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When it comes to optimizing your website to best fit the needs of your visitors, one option to consider is a heatmap. A heatmap is a data visualization tool that allows website owners to see how their site’s visitors are using and interacting with their websites.
For instance, a heatmap can visually show you information such as:
- How far down your homepage people are scrolling
- What buttons or links they’re clicking
- Which sections of a webpage are getting the most interaction (cursor movements, clicks), and which are being ignored.
As the name “heatmap” implies, rather than displaying this data to you purely in raw numbers, heatmap tools provide this information visually using various color spectrums overlaid on your actual website. This feature makes it easy for you to see and understand what’s hot or not on any page or post on your website.
Most website owners have access to site analytics tools. For instance, WordPress.com site owners have built-in stats that track analytics, and if they upgrade to a WordPress.com Business plan, they’ll get additional website analytics tools via Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is extremely helpful for tasks such as:
- Finding out how many visitors came to your site in a given month and comparing site traffic over various time periods
- Creating “funnel reports” and “goal conversions” which track how visitors travel through your site and your intended sales/user funnel
The data provided by WordPress.com stats and Google Analytics can be extremely valuable for website owners. A website heatmap doesn’t compete with these other analytics tools — it complements them.
Think of it like having a scale to weigh yourself in addition to having a smartwatch to monitor your heart rate and calorie intake. Each tool complements the other while providing you with unique and valuable information that can help you monitor what’s going on and make decisions about how to improve your performance.
When you analyze your homepage using your heatmap tool, you may notice that most visitors are scrolling right past the section where you describe your product or service in detail. Most people may not be clicking the “shop now” button at the top of your page — instead, they may be scrolling down the page before continuing on.
This information implies that you must improve your site design in specific areas. For instance, would changing the color of the “shop now” button from green to orange make a difference on click rates? Or perhaps you can switch up your call to action? Would adding more images of your product or service make people pause to take in more information in that section?
Once you make improvements, you can then re-analyze your site traffic with a heatmap to see if the traffic patterns have improved based on your desired outcomes.
Now you have a better idea of the unique benefits a heatmap can bring to your site. You also know how a heatmap can complement other analytics tools like WordPress.com stats and Google Analytics.
Use a website heatmap tool to monitor the way people use your website in order to improve its performance.
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