When it comes to analytics, it can sometimes be dizzying scrolling through different tools.
Sometimes you get lost, I mean you want something simple that can get you actionable insights
And while you can scroll through your Google Analytics dashboard and try figuring out what’s working and what’s not.
What if you’re a visual person or a designer?
Well, you’re in luck, because in this blog we’re shinning some light on Heatmaps and Session Recordings.
We’ve covered them in previous blogs independently, but what can they achieve if they’re combined?
Now that’s what we’re talking about in this blog.
What are heat mapping and session recording?
Heatmaps give you insight into the behavior of your customers. They show you what areas of your site are getting more views, which areas people aren’t clicking on, and much more!
You can view heatmaps for any page on your website including home pages, product pages, blog posts… anything.
Here’re examples of standard heatmaps.
The color scale ranges from dark red (hottest) to light blue (coolest).
Heatmaps can help you discover all kinds of information about how users interact with your website.
Plus, they’re simple to understand and easy to generate… basically anyone can use them!
Here are some examples of common questions that heatmaps can help you answer:
- Which pages are getting more traffic? Which pages are people seeing?
- Which links are people clicking on the most?
- Are my images eye-catching enough for my audience?
- Is there too much contrast ratio between elements on a page?
- What areas should I focus my attention on when designing a landing page?
- Is there a better way to organize my navigation menu?
How you use heatmaps is completely up to you.
You can discover all kinds of valuable information about your customers when using heatmaps, but it’s important for you to make sure that the tool you’re using gives enough data before jumping in and making changes.
Session recordings give you insight into what your customers are actually doing when they visit your site.
But in a recording which you can always view to gather more info from your users!
Here’s an example of a standard session recording.
This shows the mouse movements and clicks made by one visitor when they landed on my website for this article.
Session recordings provide you with a detailed breakdown of how users are interacting with your website from beginning to end.
In other words, it’s like watching someone use your site!
Here are some common questions that session recordings can help you answer:
- What pages did customers view?
- What links did they click on?
- Which actions were unnecessary (like scrolling to read articles)?
- How long does it take for customers to complete their desired action?
- Do users understand the design of my website after only viewing one page?
Session recordings are simple, but they can answer some complicated questions.
In order to use session recordings effectively, you have to be prepared to go through a lot of different sessions before you can come up with valuable insights.
For example, if you found out that most people don’t know how your navigation menu works, you’ll probably have to view several sessions until you see evidence of this trend across all sessions.
Sometimes it takes a while for issues to arise, so be patient.
Companies are starting to use session recordings more often because they can learn so much about their customers just by watching them interact with their websites.
And don’t worry, your customers won’t know that you’re able to track their behavior when using these tools!
Why Companies Need To Use More Than Just Google Analytics
When you think about analytics, you might initially think of Google Analytics or another platform that lets you see how many users are on your site, what pages they visit the most, and where in the world they’re located.
While it’s important for companies to use analytics in order to track basic information like this, it’s not enough anymore.
Customers expect to have a great experience on every website they visit.
Using heatmaps and session recordings can help you do just that!
Heatmaps show where on the page customers are clicking and how long users take to complete different actions, while session recordings tell you what pages customers view and why some areas of your website might need tweaking in order for people to stay longer.
So which heatmap software should you use? Well… there are several options out there including FigPii, CrazyEgg, HotJar, and many more.
FigPii, CrazyEgg, HotJar, are all great tools that let you gain more insights into what works on your website and what doesn’t.
If you’re a beginner looking for something affordable or free, I’d say go with either FigPii or Hotjar since both have an easy-to-use interface and offer some great analytics.