Do you have a website? You need to use Hot Jar .

No, I’m not a Hot Jar affiliate. They didn’t give us the tool to use in exchange for a review either. I’m just a dude who stumbled upon the tool and become a little obsessed with it. This type of data and analytics tool has been around for a long time. In fact, considering how long I’ve been doing this (10+ years) I’m a little embarrassed at how long it has taken me to get onboard.

Allow me a moment to defend myself:

First of all, in case you don’t remember, screen recording and heat mapping software used to be absolute crap. Browser compliance issues coupled with the inability to track engagement across various device types made the data we were able to get inconsistent and scattered. Additionally, websites were structured in such a way (even as much as a few years ago) that didn’t make it easy or sometimes even possible to act upon the type of value based data a screen recording tool provided.

Flash forward: now. The perfect storm of website malleability coupled with responsive framework allows for the “finally sophisticated enough” data tools (like Hot Jar) to provide value that truly can’t even be quantified. The ability to SEE exactly what your prospects are doing and to have the tools necessary to act upon those realizations immediately, that is the stuff that digital marketing dreams are made of.

Hot Jar provides comprehensive heat maps that allow you to see, at a glance, exactly what components of your website are being engaged with and what users are skipping over. The heat maps allow you to customize your view for the type of user interaction you’re interested in measuring. You can toggle between “click,” “move,” and “scroll” – each of which gives you different insight into how your site is being utilized.

Here’s a screenshot of the “scroll” view on the homepage of our website:

Mouse-flow-screenshot

If I wasn’t already in the middle of a rebuild this would’ve been more than enough to catalyze one! Less than 50% of our traffic makes it to the actual content on the home page. Now, a lot of that is due to the fact that they take action on the header or through the navigation and funnel themselves according to their needs. Even so, the fact that the majority of our home page content is being skipped over lets me know that I need to find a better way of making sure those important items are seen!

More important to me than the heat maps are the screen recordings. I can see what prospects are doing, filter by browser, OS and device type, and monitor for specific landing pages, visit duration and action. This allows me the opportunity to look at the website sessions of users that did convert and see exactly what led them to a conversion path. It also (and more importantly) lets me see the session of the users that reached high value pages and did not convert and possibly identify the barrier to conversion.

In fact, I’m probably watching you right now :-).

We recently completed our internal demo of Hot Jar and plan on rolling it out for every client campaign we manage. I’m excited to see what types of actionable improvements the tool is able to catalyze and thrilled that I stumbled across it. And just because Hot Jar didn’t give me anything to write this blog, doesn’t mean they can’t give us a little pat on the back after the fact!