As websites become an imperative marketing platform for large and small businesses, it’s important to understand what elements to include in one. Years ago, a good side menu and tons of keywords could easily land you on the first page of search engines. Now Google takes hundreds of factors into account when choosing which websites to list highest in their search results. Some of these factors include content, secured sites, mobile-friendliness/responsiveness and page speed. Among them, user experience (UX) is one of the most important ranking factors for SEO.
UX is the overall experience a person has while interacting with your website or mobile application. This encompasses website relevancy, ease of use, an easily navigable menu and overall value in the content you are providing, among other things. One of the most powerful tools to help increase website UX is heatmapping.
Heatmapping is a visual method of analyzing your website using color-coding to track visitor activity. This data allows us to improve functionality and design of a website by measuring where people are clicking, spending their time engaging and how far down they are scrolling on your pages.
There are three main types of website heatmaps: scroll maps, click maps and move maps. Each investigates website performance in a slightly different manner.
Scroll Maps show how far users scroll down on a webpage. The more red in color, the more views on that portion of the page. This provides info such as where the average fold is on each page, where we are losing customers interest and the most popular and unpopular content on a page.
Click maps represent which areas of a website visitors click on. They help identify buttons or menu items that are heavily clicked or not clicked at all as well as elements that are being ignored. Images and pictures on your page that are being clicked are also portrayed in the click map.
Move Maps portray how visitors track eye movement when visiting your website. When someone is browsing a webpage, often their browser follows their eye movement. Move maps show how people are actually reading your website content.
There are various ways to utilize your data from website heatmapping to create a better UX and overall website performance. For example, if your click maps shows an image on your page that gets clicked repeatedly, consider linking that image to some valuable content surrounding it or ask yourself why they might have clicked it. Heatmapping can also be useful in determining when to remove unnecessary or unengaging content or when to move highly engaging content or popular call-to-action buttons up higher on a page. Sometimes users can get distracted by the wrong content or fillers on your webpage. Using a scroll map, we can determine if your customers are seeing the right part of your website.
Overall, heatmapping is an incredible tool for tailoring website layouts and content to a visitor's wants and needs. If done correctly, it can not only improve your overall UX, but it can generate sales and increase your bottom line.