Introduction

Heatmaps are one of the most helpful tools that you can use as a marketer, but only if you know how to use them correctly.

I mean any user behavior analytics tool can be misused and misunderstood if you get your information from the wrong source eventually.

So that’s why we wanted to give you a clear guide into what to do whenever you’ll run heatmaps as part of your marketing research routine. 

Whether you’re an ecommerce store, a SaaS website, or a marketer working with a client to help them increase their overall conversion rate.

You need to make sure you know the musts and mustn’ts of heatmapping.

Website Heatmap Tool Must Dos: 

  • Running a heatmap before and after you’ve rolled out a website redesign:
    • Once you’ve launched your new website, start running heatmaps on it immediately, heatmaps will take a bit of time and if you have good traffic you’ll have heatmaps within a short period of time.
    • Compare old heatmaps that were captured before rolling the new website design with the new heatmaps that have been captured after the update and see what changes happened.
    • In design, there is something called fake door testing, in a nutshell, it’s a design trick to make a user try something that doesn’t exist, like a CTA for example, a fake door testing is implementing a design with a fake CTA button to see if users would click on it.
    • And you’ll have to compare not just the visual representation of the clicks on your website but also the numbers, so which variant had the most conversions (clicks) and that would paint a bigger picture.
  • Validate what you see in heatmaps with data from session recordings.
    • You need to confirm your hypothesis that you’ve concluded from a heatmap by watching a couple of session recordings, that way you can either confirm that your hypothesis is actually true or you need to rethink the whole thing over again.
    • Heatmaps can show you an aggregation of interactions that happen on your website, where people clicks, how they navigate, what copies do they read, and what elements on your website do they avoid, but in all of these cases we’re referring to people as a collective and not an individual, so you need to look at a lot of session recordings to see how individuals do on your website.
      If you see that a certain CTA is getting more clicks, the first thing you want to ask yourself is why, why does this button gets all those clicks, after you develop a hypothesis you start watching recordings and validate your findings.

Website Heatmap Analysis Don’ts: – 

  • Run a heatmap without having enough page views. 
    • If you run a heatmap without having enough page views on your website that’ll hugely affect your analysis and might even skew your results thus leaving you with inaccurate data that might lead to changes that hurt your bottom line conversions.
      For example, if you change your website’s layout and you get an increase of 50% in overall clicks on a certain button that might sound promising or impressive until you figure out that it has gone up from 10 clicks on the button to 15 clicks, which doesn’t really reflect that the button has improved that much but data can sound deceiving.
    • The minimal recommended page views your page needs to get is around 1000 pageviews, but eventually, it depends on a lot of factors which we’ll cover in an upcoming blog, but all you need to know is that the more the better.
  • Treat Desktop heatmaps and Mobile heatmaps as they’re the same.
    • You might be inclined to draw some conclusions based on how people navigate your website on their mobile devices and over on desktops, don’t; it’ll only lead you to false conclusions.

If you treat how people navigate your website on mobile devices as they would on a desktop then you’ll find yourself making a lot of mistakes in design, simply because the means by which we navigate on mobile devices differ from the ones we use to navigate on desktop, I won’t get into tablets or laptops with touch screens because they only represent around 1% to 5% of any website’s overall traffic.
We use our fingers to navigate on our phones which have much less real estate to work with, but on desktop, we use a mouse and keyboard and we browse on a larger screen.

  • Change your page design/message right after launching your heatmap
    • Heatmaps are an aggregation of data (clicks, scrolls, movement) tracked on your website of page of choice that takes time to gather; if you change your website layout right after launching a new website change, that’ll hugely impact your results.
      You’ll find that people are clicking on places where buttons used to exist that don’t exist in your new design, which would lead to so much confusion about if your design is actually doing well or not.

What To Look For When Choosing A Website Heatmap Tool?

  • Does it have any limitations?
    • Many heatmap tools have a limitation on how many page views do they track, so take it into consideration by using another tool like Google Analytics to see how much traffic is your website gets.
  • Performance issues
    • You need to look at user reviews to keep track of if a certain tool has a performance issue because heatmaps are an aggregation of data collected from your website, thus if you have performance issues that’ll heavily skew your report’s findings.
  • Can you integrate it with other tools?
    • A major point that you need to consider is if your heatmap tool integrates with other tools like A/B testing tools.
    • This is really important because findings observed by heatmaps need to be tested with A/B testing because A/B testing allows you to try your current design vs improved design which eventually allows you to decide if the changes have made a difference in your overall conversion rate.
    • Also, you’ll need to keep in mind that some tools calculate things differently, so you might see that your heat mapping tool says you’ve had 2000 sessions but for some reason, your A/B tests show that only 1500 sessions had been recorded, which can lead into confusion. 
  • Pricing
    • Pricing is a major factor to take into account when choosing a tool because you might only need a heatmapping tool and in that case, you might go for a cheaper tool. 
    • Some tools offer you a really competitive price for giving you a heat mapping solution, but once you take your analysis and work to the next level pricing can be a bit too much for some businesses.
  • Continues vs snapshot
    • So heatmaps are based on session recordings analysis, and so we have 2 major ways of recording sessions.
      Continues, which is telling the tool that you’re using that you want heatmaps that’ll be based on the previous session since continues means that session recording is always active and recording so you can generate heatmaps on the fly for any page you want.
      Snapshot which is telling the tool you want to record a certain amount of records in a patch and then it starts recording after you ushered for the tool that you want to see the heatmap analysis on these specific pages, but you can’t access heatmap analysis for these pages until adequate time has passed and enough sessions have been recorded.
  • Segmenting traffic.
    • You can track visitors based on certain parameters or traffic sources like when they come from organic social media channels, ad campaigns that you have tagged, or certain marketing campaigns like influencer campaigns that you set up special tracking parameters, especially for them.

Conclusion

Now you know what should you do and shouldn’t do whenever you’re running a heatmap to increase your conversion rate.

Some of the things we talked about were a bit tricky, but most of them are straightforward so you can’t go wrong.

If you’re considering a heat mapping tool we encourage you to check us out, FIgPii is an online heat mapping tool, not just that we offer A/B testings, session recordings, polls, and more.

We have a 14-days trial so you can apply all of the advice you got from this blog and see how it makes more people convert from your website.

We get it as marketers things can be a bit challenging but that’s the beauty of FigPii, it’s’ built by marketers for marketers.

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