Heatmaps: Tech That Reveals Your Website’s Deepest Secrets

Posted: Oct 5 2017, 5:54am CDT | by , in News

 
Heatmaps: Tech That Reveals Your Website’s Deepest Secrets
Heatmaps: Tech That Reveals Your Website’s Deepest Secrets

Heatmaps Reveal Your Website’s Deepest Secrets

When you run an online business, getting traffic isn’t optional. Without visitors, you won’t make sales. There are plenty of ways to generate traffic: social media, hiring professionals, and content marketing to name a few. However, traffic itself doesn’t guarantee you sales. Unless traffic is targeted and your website is optimized, it won’t be effective.

The truth is, traffic is the easiest part of the equation for generating conversions. If you’ve got a good marketing campaign and you’re bringing in targeted visitors, traffic isn’t your problem. In fact, if you have any targeted traffic at all, unless your conversion rate is 100%, increased conversions could be just a few website tweaks away.

Heatmaps: The ultimate conversion tool

Heatmaps are computer-generated images that show areas of your website that get the most attention. Generally speaking, a heatmap is created by analyzing clicks, mouse movement, and scroll reach. The purpose is to identify the areas on a webpage that support your goals and the areas that don’t. The results are displayed as a colorful map that literally looks like a distribution of heat.

The term “heatmap” was coined and trademarked by Cormac Kinney in the late 1990s in reference to a 2-dimensional display of the financial market.

Heatmapping today is not the same as it was 20 years ago

There’s debate in the internet marketing world about the efficacy of heatmaps. This debate is centered on the fact that what the visitor sees varies by device, and not all programs account for all factors.

Before mobile devices became the standard web browsing tool, heatmaps were generated with loose standards. While some programs took into account the browser size and individual user’s screen resolution, not all did. This resulted in a mismatched overlay of data that didn’t correspond accurately to page elements.

Today, however, most heatmaps are generated with extensive care in order to screenshot what the visitor sees before generating an overlay of data.

Heatmapping software offers more than traditional insight

Traditional site analytics won’t provide insight into why or when customers are abandoning your forms and checkout process. Heatmapping programs like Mouseflow and Hotjar do.

As Yocale explains in a Hotjar vs. Mouseflow comparison, “Hotjar offers a complete clarification of this process. You’ll be able to see full graph-based views of your site’s sequences and track performance through drop-off percentages and session counters.”

Hotjar also keeps tabs on your webforms to help you know when you’re asking for too much from your visitors, resulting in form abandonment.

Mouseflow offers most of the same features including soliciting user feedback. However, one feature stands out above the rest: visitor recording. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Capture your visitors’ actions in real time

Forget about relying on static data. Numbers are helpful, but wouldn’t you like to know what your users are doing in real time? How long do they take to fill out a form? Do people regularly type the wrong information on each line because the form itself is confusing? How long does it take them to review their order before they click “submit?” Do they enter several expired coupon codes before abandoning their cart?

All of these questions and more can be answered with software like Hotjar and Mouseflow.

To see this feature in action, you can demo the visitor recording feature from Mouseflow. The moment you open the website in your browser, it will start recording everything you do with your mouse including scrolling, moving, and clicking.

Heatmapping software can reveal your blind spots

Numbers look good when they’re organized into charts, graphs, and percentages – but the reality is they can be misleading. What looks like success from one angle might actually be an example of inefficiency.

For instance, if your analytics program says you generated 100,000 visitors last month and achieved $10,000 in sales, it sounds great. However, looking from a different perspective tells a different story:

If your product price point is $2,500, that means you made 4 sales and failed to convert 99,996 visitors. What this data really demonstrates is that your traffic isn’t targeted and your 4 sales were ready to buy when they arrived on your website – you didn’t have to convert them.

Take advantage of free trials

If you’re ready to dive into heatmaps, the good news is both Hotjar and Mouseflow offer a free trial. Take them both for a test drive and see which one suits you best. You’ll be glad you did.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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