You’ve engaged a great web developer and have a fantastic looking website. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort on SEO and content marketing. However, you just don’t seem to be getting results you expected!
- How do you know if your site’s information architecture and design are giving you the biggest bang for your bucks?
- How do you make you visitors to take actions that lead to conversion?
- How do you get feedback on whether your site design and structure is functionally appealing to your target market?
Heat maps are a great way of getting an overview of how visitors behave on a landing page or website. Heat maps are visual overlays based on website data that allow you to see how visitors behave and why they behave in a certain way.
Visually, a heat map has the appearance of an infrared display with colour variations indicating high and low levels of activity.
Heat maps are super powerful and can provide you with a lot of insights. They enable you to come up with better A/B tests, optimisation strategy, and most importantly figure out why users are not converting or why they seem to ignore certain areas of your web page.
How to generate heat maps?
We exclusively use Lucky Orange -The Original All-in-One Conversion Optimization Suite to analyse all our web traffic not only on our site, but also on the majority of our customer sites too.
There are three areas of functionality that heat maps help answer :
- what draws visitors’ attention?
- how far down on a page are visitors willing to scroll?
- how do visitors interact with a page’s elements?
A Heat Map is a visual overlay aggregating click coordinates or finger swipes in the case of mobile devices of all visitors to a specific page. It maps the visitor’s attention by marking the page with coloured spots ranging from dark (cold; little attention) to bright (warm; much attention).
How can you use this information ?
Obviously the best place to start is to identify the warm spots and then consider a few questions
- Are the warm spots where you had expected?
- Are they where you had hoped?
- What happens when these heat spots are clicked?
- Are visitors led to where you want them?
- Are they finding the critical information they are looking for?
Providing answer to the questions will help you to identify whether clicked sections of your website deliver what they promise.
Heat Maps may reveal that people are actually engaging with the content you had intended, but upon closer inspection it turns out that a specific heat spot directs visitors to a misleading page, which then may result in visit being abandoned or visitors losing interest.
Heat Maps supplement traditional analytics data as it also shows clicks or touches on content that is provided externally, for instance embedded forms and other content coming from third-party plugins. As this kind of content is not directly a part of your own, it is likely that your analytics tool won’t collect the data . However, with the Heat Map any content that is visible on a page will return some data regarding the visitors’ attention.
Fundamentally we make use of the data obtained from heat maps for three purposes
- Monitoring: The maps are an easy way to present performance reports of specific elements across your website.
- Optimising: The visual overlays of Behaviour Map allow for incredibly effective side-by-side comparisons of different versions of pages – a kind of hands-on A-B testing
- Redesigning: They will help you in designing the mock-ups and wire-frames of the new site/page, as they will give you an indication of how to structure your content and your ‘warm spots’.
Heat Maps Help Improve User Experience
One of the primary goals of your business website, is to convert visitors to paying customers. When you put a Call-To-Action (CTA) on your website, the goal is for the visitors to click on the button and perform a specific action i.e. subscribe, add to cart, or checkout.
Heat maps will assist in providing the answers to critical questions regarding user experience that affect conversion:
- Do visitors notice your call to action ?
- Are the instructions on your site clear and understandable ?
- Do visitors read these instructions ?
- Are their elements that look clickable
- Do users get frustrated and leave your site?
- Are their elements on a page that distract visitors away from your intended CTA so instead of taking the required action they navigate away from the page?
Studying heat maps will highlight areas on a page that receive the most attention and generate most actions so you can validate if the website structure and page design are optimising conversion rate.
Use information from scroll maps to understand where your visitors tend to abandon pages, and see if your calls-to-action are placed above the point where most users leave the pages and adjust page length for maximum effectiveness.
3 Types of Heat maps
Depending on the areas of your page you are trying to optimize, you can employ different heat map tools. The 3 most popular heat maps the help identifying barriers to conversion are:.
Movement Heat Map
Mouse-movement tracking tools track mouse-movement of all your users and then represent the data visually over the page. It reveals patterns behind how users read and navigate the page.
Mouse-movement maps reveal how users are reading content on your page. What do visitors who convert do differently from the visitors who don’t? Such knowledge can validate, even spawn, your A/B test hypotheses.
Scroll maps help you understand to what point of a page users scroll and where they abandon the page.
Depending on the scroll behavior of users, you can adjust the length of your webpages for maximum effectiveness.
Click maps show you where your users click on a page. Using click maps you can weed out unwanted distractions on the page to streamline user experience.
The true strength of Behavior Maps is that they help you identify why certain key performance indicators on your website fail. They not only help you evaluate the structure of a given page, but also visitors’ actions and the preceding pages that led to those specific actions.