What Is Website Heat Map? Why To & How To Use Heat Map for Website?

In Articles, Featured, Technology by March 21st, 2013

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Do you want to increase your website’s conversion rate and make more profits? If your answer is yes, then a very simple solution is to use a Website Heatmap. In this article, I am going to give you an introduction as to what a heat map really is and how it could be useful to understand your visitors and tweak your website so that you can drive more traffic and make more sales.

What exactly is a Website Heatmap?

It a web analytics tool used to measure customer experience. It can be used to improve essential components of a website such as Web Usability, Customer Experience, Conversion Rates.

How is a Heat Map Tool different from a regular Web Analytics Tools?

There are Web Analytics tools such as Google Analytics that show how many people visited your website, their “Bounce Rate”, etc. but they are missing a key feature. They can’t show what visitors “actually do” on your web pages. And knowing what your visitors are “actually doing” on your website can be really vital for your business. They don’t show you why your visitors aren’t “Converting”. This is where a “heat map” kicks in.

What’s Converting?

To answer this question, let me ask you a question first. What do you want the visitors to do when they visit your website? Do you want them to buy anything? Or do you want them to subscribe to your email newsletters? Or do you want them to call you over the phone? Do you want them to sign-up for your free trials or the service itself? It could be anything that you think, would be profitable to you, now or in the future. This is what “Converting” actually is. It’s nothing but the “final action” that you want the visitor to perform when they visit your website.

Conversion is inversely proportional to “Bounce Rate”. The higher the Conversion, the lower the Bounce Rate and vice versa.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate is nothing but the percentage of users that leave the page of your website, that they first landed upon. So for example, let’s say that visitors landed up on “Services” page of your website and they left the website right from that very page, then the Bounce Rate is 100%. If they navigate to “About Us” and then leave the website, then the Bounce Rate is said to be 50%. So ideally speaking you would want to have as less Bounce Rate as possible.

What can Website Heatmaps actually do?

Website heatmaps can show what visitors are doing when they visit your web pages. There are different companies that provide heatmaps that more or less, include features such as monitoring:

  • Mouse Clicks
  • Keystrokes
  • Mouse Movements
  • Elements that cause visitors to leave the website

Apart from that, they can also create videos of your website visitor’s browsing sessions. Yes, you can actually “SPY” on what visitors are doing exactly from the point of time they arrived on your website, what they clicked on, etc. till they exited the website. These analytics data are usually collected together to form an actual powerful and visual heatmaps and actionable behavioral reports are provided so that you can drill down further into the data.

These data can also show you what visitors click on the website, such as an image, link, button, etc. mouse movements, eye tracking and even how far they scroll vertically on a web page.

The heat maps when used in conjunction with form analytics, can also reveal what part of user forms take too much time to fill. They can also show what fields are left blank and what caused the visitors to leave, in case they abandon the form mid-way. In this way you can revise that field and provide additional helpful info to the user so that they take less time to understand what needs to be done. That will help them finish filling up the forms faster and the faster a form is filled, the faster you get your leads/sales.

You can also analyze collective data on what visitors could not find the products/data they were searching for, what caused them to not take an action and what actually causes them to leave the website as well. This way, you can refine the existing elements on your website to your visitor’s liking.

General Features of using Heat Map tools on your website:

Although every company tries to provide a unique product and/or service, they more or less offer the following features in general:

  • A Heat Map tools that shows where exactly a visitor has clicked on a web page so that you can retain the items that receive lots of clicks and remove/replace elements that the visitors’ don’t feel like clicking on .
  • A Scroll Map tool that shows how far vertically on the website, the visitor is scrolling. That way you will get to know where the visitors are actually losing interest on the pages and you can revise the content following that point. You can try adding new, fresh content, images, etc. to improve the appeal of the content.
  • An Overlay tool that shows the number of clicks each of the elements of the web page (such as buttons, images, etc) received.

Additional Benefits:

  • You will also be able track multiple domains/ HTTPS pages, IFrames, Flash Objects, etc. (if the company supports it)
  • Improve User Experience by introducing improve elements such as Call-To-Action buttons, etc.
  • Save money on expensive user testing and do all the testing yourself.
  • Eliminate the problem of cart abandonment by fixing usability issues and fix vital business processes in real time.
  • Improve client websites (if you are a Web Designer/Web Developer)
  • Easily Optimize Sales Funnel by making use of the insights data.
  • Demographics let you understand where your visitors are coming from so that you understand your visitors and their needs better.

Using Heatmaps on your website:

Generally you don’t have to go through the hassle of downloading anything extra. In most cases, the deployment of web site heatmaps is as simple as including a tiny piece of JavaScript code (barely 1-2 lines) and you are done! This will be your step towards collecting essential data that will provide you a detailed insight into your customer’s interaction with your website. You can use this data to optimize your customer’s experience and improve your online business performance.

All you will have to do is login into your account and review the Heat Map data to get started with it. It’s as simple as that!

Heat maps Performance Issues:

Usually the companies offering the heat map services are fully hosted and the usage of heatmaps usually does not have any noticeable performance issues as they are light weight and transparent to the user.

Conclusion:

If you have never tried any Website Heat Map tool so far, I strongly suggest you try it. If you are running a very short informational website without having much to offer for visitors, in such cases Heat maps may  be of little use. But if you are running a Shopping cart website or a dynamic website, or a website that deals in selling stuff, interacting heavily with visitors and relies on user decisions to make use of the service you are promoting, then a Visual Website Heat Map can do wonders and help you keep your existing traffic and improve your existing website to attract more traffic and increase conversions!

So try a heat map tool and start optimizing your website, increase your sales and profits today!

Your Turn!

Have you used any Website heat map tool in the past? What is your review of such a tool? What did you find good about it? What did you find bad about it? Please feel free to share your views by commenting below.