If you’re using Google Analytics to track your visitors, that’s a great start and you should go to the top of the class!!
- Where on your pages are visitors clicking?
- Where on your pages are visitors not clicking?
- How far down each page are visitors scrolling?
- Are there any areas of your website that people are trying to click, but can’t as there’s no link behind it?
- Are there any dead areas of your pages that people do not go to?
Heatmapping does not replace your website Analytics, it works alongside it to totally strengthen your understanding of how visitors engage with your website. With heatmapping you can confidently answer all of the questions above, and a lot more too. And by understanding this data you get to make informed changes and enhancements to your website, that will inprove the visitor journey and increase conversions.
When you first use heatmapping it’s like somebody pulling the curtains away from a hidden window, suddenly you have vision where once you did not, and you wonder how you ever got by before.
Heatmapping is a visual representation of a page, or pages of your website. It shows you how people move around your website pages and where they click. The information obtained from heatmapping allows you to design and enhance website pages around real-life visitor information, in some cases you can improve your results by 100% overnight!
There are many tools within a heatmapping system, each heatmapping brand having slightly different tools to the others, but the most common are:
- Clickmapping – This places colours onto a representation of your website page, such as on buttons in the menu. The colours show up as heat, so the more that people click in one area the hotter these areas appear to you.
- Movement maps – These show up where the cursor is moving on a page. This can be very useful to see areas the visitors are moving straight past and missing, or which areas they gravitate to.
- Scrollmap – This works similar to the heatmapping function, but instead of showing individual areas of heat, it maps the heat on a horizontal band. These bands change in colour (heat) as you vertically move up and down the website page, which is a perfect way to show you how far people are typically scrolling down your web pages before leaving. The top is usually the hottest area, as this is where most visitors will enter the page, the bottom of the page is usually the coolest as people have navigated away by this point. But please note that isn’t always the case as you could have a very popular function at the bottom of your web page that visitors have come to look at, and before you had heatmapping you would never have known.
- Confetti report – This is a much more detailed visual report to help you analyse the clicks on a page by the referral source. This is very useful when you are analysing your individual marketing tools and their effectiveness, as you get to see what one referral source is doing on your page, compared to another referral source.
- Video recordings – You can watch representations of real-life visitor movements around your website. It can be quite an eye opener to see how real-life visitors actually navigate your website, compared to how you expected them to! You can always learn something new here.
The reason to use heatmapping on your website is it helps you to better layout your web pages and gain more sales and / or conversions.
Heatmapping expands upon two dimensional statistics that Google analytics will provide, it will fill in the grey areas that the analytics cannot. For instance, Google analytics can tell you if ‘yes’ people are clicking a button, or ‘no’ they are not. But heatmapping will show you why they make their way to the button or why they go straight passed it.
Heatmapping along with Google Analytics will help you make informed decisions about the layout and styling of your website. You can even A-B test different designs against each other.
Heatmapping helps you with the following:
- Identify problem areas of your website
- Identify opportunity areas of your website
- Help you to understand why a web layout is getting results for you, or not getting results as the case maybe.
- Identify areas that people think they should be able to click on
- See how effectively your website navigation works in a real life situation
- Identify areas where people are leaving your website, so you can fill that area with something more interesting
- Run A-B tests, to see what page design works the best
- See which on-page buttons are used and which are missed
- Experiment with positions for key functions of your web pages
- Use it to place your most important content in the highest traffic areas of the pages
- See how well people are using your call to action areas
Whether you have a small brochure style website or a huge e-commerce store, the website you had built is there to provide a function for you, so it makes total sense to lay it out in the most effective manner to maximise your revenue.
No matter how skilled or experienced a web design company is, they cannot 100% predict how well your website will perform to your individual audience. They can use all the experience they have to get close, but you never know for sure how well a website will perform until you set it live.
Heatmapping takes most of the unknown away from your website, it gives you the chance to almost sit behind your website visitors, watching how they engage with your website, in order for you to make informed choices on design and enhancements.
Heatmapping gives you the chance to watch your visitors, much like a physical store owner would do. A physical high street store owner gets to see what layout works best in his or her shop, and then layout the store accordingly. Heatmapping gives the website owner almost the same power as the store owner, to lay out his or her website in the way that generates the most sales.
For further information about heatmapping, or for help to get heatmapping set up and running, just get in touch with a member of the Brookstone team.