How to Make Heatmap Analysis More Meaningful in 2021

Session recording and click analytics tools provide you with invaluable insights for optimizing websites. You see where people click, how far they scroll, and how they actually interact with your website. We use such tools ourselves when we redesign the website and want to see how changes affect the behavior of visitors. Heat map analysis is not rocket science anymore, just take a look at 5 Ways on how to add context and make your heatmap analysis meaningful.


Collected insights lead us to changes that result in more clicks on elements that matter to us and further scrolls. After all the analysis, we just still don’t know why people click the nose of the guy in the background.

I bet you had a similar experience – you see people doing something for no obvious reason. Click maps and recordings and give you absolutely no hint why people click in certain places or why they move mouse like crazy. You’re just like

no hint why people click in certain places on your website or why they move mouse like crazy.

It’s time to fix it and discover why people behave as they do to complete your analysis. It’s not difficult – just start collecting feedback from your website visitors. You can do it with small, unobtrusive widgets that appear in crucial moments. Collected answers will help you understand heatmaps and create even better designs suited to your audience.

In this article, I’ll show you 5 insights you can collect by analyzing user feedback.

5 Insights You Can Collect by Analyzing User Feedback

1. What’s the goal of your visit

People visit your website for different reasons. Their goals affect their behavior. Example: people who visit an eCommerce website to compare products will browse many of them and might not decide to buy any of them – that’s normal. But when a person enters the website with a clear goal of making a purchase and doesn’t buy it means a problem.

Visual analytics tools won’t help you learn why people visit your website – you can find it out only by asking visitors.

Tip: Ask this question 2-3 seconds after a visitor enters the website. Tag people who answer and ask them another question ‘did you complete the goal of your visit?’ when they are about to leave the website. You’ll see if visitors manage to complete their goals.

goal of the visit survey question

2. Why visitors leave the website

You might see in GA that a certain page reports a high exit rate. So you look at recordings and heatmaps. It’s easy to discover the problem when something is broken like a button doesn’t work and doesn’t redirect anywhere. Good to know and easy to fix. But sometimes everything looks normal. What to do then?

One option is to come up with a few ideas for changes and implement them to see how they affect the stats. But you can be smarter and simply ask visitors. Their answers will show you what are their problems and why they leave the website. Based on answers, you can apply changes on the website to overcome the issue. Then use Google Analytics or a similar tool to see the change in exit rate.

Tip: Use exit-intent website overlay to grab the attention of visitors who are about to leave the page. Survey widgets in the center of the screen will provide the highest response rate.

Free-to-Use Website Exit Survey Template

Free plan available. 100 free survey responses included every month!

3. Why they don’t convert

Your website might be great – you see that people click where you want them to, they do exactly what you want until the conversion – they just don’t buy. It’s a serious problem – the goal of most of the websites is to convert visitors into buyers or leads.

A good idea to solve this issue is to run a survey on a page that is crucial for conversion. Not a big deal and can provide you with insights leading to growing your sales quickly and turning the website into a money-making machine.

It can also happen that you watch recordings of sessions and notice that some people just get stuck. They go back and forth, click anywhere, and finally leave the website. It means that they can’t find what they are looking for or something is not working as expected.

Simply launch a survey on a page where you observe such activity and quickly find out what’s wrong. Fix those elements and see how they affect the behavior of visitors. Often small changes result in higher conversion rates and sales.

Tip: Trigger a survey when a visitor is on the page for long enough to make the desired action or when they are about to exit.

what is preventing from completing the order

4. How visitors assess changes

I bet many of you use heatmaps to assess a redesign as we do. You can discover that you spend long hours or weeks working on a new design and something goes wrong. Suddenly, people interact less with the website, and Google Analytics charts plunge as well. It usually means that visitors are dissatisfied. And dissatisfied users are more likely to leave you.

Nationale Nederlanden Investment Partners had such a problem. What did they do? They decided to collect feedback from visitors to find the problem. Analysis of collected answers led to another redesign, which turned out to be successful. You can read the full story here.

Tip: Target returning visitors who spend at least a few seconds on a page or scroll 70-80% – they will be able to really compare the old and new designs.

5. What’s missing on the page

Probably you won’t be surprised when I tell you that people click on elements that exist. If something is missing, people just get dissatisfied and maybe say something not nice about you and your website. As already mentioned, it can lead to losing customers.

Heatmaps and recordings won’t reveal what people can’t find on your website. So ask them. When you spot a common issue, add this element and use click maps to see if people really click it.

what is missing

Tip: Target people who are on a page for at least 10-15 seconds – they’re able to decide if there is something missing or not.


Now you see how much is missing when you analyze only Google Analytics data and click maps and what kind of insights can be provided with feedback. Collecting feedback from visitors will help you find ideas on improvements and visual analytics tools will help you decide how effective those changes are. So why don’t you start running surveys on your websites to complement your analytics?

Lucjan Kierczak

Head of Marketing at Survicate.

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