If you want your website to be successful – and even more so if you want it to earn real revenue – you need to understand your visitors’ behavior the best you can. Only after knowing their clicking paths are you able to optimize your website. In regard to online stores, this kind of knowledge can make or break your business. So be prepared to analyze your website continuously to learn which pages generate more views and find out about the most clicked items and your visitors’ and prospective customers’ areas of interest. It’s easy to get traffic numbers and page views from Google Analytics or Piwik. But for optimizing site structure or page designs, a heatmap solution is a much more useful tool. This post presents a new online solution for creating heatmaps and more.
Hotjar, the All-in-One Analytics and Feedback Solution
Hotjar is an attractive solution for analyzing a website or an online store. Even with the free basic account you get a lot of useful options and meaningful data. Especially, the heat map feature is noteworthy, showing you in detail the clicking paths and interests of your site visitors. Another useful feature is „Recordings“. User interaction can be recorded as videos to be analyzed later. This way, you not only find out about areas of interest but also how long visitors actually stayed at a given website content.
To give you some insight into this online solution we will discuss three features in more detail here.
Registering an Account
Registering for a free account is done quickly with a username and a password. There is no OAuth login, however. The free account gives you all the pro account features, only the frequency of use is limited. Hotjar’s dashboard looks clean and modern. After registering, the system helps you to configure all respective features which is a smooth and user-friendly designed experience. It’s practically a piece of cake to set up all your analyzing functions. Hotjar also provides a comprehensive user guide explaining how Hotjar’s many features can be used best.
The Pro Account
Hotjar offers a pro account with all features available for an unlimited frequency of use. This account will set you back 29 USD per month. For anybody with an online store or some other revenue-generating website, this looks like a reasonable investment, especially with the extensive range of features provided here.
The image sums up Hotjar’s options pretty neat and also shows what possible savings you get when choosing a pro account. Of course, this depends on what kind of other tools you might need on top. Generally, Hotjar comes in three configuration levels:
The Heat Map Feature
Heat maps are very useful tools for optimizing websites because they give you data about the most-used and most-viewed areas of a site or store. Based on this data you can restructure your online properties accordingly and check whether the changes bring the desired effects. For example, you could figure out where it is best to place articles or those seasonal products to clear your inventory.
With a free account, you can generate three heat maps. Need more? Just upgrade to a pro account. This can be done anytime.
High traffic numbers combined with high bounce rates – that’s a scenario practically begging for the heat map treatment. You certainly would want to find out how to make all those many visitors stick with your site, wouldn’t you?
The Hotjar Heatmap Guide shows eight heat map examples covering common website issues and providing respective solutions. This undoubtedly helps in optimizing pages.
Recordings – User Interactions on Video
Recordings are user interactions caught on video. This feature enables you to actually view how visitors use your website: what they look at and for how long, how they move through your pages, which content they read, and which areas of the website are visited at all. Furthermore, it’s interesting to find out how many pages they opened and where they bounced off your site. The latter could give you an idea about the least attention-gripping part of your site.
These videos can help immensely when testing and optimizing your online store or website. If your website is responsive (and don’t say it is not), you are also able to view the interactions of your site’s mobile users and optimize your presence accordingly. The free Hotjar account lets you use up to 300 recordings. You are able to filter all those videos.
Funnels – Searching for Obstacles on Your Website
The funnel feature enables you to find out your website’s biggest access challenges. You discover where most of your visitors exit your site and get ideas about how to fix this. Just define the most important goal of a page – like subscribing to a newsletter or closing a sale – and create a funnel that leads right to the pages with the most traffic. It’s recommended to create a funnel for every specific goal of your website.
Every funnel only provides the data of a visitor who stepped into this specific funnel, though. So it’s more than useful to create two funnels in case you have two traffic sources for every specific goal you want to achieve with the website.
If there are recordings of visitors who bounced off just there, the video provides you with more insight about how to fix this issue.
Common Examples for Useful Funnels Done Right:
- E-commerce: Homepage> Product Pages> Shopping Cart> Checkout> Thankyou Page
- News / Blog: Homepage> Article Page> Subscription Page> Success Page
- Web App: Homepage>Registering> Interface> Upgrade Page> Thankyou Page
- Lead Generation: Category Page> Landing Page with Forms> Thankyou Page
Additional Hotjar Features
Besides the features presented here, Hotjar offers more options to analyze and optimize your website. An overview with some screenshots:
Feedback Polls – Customer Surveys
Do a short user survey to learn about issues and what needs to be fixed quickly. Keep in mind your website needs to serve the users. Visitors might give you some useful feedback and might even be inclined to help you improve the user experience.
Surveys – Comprehensive Customer Polls
The survey feature helps you create comprehensive customer polls quickly – enabling you to learn about customer satisfaction and possible areas of improvement.
Check your web forms and how efficient and user-friendly they are. Find out about possible issues and how to optimize your forms to increase conversion rates. Form Analytics is there to help you minimize your web forms’ bounce rates.
Recruit Feature – Get Users as Testers
This feature will give you first-hand expert feedback. Recruit a user to test your website or online store thoroughly. Collect profile information and contact data – and don’t forget to award participants with some goodies.
Hotjar is an interesting and useful option for optimizing websites and online stores. The wide range of features provide a shortcut for finding issues and areas in need for improvement, while providing solutions to fix those issues. Everyone inclined to optimize their websites and improve the user-experience should definitely have a look at Hotjar and test it. In any case, you will need some additional analytics tool like Google Analytics or Piwik to track visitor numbers and pageviews.
- Hotjar homepage
- Comprehensive Hotjar manual with tips and tricks
- Hotjar documentation
- In-depth information about the heat map feature
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