How to Use Heatmaps and Form Analysis to Get More out of Session Replays

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
March 15, 2017

This is part four of a series in which we look at how to get the most out of session replays. By the end of this series, we hope you’ll have gained three things: a logical process for session replay analysis, steps to cut down on the number of sessions you have to watch, and techniques for watching a balance of sessions to ensure you investigate your project from all angles.

Part one asked CX and CRO experts why session replay is becoming so important to improving digital experiences, while part two focused on the key steps you and your team should take before watching session replays. Part three advised on a good route in to watching back an initial batch of sessions.

In this article, we look at what you should do once you’ve established your methodology and framework, watched back an initial batch of sessions, and want to know further techniques for investigating your optimization objective with relevant session replays.

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Hello, session replay power user.

At least, if not already there, that’s what you’re on your way to becoming if you’ve read this series so far – and commit to reading the rest of it!

‘What else can there be left to learn?’ you wonder. ‘I’m already laying down fantastic analytical frameworks and logical methodologies, before discovering devastating customer insights using session replays in conjunction with conversion funnels and behavioral analysis.’

Well, dear reader, there are yet more ways to get the most out of session replays.

Take a step back with heatmaps

As we saw last time, behavioral analytics can immediately locate explicit sources of frustration that are killing the flow of your checkout. But fixes aren’t always so obvious. Sometimes there’s a more conceptual issue than, say, a broken or slow loading web page.

In cases like this, it can be useful to take a step back to regain the aggregated view of customer behaviour.

Reach heatmaps reveal how far users are scrolling down the page. You can instantly see the average fold, and discover if users are even seeing your call to action – or whatever it is that gets users to the next stage of the the conversion funnel.

Reach Heatmaps show the aggregate view of how users scroll down the page.

Reach Heatmaps show the aggregate view of how users scroll down the page.

To further hone in on useful sessions, load up hover and click heatmaps to see which elements users are intrigued by but don’t interact with.

Seen something interesting? If the platform you’re using allows you to dive straight in to corresponding session replays from any point of a heatmap, as does Decibel Insight, then you can instantly investigate any quirks with a hyper-relevant batch of session replays to watch back.

Diving straight in to view sessions of users who correspond to a certain part of a heatmap.

Get granular with form analytics

By now, you’ve approached the initial leaky funnel stage of your investigation from multiple angles, and should have some good notes to input into your organizational structure as to why things are going wrong.

There are yet more ways to hone in on useful session replays, however. If the leaky stage of the funnel you’re investigating is held up by a form, diving into form analytics is a no-brainer.

It gives you a very granular breakdown of exactly how visitors are interacting with your form, down to field-by-field analysis of errors experienced, time to completion, and much more, as demonstrated below.

If your platform offers it, you should be able to dive into session replays directly from the form statistics – users who experienced validation errors, or spent a long time filling out the form, and so on.

This is yet another hyper-relevant and useful batch of sessions to watch back and put into your organizational analysis.

In summary

So far in the series, we’ve established an objective for web optimization, developed a framework for investigating it, and looked at various ways to dive in to relevant batches of session replays to watch back to perform analysis.

Next time, we’ll wrap up the series with some last words from the conversion optimization and customer experience experts who have featured throughout.

Topics: Form Analytics, Heatmaps, Session Replay
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