Do you ever pour over your Google Analytics page and think you are not getting the whole story? You can clearly see what pages are popular and where your traffic is coming from, but are you able to tell how individual pages are perceived by the visitor? Numbers alone wont be able to give you these answers, but heat maps can.
Optimizing conversion rates is key for any online business. Popular high-level techniques to increase conversions include analyzing user intent, improving marketing funnels and improving SERP positioning.
Those techniques work for improving a site behind the scenes, but it doesnt help improve the users experience when they are on individual webpages. When looking at increasing webpage conversions, you need to first understand how the average user interacts with the page. Does the layout make navigation easy, or are visitors easily frustrated and leave quickly? Heat maps can provide that data.
In todays post, we explore two types of heat maps available and how they can help improve website conversion rates.
What Are Heat Maps?
According to Optimizely heat maps are graphical representations of data used to show user behaviour on specific webpages. They can provide valuable information on what webpage areas resonate with users and which do not.
The data obtained from a heat map analysis is displayed using a color-coded system. The typical data displayed by heat maps includes what site visitors look at on a webpage, what they click on, and what they scroll through ().
Types of Heat Maps
While it is possible to use heat maps for many applications, there are two common types used to help improve webpage conversions and user experience.
Scroll maps have two purposes: 1) to show how far visitors are scrolling down a webpage, and 2) to show what areas of a webpage they are engaging with.
They also help determine where content should be placed on a webpage. One study found that a webpages fold plays a significant role in what visitors see and what they dont. Case in point, they found that visitors typically spent 80.3% of their time above the fold, while they only spent 19.7% below the fold.
This insight is very telling as it means that call to action buttons and other important information should be placed above the fold if they are to be noticed.
Heat maps can also provide a lot of data on what visitors find interesting and what they dont. If a visitor scrolls all the way through a page, the content provided is engaging and provides useful information. However, if visitors are only scrolling an eight of the way down the page, this is a good indication that some content and/or layout changes are required.
Heat maps can provide a lot of data on what visitors find interesting and what they dont. Click To Tweet
Click maps are like scroll maps, but instead of showing the scrolling behaviour of visitors, it shows where visitors most often click on a webpage and where they do not. These are both valuable pieces of information for enhancing your webpage.
Sometimes there is a disconnect between what a webpage designer thinks important and what users think is important. Click maps can help bridge this gap.
For example, a designer might think the companys history is very important so a menu button for this topic is placed at the beginning of a menu bar. But if a click map shows that no one is clicking on it, then this tells the designer that this menu item should be moved further down the menu list and a more popular menu button can take its place.
Alternately, knowing where visitors click is also telling. Knowing what links are clicked often helps reaffirm their use, but what about locations that are clicked but arent designed to be clicked?
For example, say you are selling a portable air conditioner. On your webpage, you use icon/text combinations to promote the phrases quiet operation and energy efficient. Theses icon/text combos are used to highlight the products features but thats it. But what if the heat map shows that many people are clicking on these icons? This information is telling you that visitors are interested in these features and want to know more about these specific topics.
Heat maps are useful tools to help increase a sites conversion rate. They provide an in-depth look at user receptivity on a webpage level that cannot easily be seen with Google Analytics alone. The more information you have about how users interact with your site, the more informed you will be about the content and layout used. By removing barriers and making a site user-friendly, conversions will increase.
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Jolene is a strong operations, compliance, and paralegal manager. She also loves to research and write about business as well as personal topics that help others.
Jolene @ The WP Website Help Team