Combining heatmaps with other tools for more insight
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then heat maps tell the perfect visual story of what's happening on your site—and will definitely help you fix issues or make quick changes. But when you need extra detail or a more in-depth understanding of how to improve the user experience, you’ll get more out of heat maps by combining them with other behavior and feedback tools.
Heat maps + traditional analytics
With traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics, you’ll get plenty of quantitative data points and learn about large-scale traffic and usage patterns—but numbers and charts will not, by themselves, answer questions you might have about what people want from your site, where they get confused, and where their attention goes.
By combining traditional analytics with heat maps, you can start a deeper investigation and find out why some of your metrics occur. Got a page with lots of traffic that doesn’t convert? Set up a heat map, go through the heatmaps analysis checklist, and start seeing what’s making people stumble.
Heat maps + A/B testing
Heat maps and A/B testing are a two-way street: you can use heat map data to define a hypothesis for a future split test, and you can also run heat maps on A/B test variations to provide more insight into why page versions are or aren’t successful.
Heat maps + session recordings
While heat maps help you visualize data from page visitors in aggregate, session recordings are created for individual users and show you their actions across multiple pages.
Session recordings (also known as visitor recordings or session replays) are renderings of user browsing sessions, and they help you bring more clarity to some of the insights you pick up from a heat map. Instead of making assumptions about the clicking, tapping, and/or scrolling you see on a heatmap, try viewing some session replays and see how your users actually interact with your site.
Heat maps + on-page feedback
Quantitative data is crucial to data-informed UX decisions, but don’t overlook the value of qualitative (non-numerical) data.
Use heat maps to find design issues and opportunities on your website, then ask your users for feedback and learn why they are not finding what they need or what you need to do to improve their experience. A simple one-question survey that pops up on the page might be all you need to kick-start some UX changes you hadn’t considered before.
Check out our heatmaps case study chapter to read success stories from marketers, UX designers, and product & e-commerce managers who used heat maps in combination with other tools to improve their sites.