First off, let us explain what this session replay we are talking about here is. We are discussing a web analytics tool that can help you understand your website visitors better. How? Well, it allows you to record their whole journey on your website, from start to finish.
What makes it such a powerful tool is the fact that you do not need to ask your audience. A lot of your questions will be answered right when you watch the session recording. You can see exactly where users clicked, how much they revealed of your content and how far they got in your sales funnel.
By watching it, you can understand how users feel about your website on a deeper level so you will be able to improve the user experience. This can help you come up with ideas on how to develop your site and thus ensure a higher conversion rate.
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Why is it Important to Develop the UX?
The user experience refers to the feelings that your visitors get when surfing your website. It might be as basic as the site’s loading speed, or how easy it is to browse. Also, it could be as complex as the design choices, buttons, and call-to-actions utilized on the site. In other words, the better the user experience, the higher the user satisfaction.
But how do you know where to improve the user experience and why it’s so critical? If you’re a frequent Internet user (which you most likely are), you know how frustrating it is to navigate a website that is clumsy, has broken links, and provides a poor user experience.
It might be significantly more detrimental to your business and brand than you believe.
The user experience is a critical factor in increasing conversions and lowering abandonment rates in your shopping cart or on your website. And as an e-commerce business owner, nothing is more frustrating than a high cart abandonment rate owing to a poor customer experience.
You’ll be able to resolve issues and, as a result, increase revenue via session replays. It is an important component of the user experience on your site, and you will want to address the issues as soon as possible.
What Are Session Replays?
Session replay is a web analytics tool that allows you to view your website users’ individual mouse movements. Truly, they are a type of replay video that allows you to watch the exact mouse movements that a user performs on a website. You may view the consumer mouse movement on the website in real-time, from clicks to particular motions.
This will provide you with useful information on what your visitors are doing on your website. However, it is also a useful tool for determining where the website’s user experience should be improved. Session replays might help you uncover some harsh realities about the website and discover new methods to improve it.
How to Record Sessions
Session recording is a web analytics software that you need to buy or subscribe to in order to use it. Such a service comes with plenty of features that can help you collect valuable data. It is cost-effective and time-effective as well. You only need some traffic to work with and some time until enough sessions have been recorded.
As long as the session recorder is on, it is going to save the whole user journey in a video format. Then, you can open those videos up any time you want to and start watching. You can take a look at how users interact with your website on various devices and browsers.
And it is all legal, as you are not violating anyone’s privacy by doing it. Session replay can open the door to high-level conversion rate optimization that is going to help your business prosper.
Improving User Experience Based on Session Replay
Session replay was huge when it first emerged among online entrepreneurs, and it still is. The main goal was to take a look at how people interact with the website while they proceed in the sales funnel. Online business success largely depends on how well the sales funnel is optimized.
It is not that you cannot reveal most of the conversion rate problems with quantitative data. While you might be well aware of the issues that hinder your CRO, you still don’t know the “why” behind them. This is where session replay enters the picture.
By recording session replays and watching them, you gain the following benefits:
- You understand the flaws in your content that cause users to leave
- Bugs and layout flaws can be also revealed easily with session replay
- It helps you identify when and why users abandon the sales funnel
- It makes you able to understand the user experience by following every step of the user journey
As an online entrepreneur, it is hard to imagine how users are experiencing your website. You simply can not detach yourself and take a look at it with the customer’s state of mind. This is why session recordings are so valuable, as they let you take a look at your own website from a different standpoint.
This is invaluable knowledge that can help you improve your website one iteration after the other.
How to Use Session Replay like a Pro
Below, we are going to show you the main methods that will come in handy on your CRO journey. Session Replay is one of those tools that can bring a lot of value to your online business if used the right way. On top of that, it is not even hard to use it.
The hard part is to ask the right questions before you take a look at any of your session recordings. Then, if you look closely enough, the answer will be right in front of your eyes.
1. Identify the Most Pressing Issue
With session replays, you can see which sections of your website are running properly and which parts are missing or problematic. It is a straightforward repair, but you’ll need to figure out what the problem is first.
You won’t have other people telling you what’s wrong or if a link on the site is not working as a UX designer. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself. A high bounce rate is a good sign of such an issue, but there might be other explanations as well.
Session replays, as previously said, will provide the “why” behind the data. And if you operate an e-commerce site, you don’t want any dead links or bugs, especially on product pages or in your shopping cart.
Common UX Problems
More often than not, the biggest issue online entrepreneurs struggle with is that they have a high bounce rate. Now, you can go ahead and watch all the session recordings you have at hand but that probably won’t help.
The point is not to watch them all, but to watch those that can clearly reveal the issue. In the case of bounce rates, you should only watch those recordings where the user left at a certain point in your sales funnel. This way, you can quickly find out why your users don’t convert and what to do about it.
Take a look at the interactions that users perform before they leave. Which are those elements that cause a drop-off on the page? At which point do users decide to leave? You can identify the causes by looking at the whole journey from start to finish.
Here are some additional things you can find out with session replay:
- Errors and bugs that cause users to get stuck
- Confusing elements and content where the user does not understand what to do next
- Web pages that the user visited before and after leaving
- Websites, platforms, or ads that users clicked on before visiting your page
If you have a CTA button that isn’t working properly, you should fix it ASAP. It’s a simple repair, but you must first identify the issue.
And while an “add to cart” button should function flawlessly, there are other important components of website navigation that contribute to a positive user experience. Internal dead links, in particular, are never tolerated. If the navigation isn’t working, it’ll need to be fixed as well.
Session replays will assist you in identifying and resolving these issues, which will be beneficial in the long term.
2. Solve the Most Urgent Problem First
After watching your session recordings, you end up with a list of issues that cause people to bounce. You need to rearrange that list based on priority and start working on the most pressing issue first. Identify the main problem that does the most damage to your revenue or to the overall user experience.
Then, continue watching replays with that particular problem in mind and start coming up with solutions. A lot of diagnostic data can be derived with a good session replay tool. The third step is to take a segmented approach and follow the issue that way, preventing it from reoccurring in the future.
You can also identify issues with the help of your users. Start dealing with the most common issues reported by customer service. Because if users often complain about a problem, dealing with them as soon as possible can increase satisfaction.
You can even help them through the process because you’ll be able to watch what they’re doing with the mouse in real-time (with a slight delay, of course). However, if you truly want to give a positive user experience that leads to increased conversions, you must utilize session replays to resolve those customer care tickets.
In addition, one of the most important areas where you can improve the UX is customer service. A site that provides excellent help will naturally rank better than one that does not. Customer support will be a breeze with session replays.
3. Improve User Experience with Session Replay
Put yourself in the user’s shoes and figure out which improvements have to be made in order to guarantee a more enjoyable user experience. You can get more information out of a session recording than by asking people directly.
Why? Because most people are not website developers and they do not know exactly what is going on. Do not get me wrong. Asking for feedback can be incredibly valuable. However, you are rarely going to get a precise opinion out of your users, pointing out several issues.
With session replay, you can re-watch exactly where they clicked and what happened after that. You can also see how far they got in your article and whether they even reached your CTA or not. A video recording can talk a thousand words without anyone speaking.
Identify those points when users get confused and decide to leave. Then, try to come up with solutions and figure out how to implement them. Create different versions of the same web page if necessary and perform some A/B testing in order to find out which one works best.
4. Add, Remove and Change Elements based on Session Replay
If you have just added a new element to your website and you are interested in how it performs, then go ahead and look at a few session replays. When you come up with a great idea for an element, it does not necessarily mean that your users are going to like it as well.
While watching some recordings, you might find out that parts of your web page are buggy, confusing, or simply not interesting enough. When such elements or pieces of content cause your readers to leave, it is important to identify that element.
Menus, links, and other navigational elements, such as buttons, should all function properly. However, if your website has a lot of sub-menus, you could lose track of them. Session replays can assist you in staying on top of these menus and ensuring that they are functioning properly.
You could find it by asking your customers, yet an even faster method is to just look at some session recordings. Once you are familiar with the typical user route in your sales funnel, you can start optimizing problematic elements on your website.
The goal is to make your audience perform the actions you want them to. The whole page has to be interesting, on-point, helpful, and user-friendly. Keep in mind that people hate it when a website is all about selling and the “Buy Now!” buttons.
5. Improve the Conversion Funnel
You will want to boost your conversions and prevent leakage as much as possible as an e-commerce user. And these leaks could occur at various points across your conversion funnel. The first step is to figure out which elements of the funnel need to be improved. But there is no way to correct it unless you know what is wrong.
Fortunately, you may use session replays in conjunction with other technologies to accomplish this. If you notice a high bounce rate on one of your funnel components, you should look into it. It is typical to have a high bounce rate at the beginning of the funnel, but seeing it on the cart is a huge danger indication and a red flag.
Nothing is more annoying to e-commerce businesses than abandoned carts. You have worked so hard to get users to the checkout page, only for the entire funnel to fail at the last possible minute.
This is only one example; the same approach may be used to solve problems in other regions of the funnel as well.
As you can see, using session recording software is really not that big of a deal. While it is not hard to use it, it is going to be your job to interpret that information the right way. This is why it is important to watch recordings with a goal in mind.
Make sure to target those websites that have a high bounce rate or a low conversion rate. It is hard to tell what might be the issue but by looking at the recordings, all those issues will reveal themselves. Session replay has proven that you do not need to ask your audience if you want to understand them.
You can just watch them as they browse through your website and draw conclusions that way. This is a tool that is not going to lose its value, as websites can always be improved. Once the biggest issues are fixed, you can always continue by setting smaller goals and improving your site little by little every day.