We’ve all checked our visitor stats to see how many people are reading our website. But the joy of a spike in traffic is pretty short-lived when no email arrives from a potential client inquiring about our services.
When that happens, it’s natural to ask:
“What are they looking for, and why haven’t they contacted me?”
The truth is, you can’t answer that until you discover if people are having a good experience or not. But how do you find out which areas of your website are putting potential clients off, so you can optimize it for a better user experience?
One of the best ways to do that is by using a heat mapping tool.
What does a heat mapping tool do?
A heat mapping tool shows user behavior on your web pages and shows you where users:
- Have clicked on a page
- How far down they’ve scrolled down
- Have looked on your page
They’re super-useful and can help you get to the bottom of what works and what doesn’t.
And I should know, I’ve used them on my website too.
Issues heatmaps can find on your website.
I like to pride myself on creating websites for coaches, but there is always room for improvement. So, with that in mind, a quick check on my homepage using the heatmap tool, Hotjar uncovered issues with my testimonials:
Below my client’s name, I’d included their website address, and the heatmap picked up that visitors were trying to click on them to view the website. This meant I had potential clients curious about my work and keen to explore those websites further.
To fix this, I created a portfolio page for the specific projects and linked to them from the corresponding testimonials.
- Visitors got to the full scale of my work
- I improved my SEO with internal linking
- I kept interested clients on my website
Pretty neat, right?
But heat mapping hasn’t only helped me. It’s helped one of my clients, Samantha, too:
By installing a heat mapping tool, Samantha discovered visitors were trying to click on the above icons on her website, which meant they were interested in finding out more. But with no accompanying page link, in all likelihood, she was missing out on sales.
So, she created relevant internal pages, made the icons clickable, gave her visitors what they wanted, and kept them on her website.
The different types of heat maps and which you should use.
There are three types of heat maps:
1. Scroll Maps
These show you the exact percentage of where users scroll to on your page. You’ll probably find most people don’t scroll much, so you need to make sure you say what you do and who it’s for — complete with a clear, strong call to action — above the fold on your homepage.
This is something I do on my website:
2. Click & Tap Maps
These give you an aggregate of where most visitors click with their mouse on your desktop or where they tap their finger on a mobile device. This is the type of map I used to discover people were trying to click on my testimonial link URLs.
3. Move Maps
These show you where people move their mouse on your page. Research shows people use the cursor like a pointer finger when reading a printed page. This means it’s possible to determine, from where the cursor moves, to where someone’s eyes might be looking.
As for which heatmap plugin or service you should use, that’s entirely up to you, but I’d personally recommend Hotjar.
Because Hotjar has the best free service.
You can pay for a full subscription to get all the extra bells and whistles, but their basic free service should be sufficient to give you an overall view of what’s working — and what’s not — on your website.
But if you’re interested to see what other heatmap providers have to offer, try:
What are the benefits of using heatmaps?
Heatmaps help you to determine how people are interacting with your website, and they can tell you if people are:
- Viewing the content you want them to
- Finding and using links and opt-in’s correctly
- Reading your call to action
- Getting distracted by unimportant information, images, or non-clickable links
- Experiencing your site differently on a desktop and mobile, and which one is the better experience for your audience
This means you can improve weak copy, add links, remove distractions and improve your website structure without a complete redesign.
Heatmaps are easier to understand than other analytic tools because they’re not an endless stream of confusing figures and jargon. Hot colors, like red and orange, signify which areas of the page are interacted with most. While cool colors, like green and blue, show areas getting little to no attention.
It’s that simple.
Now it’s your turn.
If you’ve never used a heatmap service, give the free version of Hotjar (or another service) a go and tell me what you find. I’m curious to hear what’s working and what isn’t on your website.
And if you find you need help to restructure your site design, get in touch to see how I can help make the changes you need to get more clients clicking.