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3 ways heatmaps can improve your website performance

Antoine Senkoff, Digital Strategist
Posted in: Strategy, User Experience

Heatmaps serve as an extremely powerful and effective tool to complement a more holistic website analysis – one that looks at not just the performance metrics and numbers but also the more human elements of user behaviour. To capture this data, heatmapping tools use a tracking tag – a small bit of code – that is added to every page on the website. This tracking tag captures every customer interaction, which is then anonymised, ensuring any personal information is not collected or stored.  

If you’re wondering how heatmaps can help boost your website’s performance, here are three key ways we use them at Brandwidth to dig deeper into user behaviour and improve your digital customer experience. 

Image credit: ContentSquare

1. User Behaviour Insights with Heatmaps 

Heatmapping tools such as HotJar or ContentSquare aggregate large amounts of data and transform them into a simple visual representation of a website or app that highlights where users move, click, and scroll. The different ways users interact, or don’t interact with your site can reveal pain points that need addressing. Here are some examples: 

Hover Rates: This is where we track mouse movements without clicks. We can analyse this movement to reveal user intent and refine UI elements.   

Click Rates: We use the information of where users click the most to optimise your UI by placing important elements (such as buttons or links) strategically.  

Scroll Rates: Understanding how far users scroll down a page allows us to determine if the layout of a page should be adjusted to bring critical content above the fold to improve visibility. 


2. Heatmapping with Segmentation/Personalisation 

Heatmaps can be used together with segmentation to provide us with a rich understanding of how different kinds of users interact with your site. By segmenting based on specific criteria (such as demographics, location or behaviour), we can gain deeper insights into how different user groups interact with a site. For example, segmenting by device type (desktop vs. mobile) can reveal differences in behaviour in how these users engage with specific features, pages or content. This then allows us to tailor your content and features based on the findings. For example, if mobile users were not clicking on a form as regularly as desktop users, we can make design changes to the mobile version of your site to help them find it easier.    


3. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) 

Heatmaps don’t just highlight areas of interest, they also show us cold spots, where users are interacting less with a site. By utilising cold spot data from heatmaps, along with other relevant website metrics like exit rates, average time on page, and pages per session, we can address the usability issues and make improvements to increase the interaction in these areas.  

Heatmaps also allow us to quickly identify friction points in the conversion funnel. If there are non-clickable elements pushing users away from converting, we can catch them and make the necessary adjustments so that future customer journeys aren’t interrupted in the same way.  

When designing modifications for web pages, heatmaps are a crucial part of validating design modifications. By tracking heatmap data over time, we can assess if a design alteration has led to the anticipated enhancements on a page. Heatmaps also work well to complement A/B testing as a way of seeing if one design change is performing better than the other. 

Whether you’re optimising your website or app, harnessing the power of heatmaps can revolutionise your approach to user analysis. If you’re eager to explore how heatmaps can benefit your specific project or have any questions regarding their implementation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can help you unlock the full potential of your user data! 

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