Websites are versatile, easily customized, and one of the many ways potential customers will interact with your company. Because of their unique ability to be customized, websites can be tailored to create an experience that might end up convincing a user to purchase your product or service.
But that’s not the only reason websites are important, especially working in e-commerce. How users interact with your website and understanding the behavior of returning customers and potential customers is key to creating more conversions over time.
Using robust analytical tools such as website heatmaps can help you understand how your user experience is affecting your customers while offering key insight into ways to improve that experience. Heatmaps help you decide where to place ads, CTAs and optimize shopping carts among other things.
Here are a few ways that using website heatmaps can help you optimize your website and maximize your conversions.
Session recording tools are like the bread and butter of a good quality heat map. So what is a session recording tool? When users visit your website and spend time looking at the pages on there or considering making a purchase, the entire duration of their visit is known as a session.
Unlike page views, which are just measuring when a user visits a page, sessions are much more involved (and analytically valuable). The session largely determines whether or not that customer is going to make a purchase. Through optimization, you can lead them to that purchase at various conversion points.
By understanding user interaction and the data from their session, you can optimize their experience and drive more conversion at different points of the experience. Session recordings can collect such valuable user metrics as:
- Mouse clicks
- Page visits
- Duration spent on a particular page
- Filling out forms
- Keyboard inputs
- Overall website navigation
While session recording will collect these various data, it will do so privately and within CCPA and GDPR compliance standards. So, optimizing a page this way does not interfere with any privacy or security concerns your customers may have.
This is one of the most valuable tools in a website heat map toolset that can help you optimize your website. The best part is session recordings can be collected and analyzed over long periods or be monitored in real-time, giving you a significant advantage when it comes to understanding user behavior.
Another amazing tool incorporated into some heatmaps is funneled analysis. In this case, the funnel is a digital marketing conversion funnel that you can use to understand customer behavior at various conversion points. In the world of digital marketing, you’re undoubtedly already familiar with terms like leads and conversions.
A website marketing funnel works a bit differently than a traditional marketing funnel. At the top, users visit the site. While on the site they will view the product and check out its specifications. If they like the product, the next step is to place it in the cart.
After that, the customer might start the checkout phase. Ideally, they complete the check-out and actually make the purchase. The purchase point is the conversion. But there are a number of factors that might cause them to stop at any point along the funnel.
That’s why you want to analyze each step in the process. Underperforming traffic sources, poor interface design, and other factors can throw a wrench in the funnel. With robust heat map tools, you can pinpoint any issues along the way and improve the path-to-purchase process, creating more conversions along the way.
There will definitely be occasions when you will want users to fill out forms. Optimizing those forms is crucial. Unfortunately, a form has the potential to derail or completely stop conversion in the process. People don’t like to fill out long, incredibly complex forms.
When you ask for more and more information (or create a repetitive form asking for the same information across different points), that can put the user off filling out the form. The idea to create a conversion is not to inundate your customer with unnecessary tasks.
Form optimization tools allow you to cut the fluff from the form itself to create something that’s easier and more convenient for a user to fill out. Automatic tracking and analysis help you find pain points to fix so you can fully optimize your forms as a viable conversion point.
Analyze Long-term Behavior
Session recording and optimization are both key drivers of conversions, but website heatmap software can do so much more. For instance, it can help you analyze and understand long-term customer behavior.
This becomes very valuable as you can learn from this data to figure out the best way to optimize your CRO initiatives. Long-term behavior provides key insight into what marketing strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
You can tweak your strategy, adjust your website interface, or create an entirely different plan based on what’s happening long-term. With up to 12 months worth of data from sessions and other analytics, a heat map really provides value in this area.
Having access to long-term data also provides ample information to assess the quality of your overall data as you build your CRO strategy.
Getting to know your users and understanding their feedback is an often overlooked, but essential tool. The ideal opportunity to obtain feedback is when a user is engaged in actively purchasing something or when they’re about to leave the website. Sometimes, the best way to understand your customers is to ask for feedback.
With certain tools, you can implement feedback requests and adjust how often or persistent they are relative to users navigating the website. As you collect data from these responses, you can gain a better understanding of what is and isn’t leading to conversions and build a comprehensive strategy for implementing positive changes.
The most powerful heatmaps and tools should allow quick access to any metric through a dashboard, including feedback, ultimately giving you full control of your analytical tools and leading you to fully optimize conversions with ease.