July 19, 2018 in Tips by

A few months ago, at a conference, I was introduced to Hotjar. This is a service that allows you to watch people interact with your website (among many other features). When I got home, I installed it right away.

Since then I’ve been enthralled with it. In fact, it can be a real distraction: once you start to watch, you won’t be able to look away. It’s more than just fun. Hotjar can help you get more business from your website.

Do your users find your website easy to use?

You work hard to get people to come to your site. While they’re visiting, are they finding what they’re looking for? Or are they getting frustrated and leaving?

The science of determining whether or not people can easily use your site is called, “usability.” There are many companies who will do usability studies for your website. These studies typically involve asking someone to accomplish something on your site, and recording them as they do it (or, at least, try to).

Now usability experts can be very helpful. But what if you could get a head start on this by watching your current website users as they currently interact with your site. That’s what Hotjar can do for you.

After I installed Hotjar on my site, I started watching people come to my free audit page. I was sending paid traffic there, I wanted to get as much out of that traffic as possible. I watched as people came to the page, filled-out the form, and got really frustrated. It turns out, the form simply refreshed on the same page with a very subtle message: “You’ll receive your audit shortly.” I could see people get frustrated- not knowing if anything was working or not- as their mouse ran all over the page. I learned: I needed to add a confirmation page to this form. Now people can see that their audit is being processed- because something happened (the page changed).

Are your website visitors getting frustrated with your site? Are you wasting online marketing budget on frustrated website users? Install Hotjar and find out!

Do you have the right content on your site?

Companies spend a lot of money to build a website. It’s worth it, if it drives business. However, it’s hard to know what your website should include. Of course, everyone in every different department has a different opinion. Also, everyone in every different department has more important things that the other departments.

What do your website users want? Hotjar can tell you.

I’ve been working with a client lately who is new to market. They have a very basic website without a lot of information (yet). Of course, we did the best we could to estimate what people would be interested in finding out about their company, when we built the site.

Now that the site is live, and we started watching our users through Hotjar, we learned a couple things:

Insights like this have helped us learn what content our website should include. On what are your website visitors missing-out? Install Hotjar and see for yourself.

Is This Creepy? Is This an Invasion of Privacy?

I see what you mean. For my defense, I’ve disclosed that I’m using Hotjar in my privacy policy (not that you- or anyone else- reads it; if you use HotJar, you should do this, too). The fact is, I can only see you interact with my site- I can’t see anything else on your screen. Also, Hotjar does what it can to remove personally identifiable information from the user recordings. For instance, I can watch someone fill-out a form on the site, but I can’t see what they type- so I don’t know which user said what.

Of course, if I work at it I might be able to figure this out. But that’s not really the value of this tool. The value is being able to produce a better website that’s easier for my visitors to use. Sure, I might get more conversions out of it. Ultimately, I want this tool to help me get more business. However, the people visiting my site are coming for my help, so if I make it easier to get that help, that benefits them, too.

This is the way the web works. If I don’t use Hotjar, I’m still tracking your visit with Google Analytics. Sometimes I use a remarketing code, to follow you through the rest of the web, encouraging you to sign up for my email list. I’m tracking you. I want to see what you’re doing. I’m not just a peeping-tom. I’d like to offer you my services. To do that effectively, I need to see what’s going on. In fact, this is the advantage of web marketing over throw-it-at-the-wall-and-hope-it-sticks traditional marketing.

If you still think this is creepy, give it a try. You might see it’s not as scary as you think. In fact, I think you’ll find it helpful- not only to grow your business, but to your website visitors as well.

WordCamp Asheville 2019

You might have heard David speak at WordCamp Asheville in 2019.

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