Hotjar is turning up the heat with analytics about how people are using your site. Here’s how to understand them.
Hotjar is a service which collects data that you can analyse to learn more about how people use your website. It focuses on the qualitative data -- the how and why in addition to the how many. Hotjar can help you design your website in a way that optimises it for getting more conversions.
You install Hotjar by adding a little line of code to your Shopify site. (See the step-by-step here). Once it’s there and you log in, you’ll be able to get all of their analytics. Next we’ll go over the main types of data you can collect using Hotjar, and what they mean.
Heatmaps are one of Hotjar’s most popular tools. They track where your viewers are looking, what they’re clicking on and how far down your page your visitors are seeing.
There are three main types of heatmaps.
Click and tap shows where people are clicking their mouse or tapping their screens
Move shows where people are moving their cursor on a desktop
Scroll shows how far down someone has scrolled on your site.
You can use a combination of these heatmaps to see what your users are looking at and trying to engage with. This could reveal information like elements that are distracting to viewers, people who don’t realise there’s more information when you scroll down, people who don’t find the information they’re looking for, or images that seem clickable but don’t actually lead anywhere.
Hotjar can record the actual experience of your users, and play it back to you. You’ll be able to see barriers, or where your users are getting stuck. For example, you might find that users keep forgetting their login information, and could then consider making an easier login that automatically remembers passwords or links to a user’s email or Facebook account. They could also be searching around for critical information that isn’t clear, and recordings can help you identify what people are confused about.
You can use recordings to break down your users into buyers and non-buyers, and see how their journeys might differ. This can help you identify what is the most important information for buyers to have (like forms they have to fill out, a particular piece of content or social proof they’re looking at) and stick it right in front of them.
Recordings will be able to tell you other useful information, such as whether or not most people are even looking at your call to action, or closing your pop up right away. You can use this to adjust the position and timing of these tools that are both important for conversion and marketing.
Recordings can be super useful, but can take a lot of digging to really understand how people are behaving on your site. A funnel is a way to hone in on how users get from A to B.
You can start backwards with what the big win is for you (it’s likely conversions, or an actual sale, but it could be signups if you’re starting out). You can use your Thank You page that everyone who makes a purchase will see, and draw out the paths people could take to get there. Here are some examples.
Homepage > Product Pages > Cart > Checkout > Thank You Page
Homepage > Trial Signup Page > Interface > Upgrade Page > Thank you page
Category pages > Landing page with form > Thank you page
Homepage > Article/Blog Pages > Subscribe Page > Success Page
When you set up a funnel, you’ll see everyone who took exactly that path - which is why it’s important to set up multiple funnels so you can compare how different customers get to the same place.
With this information, you can more easily see where your customers are getting stuck, which are the most effective paths, and what content seems particularly important.
Hotjar lets you test out forms, like contact forms and signup forms, to see how they affect conversion. Using your form report, you can find out the conversion rates coming from your form, which areas in your form are most used (and which ones people are leaving blank), how often and where users are dropping off from your website, and how long it takes them to fill out a form.
What’s the point? Forms, including checkout forms or other steps needed in the converion process, can be a big reason for abandoned carts. Finding out if your form is a deterrant, and where you need to fix it, can help you win back customers.
Ok so you have figured out that people are dropping off, or that a particular piece of content is important -- that doesn’t always let you know why. Sure you can speculate and try new things, but why not just ask? Hotjar lets you put in a little poll widget that asks users very specific questions about something on your page. You should put in a short multiple choice poll, and ask questions like, “Did you find this useful?” or “what’s the best thing about this page?” or even “What would you like to see next in our collection”. You can ask longer questions and request that users type in their own responses instead of multiple choice, but you risk getting less feedback.
Find out how to install a poll widget here.
Surveys through Hotjar are an excellent way to get market research directly from your users themselves. You can set up an incentive for completing a survey (like a prize drawing or a discount voucher) and ask as many questions as you want. Hotjar also translates into 35 languages, and can ask people to take a survey immediately or later through a link.
This can be extremely useful for understanding where your product development efforts should be going, who your target demographic is, how your customers interpret your information or see your brand, and what could be better about your brand.
Looking for ideas about how to optimise your home page for conversion?
Check out this study Hotjar did that analysed 20 top startups to see what they’re doing on their homepages. Spoiler alert -- they’ve got their CTAs above the fold. Wild.
Elkfox can help you use and understand your Hotjar results. Give us a shout if you’d like our support in helping you grow your online business.