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Today, we’ll share the story of how invaluable heatmap testing data analysis generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for our agency—with a healthy margin.

Specifically, you’re going to learn:

  • How and why our agency fell in love with heatmaps and user tracking software—and how you probably will, too :)
  • How we use the data in our proprietary CRO/UX audit that puts our clients over the moon.
  • How to use the analysis to uncover profit-generating conversion insights.

Ready to dig in? Let’s get started!

First things first: Are heatmaps useful?

As a digital marketing agency, we’re constantly sniffing out new marketing technology and finding unique ways to generate a higher return on investment (ROI) for our clients.

User analytics software (à la Hotjar) floored us when it first arrived on the scene. We got in the game early on, as a founding member of the Hotjar beta. If you’re debating when to use a heatmap, the time is now.

After posting several winning A/B split tests for our clients, we realized the game-changing potential of using heatmaps.

Our $100K+ revelation...

When we first discovered user recording software, we were actively looking for ways to improve how we deliver value to our clients. So, with a little elbow grease, we perfected our special CRO and usability audit process.

By collecting and analyzing data from Google Analytics and other user analysis tools, our audit focuses on identifying:

  • Precisely why users fail to convert
  • The top 3–5 roadblocks that prevent your users from converting
  • How to remove these roadblocks to boost website conversions dramatically

Best of all, we were able to wrap our findings into a web-based report that clients could access at any time. If you’re new and unsure what is heatmap analysis, you’re in the right place.

To demonstrate some of our findings, let’s look at a recent success story with a higher education client.

Superficially, it looked like they were doing well—after all, their website was getting plenty of visitors. But the problem was their site wasn’t converting enough of those visitors into leads.

Below are the five key findings we discovered from our audit:

Finding #1: The site search tool was hidden and broken

Site search is valuable because it helps searchers find what they’re looking for without digging through pages of content. However, user interaction recordings showed us that site search on the homepage was broken and poorly-placed.

By reviewing recordings, we discovered that the site search actually sent users to the Request Information form instead of the search results.

We also found that the search tool was hidden in a poor location: miniscule text at the bottom of the page.

According to the Scroll Depth report, only 11% of desktop and 17% of mobile users made it far enough down the page to see the search tool. What’s worse is that visitors who did find and use the search tool couldn’t even get it to work!

With this insight, we confidently advised the client to test a variation of the page with the site search bar in the header, where users are trained to look for it.

Finding #2: Needless clicking through form dropdowns

According to a landing page heatmap, the first two drop-down fields on our client’s primary web form received multiple interactions per user.

After watching several recordings, we found that the drop-down options were confusing. In particular, we noticed users clicking back and forth between two fields because they couldn’t find the option they wanted.

A whopping 71% of the prospects who started filling out the form on the homepage didn’t finish.

That meant nearly 3 out of 4 leads were abandoning the form after starting.

To make matters worse, the options in the drop-down were too difficult to understand. It wasn’t clear that the university exclusively offered some programs online and other programs exclusively on campus.

The lengthy form needed to be simple and easily digestible. Eliminating unnecessary fields and clarifying options in the drop-down were obvious first steps.

Finding #3: The opt-in forms weren’t enticing enough

Through Hotjar’s Funnels tool, we learned that 97.1% of users left the client’s “Request Information” page without interacting with the form at all.

That’s a measly 2.9% conversion rate.

Through some digging into session recordings and user surveys, we discovered that the Request Information form wasn’t enticing enough. Specifically:

  1. The call to action button was uninspiring: “Request Information.”
  2. Visitors didn’t know what to expect when they filled out the form. There were no apparent benefits, next steps, or reasons they should give their information.

It became clear that we needed to test other calls to action like “Start your future today” or “Speak with an admissions rep.” We also recommended adding clear benefits and compelling reasons to complete the form.

Finding #4: The website wasn’t mobile optimized

Moving on, we also found that 45% of the website’s traffic came from mobile users. Plus, sessions from mobile devices increased by 19% from the previous year, while desktop only increased by 6%. Clearly, mobile usage was outpacing desktop. 

Unfortunately, our analysis revealed that the website was not mobile friendly.

The homepage and program pages received the most traffic on the site. But the forms that appeared on those pages were positioned poorly on mobile. They were buried far down the page, requiring users to scroll endlessly to find it.

According to scroll-depth heatmap testing data, under 50% of mobile users reached the form on the homepage, and only 25% reached the form on the Programs page.

On the homepage, only 50% of mobile users were scrolling far enough to get to the form.

On the Programs page, only 25% of mobile users scrolled far enough to see the form. 

Finding #5: High-performing buttons weren’t on the most-trafficked pages

On individual pages, there was a button that was converting well, but it was located “below the fold”. Yet heatmaps showed visitors frequently interacting with this button regardless of its placement.

Unfortunately, this button didn’t exist on the most-trafficked pages.

Caption: We noticed a button performing well based on the heatmap.

We suggested that the high-performing button be moved above the fold and added to high traffic pages in order to drive form engagement.

The data also revealed that the button blended in too much with the rest of the page, providing an opportunity to improve user experience through basic color and design changes.

The results of our heatmap tracking analysis

We wrapped our heatmap usability testing findings into a neat, digital package for our client. They were blown away by the results.

When they ran A/B tests based on our recommendations, they experienced a significant increase in leads. Not every test resulted in a significant bump, but the two most prominent winners delivered a healthy boost and provided an even deeper ROI.

The client is already asking us about new ways to help with their digital marketing efforts. The Director of Marketing even gave us a referral to her colleague at another school.

Not a bad return for a few hours of work.

Conclusion

By analyzing heatmap testing data and user recordings, we’ve dramatically increased the effectiveness of our A/B split testing for clients.

On top of that, we also built out a whole CRO and UX audit process that makes more money for our lovely clients while generating a steady stream of income for our agency.

If you haven’t already, we recommend you try heatmaps and visitor recording software to uncover overlooked opportunities to grow your profits. 

Have you tried using similar software yet? If so, what were the results? If not, how might you use these insights moving forward? Share your feedback below!

You can find more about what makes us tick at webmechanix.com. Click here to grab your free e-book, “The Expert Guide for Creating Lovable Landing Pages.”