Most marketers spend the majority of their time optimizing campaigns to drive qualified traffic to their site. However, one aspect of the conversion funnel is often neglected… user behavior on your website. In my opinion, not enough marketers focus on understanding how users behave on their websites, and even fewer have a strategy to continuously improve the user experience. This is where heatmapping tools come in. They make user behavior on your site easy to understand, and can help inform possible optimizations for your website.

Why Heatmaps?

Web analytics tools like Google Analytics do a great job capturing user behavior, such as scroll rates, element views, clicks, form interactions, and more. That said, setting up tracking for each interaction can be time-consuming and might require technical expertise. Heatmapping tools aren’t a replacement for more robust analytics platforms, but they can offer a quick way to visualize user behavior on your website. 

Tools like CrazyEgg or Hotjar let you visualize how your visitors are interacting with your site through heat maps, scroll maps, click maps, and even website recordings of actual users. The reports created by these platforms show you exactly where users are clicking, how far they’re scrolling down each page, and how they are interacting with elements of your pages like lead forms, widgets, or other content. 

While you might think you have a good idea of how the content on your site contributes to driving conversions, unless you are tracking each interaction with every element on your site, you can’t know for sure.

Aside from being easier to set up, they’re also more digestible for people across your organization. When used together with the web analytics platform of your choice, you should have all the data you need to inform optimizations and gain buy-in from stakeholders.

Putting Heatmaps Into Action

Once you have set up heatmaps for your desired pages and have identified which elements on your page are working well and which aren’t, you should be ready to move on into the testing phase. You’ll want to identify what outcomes you are working toward, and a set of metrics to validate against your tests (conversion rate, bounce rate, etc.). With a solid understanding of user behavior and set objectives, you can start building out a testing strategy and running conversion rate optimization tests to improve the overall user experience.