If you’re not familiar with heat maps then they’re basically super smart visual overlays that help you to understand the behaviour of your average website visitor. They’re pretty handy when used properly and allow you to tweak your website’s UX with sound data to back up your decisions. Heat maps use data to create an infrared visual that uses colour and hotspots to demonstrate high and low activity on the pages of your website. Red is ‘hot’ and shows increased interaction on areas of your website and spots with less activity are blue or green.
Heat maps help you to identify how users are using your website, thus enabling you to ensure your design is making the path to conversion as easy as possible to follow.
Heat Map Types
Click heat maps show you where people are clicking most on your website, so they can give you a basic insight into which links, banners etc are being interacted with most. Eye-tracking heat maps show you more complex info and give you insight into customers’ cursor movements and the sequential path they’re taking. Scroll-tracking heat maps can give you understanding about how to use the visual space on your site by showing how many people are reading info ‘below the fold’.
Improving your customers’ experience on your website will likely to lead to increased conversions, so you can generate more sales and leads. Heat maps give you data to inform your user design or layout instead of using guess-work.
Heat maps help you to find bumps in the road and issues with website navigation. Pages might be too cluttered and overwhelm users with information. Calls to action could be lost amongst other information and content can be too long. Images and visuals might be distracting too.
Split testing with insight from your heat maps is a good way to tweak your website and find something that works and leads to meaningful engagement. The best way to use heat maps is to combine them with other metrics and analytics, so you can have even more accurate and informed information to help you make changes.
If you make your website clear, concise and simple then customers will be less likely to get distracted by busy pages with too much copy or lots of visuals. Visuals can help and hinder conversion. Clear messaging and effective visuals can guide people towards your calls to action or the next stage in the customer journey. Heat maps give you the data to make changes to your website that will make it easier for customers to take the next step.
You can tailor your content to your audience more acutely by using heat maps to track whether people are reading your content and whether your messaging is effective. Writing more valuable content can increase conversion. Heat maps help you strategise where you’re going to insert calls to action in your content, determine when people are abandoning your content and can shape your future content.
Heat maps are a data-driven way to provide new ideas and perspective about how to create a more seamless user experience on your website. Used in combination with other metrics and analytical tools will build a more comprehensive, informed picture too. Organise the digital architecture on your site with insights you’ve collected.