I love heat maps.
For those who don’t know, they look like this:
Heat maps deserve more credit than we could ever give them. They allow us to analyze how people are engaging with our content.
From minimizing bounce rates to optimizing for smooth user experience, and to driving up your potential for conversions, there’s plenty of use for heat map analysis in improving conversions.
Analyze Behavior and Ease The User Experience
User interface can be considered one of the most critical factors in ranking and conversions. The easier it is to interact with your website, the easier it will be to get them to stay and possibly convert.
Being able to determine how a user interacts with your webpage allows you to adapt to your user. Also, heat mapping makes it easier for you to see how a user moves around your page and how they engage with it.
- How long are they spending on a particular object on a page?
- What do they usually click on?
- Where are they focusing their attention on?
- Which parts of the page should we improve or add links on – as a result of the questions above?
Check out this example:
There have been users that have tried to click on areas on the page that they could have thought to have a link to another piece of content. Alternatively, it could be because they might have thought that there would be some interaction.
Remember – always optimize and build for the user.
Strategize Your Content To Minimize Bounce Rates
Content is king. But how tall the king should stand?
The length of your content depends on your audience and industry. However, you can determine what kind of content your users want by analyzing heat maps.
In this scroll map you can see where users start losing interest:
Heat maps will help you see when and where your users will start “bouncing off” of your page. This enables you to strategize content correctly and determine the proper length of content that you’ll need per page.
Optimizing Your Internal Links
In this example, you can see that the anchor “SEO” is a hotbed for engagement. This signifies that it’s a great anchor to use.
Heatmaps allow you to analyze the pages that you have and check out which internal links are working to keep visitors on the site longer. It allows you to adapt to how the user wants to navigate on your website.
Test Your Pages
There are days where we spend a lot of time in the overall design of a page and neglect ensuring that it serves a purpose. Heat mapping removes the guesswork and allows you to positively know which parts of a page you have to improve on or eliminate altogether.
Check out this homepage, you can immediately see which parts are being given the most attention.
Improving Your CTAs
Heat maps will help you identify the click behavior of your potential customers and check if your CTAs need some work. Alternatively, you can also check if you need to de-optimize.
Through heat map analysis, marketers have determined the following facts when it comes to CTAs:
- Simple CTAs get more conversions because people do not want to have too many options right away.
- If you are going to use photographs, remember that people like faces, especially ones that are smiling.
- Use colors that are easier on the eyes of your user.
- Utilize a shallow depth of field when you use images.
- Visitors look towards where the person in your photograph is looking at.
If you properly analyze the heat maps and the scroll maps, you’ll find the problematic areas and it will be one of the first sources of ideas what needs to be tested and improved.
I never start any project without at the very least analyzing analytics and heat maps first. It tells me what is not working. I then go on and figure out why.
PS. For all your heat mapping needs, I recommend HotJar. I never even use anything else anymore. It’s a great multi-purpose tool, and they are constantly improving it. Their free plan collects data for 2,000 pageviews / day.