Most businesses use Google Analytics to track website analytics, but that is the minimum requirement. While Google Analytics is great, it doesn't give you a complete picture of your visitors, and how they are interacting with your website.
For example, "Which area of the page are they focusing on?", "Are they having issues navigating from one section to another?", "Are they focusing on your CTAs (call-to-actions)?"
HotJar can help you with all these questions because it records visitor clicks, page scrolling, mouse movements, and more. This type of data is precious because it lets you watch and analyze how your visitors and customers are interacting with your website.
In many ways, HotJar is the closest things to running a focus group, without spending thousands of dollars on one.
Quick Product Overview - by HotJar
Yes - you can collect a lot of this information with Google Analytics, but for most people data is much easier to digest when visualized.
What exactly can you learn by using a visitor recording tool like HotJar?
1. Identify Website Issues Quickly (Before Your Customers Report Them)
All websites (big or small) will experience some problems over time. Everything from minor bugs like misalignment (styling issue) to more significant issues like encountering error pages.
Below are real examples of client issues we identified (using HotJar) before the support team ever identified them.
- Top Navigation was not displaying correctly on mobile devices
- Slow load time (over 10 seconds) in certain parts of South Asia
- "Read more" button was not working on some Android devices
- The contact form was not redirecting to the thank you page
These types of issues/bugs are easily identified when you can review visitor recording, and visually see how your prospects and customers are using the website.
2. Discover Holes In Your Conversion Funnel
You cannot have a successful and growing business without a strong conversion funnel - how you guide your prospects from the "awareness" stage to "interest", from "interest" to "desire", and eventually from a "desire" to "action".
Here are two simple conversion funnel examples to illustrate this point.
Conversion Funnel - Example 1:
- Awareness (Google Search)
- Interest (Blog Posts)
- Desire (Expertise Page)
- Action (Request More Information)
Conversion Funnel - Example 2:
- Awareness (Pay-Per-Click Ad)
- Interest (Product Landing Page)
- Desire (View "client testimonial" video and "pricing options")
- Action (Buy)
Having a funnel is important, but equally as important is the ability to identify holes in your funnel - where exactly are you losing leads.
For example, one of our clients had an exhaustive expertise page. In other words, they tried to list every possible expertise in great detail. The result? 100% drop-off and most visitors would spend less than 20 seconds on the page.
Why most visitors left so quickly was obvious to us (the page was too detailed and dense), but we used HotJar to validate this assumption. As expected, after we reviewed 30 HotJar recordings we noticed a pattern - most visitors would scroll to the bottom of the page, feel overwhelmed, and exit the page.
This behavior is common; many website visitors scroll down to the bottom of the page after only reading the title. In essence, they are assessing how much content there is, and if they should stick around.
In our client's case, we ran three different A/B tests and settled on a version which used 60% less text, 3 new images, a few additional subheadings. Result? We reduce the drop-off rate from 100% to 72% and average session time was increased to 1 minute and 9 seconds. More importantly, our client finally started receiving email inquiries (leads) through the website.
When you can visually track visitor behavior (e.g. clicks, page scrolling, and mouse movements), you can quickly identify user patterns, and more importantly, find issues in your funnel.
NOTE: Confusing or obscure CTAs cause many conversion funnel issues. In other words, when it is not clear and obvious what the next step is. For example, if someone lands on your blog post, what exactly should they do next? Do you want them to read about your services? Or sign up for a newsletter? Or request more information?
Each stage in the funnel must have a clear next step. Also, don't make the mistake of trying to jump conversion funnel steps. For example, go from Awareness to Action (bypassing "Interest" and "Desire").
For more information on funnels and lead generation download our Lead Generation White Paper.
3. Optimize Your CTAs (call-to-actions)
All high-performing websites continuously optimize their content and CTAs. This is were marginal gains over time can produce phenomenal results, because even a small improvement in conversion (e.g. 10%) can turn an unprofitable venture into a profitable one.
Your website is your selling tool, so you have to think of your website as a salesperson. How many leads are they bringing in, and how many of those leads are they converting into customers?
Visitor tracking tools like HotJar allow you to carefully review CTAs and make adjustments over time to improve them. For example, start by creating a baseline - inventory of all your website's CTAs and their corresponding conversion rate (%).
- "Buy" 4%
- “Download” 8%
- “Schedule an appointment” 3%
- “Read more” 20%
- “Like” 12%
- “Sign up” 5%
- “Contact Us” 4%
- “Register” 3%
After you create the baseline, start optimizing your CTAs. Think of different ways to make your CTAs more enticing - how to nudge website visitors into immediate action.
You can try using action-oriented words. For example, replace "Sign up" with “Get Started,” "Contact Us" with “Let's Talk,” or "Download" with “Download Now.”
Before you make these types of changes, you have to be able to measure the impact; at minimum, make sure your website analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) and visitor recording tools (e.g. HotJar) are in place.
"If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Improve It" - Peter Drucker
We are in the middle of the data gold rush, so there is no shortage of tools to collect and analyze user data. For many organizations data is their competitive advantage, and it can be yours as well.
Finally, the good news is, HotJar and other tracking tools are affordable, so the cost is no longer an excuse.