11 experts share the UX improvements they achieved with heat maps

author
Kasia KowalskaApril 29, 202111 min

While heat maps are widely used by businesses of all shapes and sizes to improve website usability, we’ve decided to talk to 11 business experts to learn what UX improvements they’ve achieved specifically. Here’s what we’ve learned (and are now happy to share with you).

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11 UX improvements you can achieve with heat maps

#1 8% drop in bounce rate thanks to a smarter and more user-friendly design

Chris Anderson, Owner and SEO Analyst at MyFiveGuide –curated content on Health and Fitness

For my website, MyFiveGuide.com, heat maps helped me develop a smarter and user-friendly web design. When I first implemented the heat map, I noticed that users were not scrolling to my “Popular Posts” section on the homepage. After making some web design changes, I positioned the section in a more visible area for users to find. As a result, I noticed on the heat map immediately that users were spending an increasing amount of time in that section after the change. The heat map allowed me to find this issue in my website architecture.

This resulted in an 8% drop in website bounce rate and 17% more views to posts in the “Popular Posts” section.

#2 A variety of UX improvements, leading to an overall higher user engagement

Michael Saly, CEO at Aspire Media – web design & SEO company

It is not easy to design an application that can directly attract a user and convince them to download it immediately. In the case of music streaming apps, they are not so hard to find, but people tend not to install them and rather search their favorite songs online through free platforms. And this really doesn't help a website user experience.

But when we implemented a website heat map that was a BULLSEYE! Among others:

  • We experienced a great decrease in website bounce rate by making user experience more convenient as per their needs.
  • We got knowledge about how our CTA's were impacting our users and with a few modifications they were pointing towards the right targeted locations.
  • After getting a visual website heat map, we discovered some of the website's unpopular areas, like about us, advertising, and some other areas too that needed real attention to work upon.
  • Website engagement rates escalated as we were clear about our customer’s needs and what they are searching for.
  • Furthermore, the website heat map really helped in developing our mobile application more user-friendly based on what they wanted to see.

#3 A 23% higher conversion rate from the homepage thanks to website experience improvements

Kristian Borghesan, Director of Marketing at Savology – an online financial planning platform

We've used heat maps dozens of times in the past, and continue to use heat maps as a way to help us identify user interaction points and ways to better optimize the website experience. We use heat maps both on our marketing site as well as directly in our application.

In particular, on our homepage, we discovered three primary 'sticking' points where our website visitors were spending 80% of their time, without taking any further action. In this case, we tried a few different things like moving the order around of the content sections, as well as introducing CTAs in those respective areas. The results were a lift in pages visited per user as well as a 23% increase in conversion rate from the homepage.

#4 Increasing session duration by 45 sec and boosting the number of leads by 10% by moving relevant content up

Stewart Dunlop, CEO at LinkBuilder.io – link building services agency

Previously, I kept the clients' feedback section at the bottom of the products’ page, after all other info. I thought that it's not very popular among the website visitors. However, then I decided to experiment with the website components by switching places. Installing a heatmap helped me realize that people not only stop briefly for viewing the comments but also click the slider to read all of them. The heatmap revealed that the section with feedback attracted equal attention to the service pricing.

For this reason, I brought the comments up before the pricing and it worked. Now, when website visitors land on the page, they have a chance to see which big companies trust us, then read about our services and check the positive experiences from our clients. This helps convince leads to make the first step and contact us. Surprisingly, this switch increased the average session duration by 45 seconds and brought us 10% more leads. So, it's interesting to experiment with the heatmaps from time to time to find inspiration for some minor tweaks that could bring in more positive results as far as the user experience is concerned.

#5 Nearly 2x longer user sessions

John Ross, CEO at Test Prep Insight – US-based online education company offering exam test prep reviews

Oftentimes, optimizing your site for UX can be a complete shot in the dark, where you're just going off your gut for what you think will perform well with users. However, after using this approach for a couple years, we used heat maps to do some A/B testing on different page layouts to see which would perform better. We built two totally separate landing pages, with almost inverse layouts. Then we ran a heat maps test after reaching a few thousand page views to see where users were clicking, scrolling, and ultimately dropping off the page.

This gave us an awesome idea of on-page layout changes that were needed, and we actually ended up combining elements from both landing pages to make a hybrid of sorts. I never would have thought to go with the final design that we used had it not been for the heat maps. We then ran another heat maps test on the final landing page and the metrics were fantastic. Our original session durations prior to any redesign were about 1 minute 6 seconds. After the redesign with heat maps optimization, they were nearly 2 minutes (1 minute 53 seconds).

#6 Reduced checkout abandonment

Kennedy from Email Marketing Heroes – an email marketing podcast

We found heat maps extremely useful when launching a new offer on our site. We wanted to see how the new page converted and what was stagnating sales.

We noticed that a lot of people were clicking the ‘Buy Now’ link at the top of the page before the product price was even displayed to them. This resulted in them going into the first step of a 2-step checkout and ending up in our Cart Abandonment sequence.

Instead of checking out, they simply wanted to know the price. You see – our sales page has a number of buttons someone can click to begin checkout. However, we do not introduce the price until around halfway down the page.

Using heatmap technology we noticed people were clicking on the Buy button near the top of the page, completing step 1 of the check out process (giving us their email address) and abandoning. This led us to the conclusion that they were only clicking to see the price.

Based on that we changed the page so that all buttons on the page before the price is mentioned simply scroll to the price on the page, instead of commencing checkout.

This has reduced checkout abandonment significantly.

#7 Improved website engagement and boosted conversions on website by 300%

Brenton Thomas, Founder at Twibi – Digital Marketing agency

I've used heatmaps to assess landing page engagement. I was driving traffic to gated content to generate lead gen interest for a SaaS-related product. After enough data had collected to review the heatmaps, it was apparent that prospects didn't engage with most of the content on the landing page. They only engaged with the form and a few other elements on the page. As a result, I stripped away 80% of the content, streamlining the page. The outcome was a 300% increase in conversion rate which became my new default landing page to compete against future landing page variations.

#8 Reducing the bounce rate by 27% & increasing engagement and adoption by 22%

Ray McKenzie, Founder and CEO at StartingPoint – SaaS customer operations and experience platform for service-based companies

As a SaaS platform, customer experience is something we value a lot. Especially since we are a customer operations and experience platform. Utilizing site heat maps has helped us streamline multiple areas of our business. This includes our commercial website, but also our SaaS platform.

As an early-stage startup, the visits to our website experienced a bounce rate of more than 72%. We needed to increase the engagement on our site. We needed to make visitors want to see more and stay longer. We used heatmaps that helped direct us to visually change the content presented, and in an order that made sense for our visitors.

Our website bounce rate currently is approximately 45% and we are continuing to improve this. We also use heat maps inside our product for streamlined efficiency. We want our customer experience to be intuitive, simple, and lean. By recreating steps our customers take and seeing what they focus on, we were able to do this and increase engagement and adoption by more than 22%. We are just starting off, but heat maps are essential to our product and company growth.

#9 Optimized sign-up to reduce form fatigue

Dan Bailey, President at WikiLawn Los Angeles Lawn Care – Lawn care services’ marketplace

We actually used heatmaps to optimize our site and address issues. We were noticing a drop-off in sign-ups and had to identify where that was happening. Once we isolated the bounce rate, we discovered that people were making it to the signup page and then just falling off.

We used heatmaps to determine where the focus was on the form and when that was happening and discovered we were exacerbating the "form fatigue" phenomenon. Essentially, we were asking too many questions. There was no reason we absolutely needed to ask for the amount of information we were asking for. The heat map helped us determine where people were exiting the page and where they were spending the most time which then let us address those issues and improve our signup rate.

#10 Optimizing content layout for a higher conversion rate – up by 9%

Alex Willen, Owner at Cooper's Treats – healthy frozen snacks for puppies

We set up some heat mapping software on our site, and the one really useful thing we discovered was that a lot of homepage visitors were scrolling all the way down to the footer and clicking on the "Our Mission" link. When we checked the data on Google Analytics, it turned out that people who landed on the homepage and clicked that link then subsequently went to a product page were about 14% more likely to purchase than those going to a product page immediately after visiting the homepage.

We moved the link from our footer to our header menu, and we ended up seeing about a 9% increase in conversation rate from the 30 days prior to the change to the 30 days after. We saw visits to the "Our Mission" page increase by over 200%, and people who went there and then to a product page continued to purchase at a higher rate.

#11 Increasing the conversion rate, leading to 28 more leads and 2 more clients per week

Shawn Breyer, Owner at The Hive Law – virtual divorce attorneys and estate planning lawyers

When we used heat maps for our website, we noticed that 8.7% of our clicks were going to our ‘About Us’ page. Before we noticed this, we had not spent much time building up our credibility. Our company page was basically blank with a generic blurb. We added photos, wrote out small descriptions about us, added our core values, and wrote what we stand for. Since the change, our amount of clicks on the About Us page has remained the same. But the number of conversions on the website has increased. Our conversions before the About Us page optimization was roughly 3.9%. After that, our conversions went up to 5.3%. That allowed us to get 28 more leads per week, which was another 2 clients per week.

Summary

By using a heat map on your website, you can collect a variety of insights that will help with UX improvements. As mentioned in the examples above, by using and analyzing the data from your heat maps, you can:

  • increase conversion rate on your landing pages
  • lower your bounce rate
  • boost user engagement
  • reduce cart abandonment
  • and many others.

Interested in learning more about the power of heatmaps? Be sure to check out our dedicated guide!

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