On average, it takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to find the area they are looking for on a website. But how are website owners to know which area of their site that is?
Tracking the focus of a site’s traffic is as important as monitoring the traffic itself. They both equally help your site to progress.
By tracking the behavior of your traffic, you can use this data to improve your overall site. Keep reading to learn how behavioral heatmaps can help your site prosper.
What Are Heatmaps?
Have you ever seen a thermal photograph? Each section of the photo displays a different color depending on the heat of the subject.
If a particular section is cold, it will be black to show the lack of heat. The warmer something grows, the brighter the color. It fades from black to white through such colors as yellow and red.
Now imagine that photo, but for your website. Rather than tracking heat, a heatmap tracks the behavior of each user’s interaction.
Similar to a thermal photo, a heat map ranges from no color to red. Areas with no color will show areas your visitors will have had no interaction at all. Red would be the areas that get the most interaction.
What Are the Benefits of Tracking the Behavior of Your Traffic?
As mentioned, heatmaps are a great way to learn which parts of your site receive the most attention. Read this blog post to understand the different methods they use to create this data.
Your aim should be to gain a red color for as much of your site as possible. Or, at least for the parts you wish for interaction to occur. For example, you won’t need to worry if your background receives no user interaction.
Once you have complete data, you are now able to amend your site for optimal interaction. The higher the interaction, the better the chance of sales for your products or services.
How You Can Use the Data
Let’s look at a few ways you can use this data to improve your site:
- Are there any clickable sections of your site that receive zero interaction?
○ If so, you may wish to either update them to gain more interaction or remove them altogether.
- Are there any articles within your site that aren’t gaining views?
○ If you are using up space on information that isn’t viewed, replace it with something that will be.
- Do you have a ‘contact me’ button or a subscribe section?
○ If these are receiving low interaction, you will need to update or change their location.
- Is there part of your site receiving more attention than you would like?
○ You may find your visitors getting distracted by certain parts of your site. Removing these will help them focus on the essential sections.
Different Types of Heatmaps
There are many ways that you can use heatmaps to gather data. Each method will give you a different insight into your site’s user interaction.
If you look at all the information from heatmaps together, you will struggle to read it. But, separating the results into different types can focus your attention on one aspect at a time.
Most sites will contain links to either other areas of the site or a different domain entirely. Whether you use these links for ease of access or if they are a source of income. You will want the links to receive attention.
This heatmap type will track how often your visitors use each link. Again, this ranges from blue to red. This method will be ideal for measuring how often a product or article gets viewed.
Use this method to either adapt or delete the lower-clicked links. For example, if there is insufficient traffic to one link, your site may be more productive without it.
The click type of heatmap is similar to the link type. It measures how often your visitors click their mouse on your site. However, this type focuses on every click, not just those used for links.
By tracking the clicks more accurately, you can see if your page is as functional as you wish. For example, are your visitors clicking where you want them to click?
You may find your users clicking sections, thinking they lead somewhere when they don’t. But, you may also notice a picture link isn’t receiving clicks because your traffic doesn’t know it’s a link.
Using this analytics tool can help you to perfect your site. Make sure each aspect is being used to its full potential.
Scroll heatmaps ignore the level of clicks completely. Instead, they focus purely on how your visitors scroll while using your site.
The longer each of your pages, the more your visitors will scroll. You will notice that the tops of each page will be red, fading to no color towards to bottom.
This data shows that your traffic will scroll to the bottom of the page without scrolling back up. The information you can take from this is: place your most important data towards the top of the page.
Do visitors rarely reach the bottom of your pages? If so, it would be counterproductive to place important information there. Instead, use your layout to ensure your visitors learn as much as possible.
Follow the Map to Success
Heatmaps are an ideal way of analyzing your user’s behavior. Use the data you receive to make your site as successful as possible.
Record how often different links are clicked. Look into the traffic’s individual clicks.
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