• Heat Maps, Eye Maps, Scroll Maps

    I am dreadful with the monday dead line but onward, this week we are going to look at something on page. Its so simple but its so often over looked....

    Heat mapping your site! Getting to know what your visitors are really doing on page.

    On one of my pages I was surprised to see that 90% of clicks moved to a banner on the left as opposed to using the centred navigation. It was a shock as that was the aspect of the site that every one of my designer friends I spoke to told me had to go. So just by turning that banners link onto hot pages I have increased click through to important sections of the site and conversation rate by my estimate 50%!
    Of course 90% of traffic funnelling down one channel is pretty unusual and likely points to other issues on the site in question and that site does have a bounce rate I am not comfortable with. However, I simply would have never known without testing.
    Which begs the question if your not looking at all your user data, why don't you like money?

    There are different kinds of mapping techniques and each can be used to garner different information about your visitors.

    Mapping clicks, this is just essential, you need to know where your visitors are clicking and its pretty self explanatory that if the right side bar is getting 70% of clicks it may be better to have the money makers there. The strange thing is that time and time again placement seems to drive clicks as much as content. Third button on right side bar (products) getting 3.5% of clicks while header far right button (about us) was receiving 15%. Moving the two around only saw a change of only a few percent, which means people are often clicking on what grabs the eye or seems logical over following specific content. It also meant I was driving around 10% more traffic straight to the sales pages.

    Important though no two sites are the same and the demographic, user age and specific audience also dictates a lot about visitor behaviour. So you need to test and adjust, test and adjust. It could be the colour of or around a page field that is drawing the clicks, it could be wording, it could be placement and your going to need to study your statistics to decipher what it is. I will say though its seldom logical in my experience.

    Eye map
    Obviously using a webcam to map peoples eye movements online would make you unpopular but its truism peoples eyes follow their mouse this is an indication of what people are looking at on your site. This is the vaguest of the maps in my opinion. It is also a good argument for not using templates such as word press as if you have a lot of pointer travel in blank space, not much you can do about it if you do not edit your own designs.
    If you have a lot of mouse over action on an area of the site you might consider a call to action in the form of a roll over image or mouse over prompt.

    A scroll map
    These days we have monitors of all sizes, mobile browsers that render things differently and most of us are building sites on huge screens. Are your visitors getting beneath the fold? That said is the fold for same for all of your visitors. Its pretty useful to realize your best sales line is not visible on screen or that people only convert of 50% of your page.

    Best thing about this is that you can test it out yourself on upto 5k visitors using click-density, so not much to lose here.