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Analyze User Behavior with Heatmaps | LESSON #3

October 22, 2017 | Alex Castro | | Smartlook School

Welcome to the third lesson of the Smartlook School. In the previous lesson, you learned how to identify recordings by your customers’ data, such as by email or name. In this lesson, you will learn to use heatmaps to analyze user behavior. And if you missed any of our previous lessons or want to jump right to next one, you can find all our lessons here.

Generating heatmaps can give you insights into how users are interacting with specific pages, which can be used to help you redesign your website or make small adjustments in a way that will retain more visitors and improve your conversion rates. Heatmaps will show you whether visitors are interacting with your important content or if they are reading and viewing what they are supposed to be reading and viewing.

Are Your Visitors Clicking in the Right Places?

The best pages to start generating heatmaps from are pages with high traffic — important pages, such as your homepage, landing pages, or even pages with high bounce (or abandonment) rates.

There can be elements on your pages, such as titles, images, and shapes, that can mislead visitors into clicking them based on the way they look. Similarly, there can be some clickable elements, such as CTA  (call-to-action) buttons, that are being ignored by visitors and aren’t getting the clicks they should. Click heatmaps can help you detect this so that you can direct your efforts into rethinking the design of your page in such a way that it will no longer be confusing to your visitors, thus preventing them from leaving.

Assess How Your Pages Perform on Mobile Devices

It is getting increasingly common for Internet users to browse on different devices — smartphones, tablets, etc. — with varied screen dimensions. Different screen sizes show your website in ways that might not correspond to the desktop version of your website. Therefore, some content can appear less readable, and important elements might be positioned differently, which can compromise visibility.

If you want to make sure that your pages remain fully functional and user-friendly across devices, pay special attention at the mobile and tablet versions of heatmaps. Find out what you need to change and how to adjust your responsive design. Keep your content readable and your most important elements (such as CTAs) very visible. Make user experience better on all devices!

Discover How Far Your Visitors Scroll

When your content is located below the fold line, it is not readily visible. Some scrolling is required in order to be able to view it. Having large empty spaces on the page can lead visitors into mistaking it for a page bottom. In this situation, visitors will not be aware that there is content below and likely won’t scroll down. This can be preventing visitors from reading or visualizing content on your page that might be important, negatively impact their user experience.

Scroll heatmaps that show a very drastic drop in the percentage of visitors scrolling along your page can be indicative of what was just described. Such situations can be dealt with by, for example, reducing the empty space between the elements of your page or redesigning the page in a way that makes users aware they need to scroll down in order to reach the content they should see.

Find Out Where Your Fold Line Is

The first impression your page makes can determine whether a visitor will stay or go somewhere else. It is key to have good content that will engage your public at first sight! Important banners and CTA elements must be readily visible in order to lead the customers to the right flow since the very start.

Scroll heatmaps are a very effective tool when it comes to revealing your pages’ average fold line.  The fold line is the point on your page where content is no longer readily visible, meaning your visitors need to scroll down to be able to read it. This can give you a very good indication of how you should reposition your most important content, guaranteeing that it will be seen by all your visitors. This is also important when analyzing heatmaps across different devices.

Reveal Important Content “Below the fold line”

Frequently, your visitors may be clicking on some elements that are not on the top of your page. These elements might be below the so-called “fold line“. Click heatmaps can show that some content below the fold line is getting lots of clicks. In that case, it could be a good idea to move that content above the fold line since this could be a good item to grab your visitor’s attention and motivate them to stay on your website to explore more.

Compare Behaviors Between Your New and Returning Visitors

In the Power Package, you can generate heatmaps that are specific for new and returning visitors. This will give you a look into their primary and subsequent reactions to your web design. New visitors behave differently from those that know your website already, so it is likely that these heatmaps will look different, as well.

In this lesson, you have learned how you can use your heatmaps to:
  • Check if your users are clicking where they should
  • Understand user experience on your pages across several devices
  • Discover where the average fold line is
  • Detect important content that should be moved above the fold line
  • See the difference between the way those who visit your website for the first time and those who are returning interact with your content

Now it’s up to you

These heatmaps will take the behavior analysis of your visitors to the next level. Start creating your heatmaps right away. Create new heatmaps now!

Want to learn more?

Check out lesson 4 to learn about integrating Smartlook with your ticketing and analytics systems.

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