Websites should be updated regularly and it’s always good to try new styles and techniques to increase your conversions and ultimately your profit margins. Although, how do you know what you’re doing is working? Heat maps can provide the answer and open your mind to new possibilities.
I believe that heat mapping is a technology that isn’t used nearly enough and when it comes to websites and understanding how people use them, heat maps are a valuable tool. In this blog I’ll be walking you through what heat maps do, the best way to use them and the benefits they can have to your website and business. Because after all; your website is there to make your business money.
What is website heat mapping?
Heat maps are used to determine where people are clicking on your webpages and, when used correctly, give you an idea of how to optimise a webpage to increase the number of conversions your website has. A piece of code called a ‘script’ is added to the pages of your website and the software will track what happens on the chosen pages. Depending on the software being used, there are a variety of ways that the heat maps can track what is happening on your website.
The most common tracking display provided by a heat map is the ‘click heat’ display; it simply shows where users have been clicking on a page and generates an area of heat to display each areas popularity. See here an example of some of the tracking software we use with our clients:
We created two buttons at the top of the header, with different colours too, to see which would be the most popular. From the results of the heat map you can clearly tell that the “get a quote” button is more popular than the “book now” button. In the past month the “get a quote” had 70 clicks compared to 37 for the “book now”. Because of this test we can determine that users are more likely to follow the phrase “get a quote” than “book now” and we can now implement a change throughout the site because of these results.
How to read a heat map?
Reading and interpreting a heat map is vital to understanding the best improvements you can make to your website. Before you get started you need to know what you want to take away from the process; do you want to find out where users are going? Do you want to figure out which style of button or menu to use? Are users experiencing your website the way you intended? Correctly reading the results from a heat map can be the difference of increasing conversions, making a real difference in your profit, or, your website becoming stagnant; making little or no improvements.
When a suitable amount of time has passed and you’re happy with the amount of traffic the heat map has recorded, you need to start reviewing the data and acting on it. The immediate area you should look at is the first screen view, the area that gives first impressions on landing pages. Ask yourself; on these pages, is one menu being used more than another? Is there a particular image that is clicked on a lot but isn’t actually a link? Are users not following the link you want them to but a different link instead? These sort of questions are easily answered by the heat maps, but it is important to know what to do next.
At Madison we have a policy: test and record. It’s a rule we follow to better understand everything we do; we try something new, record the results and act on it accordingly. The Club Class booking buttons is a clear example of how we test something and record the results. From the results we were able to increase the number of bookings, as you can clearly see from the heat map above.
How can I help you?
Here at Madison we’re always happy to help and to have a chat about all the topics we cover in our blogs and even stuff we haven’t spoken about previously. If you have a question about your website or feel you’re not getting the most out of your online presence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us…Get in touch!