How do you know if you have an efficient website design? Heat map! A heat map is a widely popular web analytics tool that will allow you to see through data to trends and understand what to do next.
Heat maps are everywhere nowadays. Anywhere that there’s data to display, there is usually a heat map. You see them on real estate and weather sites. Engineers, marketers, doctors, sociologists, and researchers of every kind use heat maps to make complex data sets comprehensible and actionable.
Let’s say you’re looking at a page on your website and want to know what areas get the most attention. A heat map uses color to show you in a visual way which areas those are.
But, that’s not all, a heat map analysis can show you much more. We put together a list of why heat maps are essential for your web design. So, let’s get into it.
Quick Page Design Analysis
Like we mentioned above, a heat map will give you a visual presentation the parts of your web page(s) that are drawing clicks. Think of it as a form of visual storytelling.
Reading and analyzing heat maps are very simple, yet effective. Using a heat map for your website will help you understand your visitor’s behavior instantly.
A crucial question for any website: “Where should the most important content be on this page?” This used to be a difficult question to answer, not anymore! A heat map will show you the most focused on area a page as well as the parts that are unsuccessful. Redesigning has never been so easy.
A Heat Map Is Cheap
They’re so many free trials available so you can get some insight into using a heatmap. You can even get a free version that allows you to view certain functions.
Even the paid-for “pro” version is very cost effective. Our Bizlitix (business analytics and insights focused for growth) comes with an easy-to-use heat map and we offer a free demo so you can try it out.
Shows Scroll And Hover Behavior
Most heat map analysis tools will monitor the visitors scrolling and cursor hovering behavior. The scroll heat map tool lets you see how far down your visitors scroll before bouncing.
One study showed the user viewing time was distributed as follows:
Above the fold: 80.3%
Below the fold: 19.7%
This is essential information for a web page. Why it matters? If most of your visitors aren’t reading your long blog posts, then you better be creating other types of content.
The call to action (CTA) on your web page should be where the most eyeballs are. The scroll map tells you where your CTA sweet spot is on that page. You’re able to see how often people scroll all the way to the bottom. By looking at the hover data, you can see how long your visitors spend reading the content.
The most important part about this tool is that you can see where visitors scroll and hover before moving onto another page or exiting onto another site.
Filters Data Into Different Audiences
With a heat map, you can see what time of the day is most popular for your visitors, what page they’re on during that time, and what type of content they’re looking at.
This analysis makes it easy to see when conversions happen so you know what times are more productive for different audiences.
Which audience converts into sales? Is it the audience which spends time slowly reading everything on the page before they click the buy button? Maybe it’s the audience that quickly skims the first page but reads all the reviews before they make the purchase. Whichever it is, make sure your web design targets them.
The picture above is an example that shows where the most recent visitors how long they spent on each page, and what their activity actually involved.
“No Noticeable Data” Can Be Used
A heat map is comprised of “hot” and “cold” parts where the hot parts attract the most amount of attention, and the cold areas attract the least amount of attention. Let’s just say your users produce a pretty “cold” heat map. Meaning their clicks are spread pretty evenly across the web page.
This information is very useful because it means you are offering to many choices to your visitors and they aren’t being directed anywhere in particular.
Imagine walking around a grocery store with no signs telling you where the food is. You would have to walk into each isle to figure out if it has the food you are looking for. Wouldn’t you just go to the grocery store next door that has signs in everywhere? Same with a website, don’t let your users wonder around aimlessly.
Sharpens The Buyer’s Journey
This step should be done after you have sharpened up the user experience around your site. Once you have fixed up your web pages, you can begin to shorten the buyer’s journey and drive more conversions.
Since a user’s attention span is so short, you want to make sure your site offers a rewarding and stress-free experience.
Highlights Popular Design And Imagery
Since a heat map tracks where your visitors click, “hot” click areas on infographics, logos, images, and hyperlinks of text will tell you what your users are engaging with. If a lot of users are clicking on an image or logo then maybe you should try adding a link to it.
This is also where you can start A/B testing different images to see which users are more likely to click on.
Effectively Position And Designs CTAs
The heat map scroll tool will show you what calls-to-action are being bypassed, as well the ones that are working. In more simple terms, it shows you where the highest concentration of activity lies on your website.
Knowing this information, youmight decide to rearrange your web design, make certain fonts bigger, or adjust your CTAs.
You may have a great CTA, but it won’t result in clicks if your website visitors never see it. Are your CTA’s at the bottom of every web page? Do you know where on the page your visitors stop scrolling? These are very important questions that a heatmap can answer.
A Heat Map May Track Eye Focus
While a heat map is generally used for click, scroll, and hover tracking, there may be some software’s that allow you to track eye movement.
One study found that there is a strong relationship between gaze position and cursor position.
There is an argument that tracking eye focus is superficial but tracking where someone’s cursor goes on a page doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Even without this, a heat map is able to give you the full picture of how users interact with your website.