These days, building a website is easy.
It doesn’t take much of an investment – you don’t need an army of developers, either. Even if you have exactly zero years of experience building websites, you can spin up a new one in a matter of hours with some of the drag-and-drop tools available online.
But building a good website – that’s a whole different story.
38% of people will stop engaging with a website if it doesn’t have an appealing layout or design. By contrast, according to a study by Forrester, a strong UX design can increase a website’s conversion rate by up to 400% – even just a well-designed user interface can increase conversion rates by up to 200%.
There are plenty of plugins and services out there that can help you optimize your website for UX. But one of the most versatile is Hotjar, the heatmaps and user feedback platform.
Here’s how it works.
What is Hotjar?
At its core, Hotjar is a user feedback platform that helps you understand how people interact with your website. It creates visual tools like heatmaps, scroll maps, recordings so you can see what your visitors are clicking on and engaging with.
It’s the perfect solution for A/B testing a new website design. It can help you understand what your visitors want and need from your site, so you can then optimize it for conversions and a better user experience.
But Hotjar has additional features, including a survey and feedback capability, form analysis tools, and a simple solution that helps you recruit test users while they’re browsing.
Here are a few of our favorite Hotjar features.
Frictionless User Feedback
Before solutions like Hotjar came along, building a website took a lot of guesswork. You could run a survey or recruit a team of people to judge your website experience, but these things were time-consuming and expensive.
With Hotjar’s frictionless Incoming Feedback tool, you can give all your visitors an easy way to provide feedback about your website.
Instead of just written responses, the incoming feedback tool gives you feedback with context. Users can highlight specific sections of your web experience and tell you what they like or dislike about it (which is particularly helpful for SaaS growth). They can use a simple rating system to judge your pages, so you can identify problem pages instantly.
All the feedback is collected in a single visual feedback dashboard that’s easy to access and understand:
You can even measure user sentiment across all your pages to get a high-level view of how your website is performing and where your opportunities lie.
Why guess about the user experience when you can learn about it directly from your users?
Of course, Hotjar is all about the heatmaps. There’s no better tool for determining how people use (and want to use) your website.
For example, your heatmaps may show you that several of your visitors are clicking on a specific image expecting it to go somewhere. If it isn’t linked, why not give them what they want? Turn it into a conversion opportunity and take advantage of your users’ inclinations.
Hotjar offers a few different types of heatmaps. Here are the three you should know about:
Click and Move Heatmaps
Click and move heatmaps are collections of user activity on your pages that help you determine what visitors are interacting with and clicking on:
The “move” potion tells you where users’ are hovering their cursors, which in turn tells you what they are focusing on. People tend to use their cursor when reading text, for example.
Scroll heatmaps tell you how far your users are scrolling down your web page before they are exiting or clicking away. In other words, they tell you exactly how much of your content your visitors are actually seeing:
If you have a call of action in the “cold” zone, that means most of your visitors aren’t even seeing it, much less engaging with it. You may want to move it up the page or add an additional CTA to encourage conversions.
You should also address why people are dropping off the page before reaching the bottom. Does your copywriting need a tune-up? Does the page contain content your visitors weren’t expecting?
Combine scroll heatmaps with user feedback to learn your users’ needs.
With visitor recordings, you can watch how each individual visitor interacts with your website. Real visitor behavior is key for identifying usability issues and opportunities for optimization:
Within the platform, you can make notes about visitor recordings and share the recordings with everyone on your team.
The Customizable Surveys
Finally, if your users don’t provide you with feedback on their own, you can prompt them with one of Hotjar’s customizable surveys. These surveys can be distributed by email or using web links, but you can also ask users to fill out your survey just before they abandon your website:
Regardless of what type of website you operate, whether it’s an eCommerce site, a blog, or even a news site, your users are your best resource for improving your UX design. If they find something great (or frustrating) about your website, they’ll be compelled to tell you about it so you can create a better experience for everyone.
Hotjar, Heatmaps, and User Feedback In A Nutshell
Growth strategists at Ladder love Hotjar because it offers amazing and direct insight into how user experience your web properties, whether it’s a website or web app. We particularly LOVE the Incoming Feedback tool, and the heatmaps are key to landing page optimization.
If you’re considering Hotjar for your website but you aren’t sure whether you’re ready to commit, don’t sweat it. In addition to other Hotjar pricing options, they have a “free forever” version you can use to get a feel for it. It will record up to 2,000 page views per day, provide reports, and store data for 365 days.
And no, we were not paid to write this. We just think good growth tools deserve the spotlight.