually a type of analysis technique that website owners have been using for years. It gives you a visual representation of your website’s performance, which is easier to understand than data scattered across charts or tables.

These types of UX tools give you the inside scoop of your website’s performance so that you can fix any possible issues and increase usability. And, as usability is increased, so will the user engagement.

The best part? Heat mapping tools are often very affordable, if not completely free. Be sure to look online for free heat maps or tools that offer a free trial.

2. Nailing down any usability issues

When people go onto a website to view a company’s products or services, they are typically in a hurry and don’t want to spend a lot of time scrolling through content to find what they are looking for. If you uncover that users spend at least two minutes on your site, you can assume that they find the content on it useful. However, if you see that the bounce rates are above average (as indicated on the graphic below), consider using a heat map tracking tool to investigate the issue.

using heat map tracking to reduce bounce rate

Source: Kissmetrics

Furthermore, heat maps will also allow you to identify elements on your website that are clicked on the most by users. These can be both actual links and elements that visitors think are clickable, and – after not being taken to another webpage – interpret as a bug or broken link. In the end, if an element is not contributing to the overall experience, it is simply a distraction and does not need to be there.

3. Boost on-site engagement

Through the use of heat map tracking, you can receive special insight into users’ activities and can view which parts of the site they interacted with the most.

Your goal is to keep a user engaged with your website for as long as possible (or at least as long as it takes for them to respond to your call to action). Heat maps help you to determine if you need to rearrange your content so that the most valuable pieces are more accessible. This leads us to the next point...

4. Making sure users always see the important content

There will be times when users click through your website but become idle before they ever see the most important information you have to offer. Scroll maps are a great way to avoid this. They show how far down your website visitors scroll before losing interest. This will allow you to determine if they have to go through too much content before finding what they are looking for. The coloring in a scroll map also helps to convey whether a user found what they were looking for by reaching the desired section or gave up and decided to leave the website.

using heat map tracking to reduce bounce rate

Source: Unsplash

Once you have this knowledge, you can adjust your content architecture and make sure that the most important elements are not buried under filler content. You certainly do not want critical information placed in a location that is only ever reached by a very small percentage of users.

5. Understanding user actions and on-site decisions

It’s quite straightforward – the better you understand your users’ actions on your website, the better you’ll be able to tailor your customer journeys and on-site architecture.

Click maps are an example of a heat map tool that gives you amazing insights into user intent. Some of the questions you’ll be able to find the answers to by setting it up on your website include:

  • Does your audience predominantly click on buttons, links, or pictures?
  • Are there any elements that are rarely being clicked on at all?
  • Do people misinterpret unclickable images and think they are hyperlinked?
  • Do people click on a button of lesser business importance (i.e., instead of “sign up free”, they click on “schedule a demo call”)?

When you uncover any unusual click-related behavior, you should do your research and figure out why this is the case. You don’t want two different buttons competing against one another to accomplish the same goal. If a button is getting clicked on more than a crucial CTA on your website, consider removing it.

If you notice that your users are primarily clicking on images to move throughout your site, be sure to incorporate more of them and remove elements that are not being utilized as much.

6. Identify best places for CTAs to boost conversion

If you run a for-profit website, then its absolute most important goal is having users sign up or finalize their purchase. Heat maps help you to identify the best place to place your CTA. This can be done with scroll maps, hover maps, and eye-tracking maps (we address this topic in more detail in another article).

For example, as in the case of other important on-site content, scroll maps will show you how long users have to scroll before they first view your call to action. If they have to sift through too much information before reaching it, they might become frustrated and leave. Utilize this information by rearranging elements and bringing your call to action to the forefront. For example, if your call to action is “buy now”, be sure to place that button in a location with a 100% scroll rate so that it won’t be overlooked.

7. Give context to behavioral data from other tools

The more you understand your users and their activity, the more equipped you will be to deliver them the best experience possible. The perfect website is not built overnight. It takes lots of trial and error before you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. Nevertheless, heat mapping tools can help make the process a lot easier by showing you the behavioral patterns of your users.

What annoys or distracts them? Are certain elements frustrating or confusing? Listen to your audience and the way they respond to your content. Once you understand them better, you can offer a better experience.

8. Make informed business decisions

Heat maps help you to understand who your audience is. If your website is the bread and butter of your business, it is crucial that it operates at maximum efficiency. The bottom line is that the impact of heat maps on UX is huge. It’s a highly effective tool that allows you to better understand customers and their behavior, analyze what is and isn’t effective about your site, and make the necessary changes to ensure you're getting the results you need to bring your company forward.

the impact of heat maps on UX

Source: Unsplash

Summary

In conclusion, utilizing heat mapping tools is a great way to optimize and maintain your website’s high usability. User behavior is constantly changing and what might have worked before may not be working now. The only way you can truly be on top of your game is by understanding your audience, how they interact with your content, and making whatever necessary changes are needed to give them the best experience possible. Don’t underestimate the impact of heat maps on UX, and do your business a favor by utilizing a free heat mapping tool today!

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