Heat maps, otherwise known as heat maps, are one of the most effective tools for optimizing a website in terms of various elements, primarily conversion, UX and SEO. How can they be used to increase user engagement and give them what they want? Let’s check what sitemaps are and how to use them in conversion optimization, UX, positioning, content creation and web analytics.
What is a site heatmap?
A website heatmap is a tool for visualizing various behavioral data regarding user behavior on a website. The degree of user involvement and behavior are presented on the map in colors – from red to blue. Areas with high user involvement are marked in red. In turn, the blue color means those elements on the page that cause the least activity of recipients.
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Why analyze heat maps?
What is the purpose of using heatmaps in web analytics? Thanks to heat maps, you can understand the needs of your audience and find out how engaging your website is. Site heatmaps answer the following questions:
– How deep are users scrolling the page?
– Is the content on the website engaging for users?
– Do users focus on the key elements of the website from the sales point of view (contact forms, CTA buttons)?
– Is the website useful to the user?
– Do users click on the desired items?
– Are the key elements placed in the right places? (e.g. cart button, button for adding a product to the cart).
Types of heat maps
There are several different types of heatmaps that can be used to optimize a website. These are:
– click maps – indicate user involvement in clickable elements on the page, such as CTAs, internal and external links, menu elements, logos (clickable) images, etc.
– scroll maps that show how deeply the user has scrolled the page while browsing it.
– traffic maps that show how users move the mouse or touchpad on the page when using desktops and how they navigate on the touchscreen of a phone or tablet.
Advanced web analytics tools also include maps that visualize how users’ eyesight moves around the page. It is possible thanks to the use of webcams in users’ devices. You can also distinguish maps visualizing the behavior of mobile users and users of laptops and desktops. In web analytics, it is worth using different types of heat maps at the same time, because each of them provides different data.
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How to use heatmaps in internet marketing? Page optimization areas
Page heatmaps can be used to optimize various site elements that are relevant to your business and audience. Areas worth upgrading with heat maps are:
– website structure,
– User Experience,
– conversion optimization,
– content on the website,
– SEO of the website or store.
Which pages are worth analyzing with heat maps?
Which pages should be analyzed with the help of heat maps? They are mainly:
– Home page, – landing pages, e.g. those to which the user is directed after clicking on the ad,
– product pages in the online store,
– blog pages,
– new pages on the site,
– the most popular and least popular pages (with the highest and least traffic),
– pages with the highest and lowest conversion rates.
Heat maps in internet analytics
Heatmaps are one of the essential web analytics tools. Thanks to them, you can see how users are interacting with your website, how they are browsing it and if there are any problems that make it difficult for them to read the content. Thanks to heat maps, you will obtain data such as:
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– elements that users click most often,
– page scroll depth,
– mouse movements on websites,
– areas that arouse the interest of users,
– the degree of filling out the contact forms and the place where users abandon the goal,
– areas that need improvement,
– the way users use the menu.
How to use heatmaps to optimize the website structure?
Heat maps can help, among other things in building a site structure that is useful and user-friendly. How?
– Place the most important elements (e.g. menu) in the areas that attract clicks and the attention of users, e.g. in the left sidebar, or at the top of the page.
– With the help of heat maps you can interpret the effectiveness of the ads – are the ads disturbing the users, is it better to place them elsewhere, or are a lot of users clicking on the ad or closing it?
– Click areas and scroll maps can show that the CTA buttons are in the right places. In any case, it is worth making sure that the CTAs are in the visible area without having to scroll.
– Click maps can show how often users click on particular elements of the category tree and whether the navigation is useful for them. If not, it might be worth improving.
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How to optimize UX and website usability with heatmaps?
Heatmaps of websites can also help optimize the UX (User Experience) and usability of the website. Which website elements, important for UX, can be optimized with the help of heat maps?
Call-to-action buttons are not only part of UX optimization, but also conversion optimization (CRO). Their proper placement and content affect your income. With the help of heat maps you can verify:
– do users click on buttons,
– whether the buttons are in the right place,
– whether the content of the CTA is understandable to users.
If, according to the heatmaps, the buttons from the CTA do not generate clicks, you can test changing their content or placement.
Heatmaps can help you track and analyze your visitors’ navigation patterns. Thanks to this, you can build a website navigation that meets the expectations of visitors. Site heatmaps also provide data to help identify missing / broken links as well as redundant ones that affect the overall navigation of your site.
Images and content
Images and content on the website are also UX and usability elements. Good content in the form of texts and pictures can affect the engagement of users and their level of satisfaction with browsing the website. With the help of heat maps you will see:
– how do users scroll the content and whether they read it in full,
– do users click on images,
– in which areas you should place the most important sections of the content,
– what content and images catch the eyes of visitors,
– where to place the hyperlink in the pictures.
Nobody likes scrolling pages endlessly. Too long content may not only adversely affect the speed of operation and loading time of the website, but also reduce UX. You can use heatmaps to determine how deeply your visitors are browsing the page. If they only reach halfway, it may be worth shortening your content a bit or placing an attention-grabbing box in a specific place to encourage users to scroll further.
Even the best product or service will not defend itself if the website layout is not clear. You can improve it with the help of site maps. Check to see if there are areas where users get lost and leave the page. Verify that users fill out contact forms, and if they stop, at what stage. See if the CTAs are in the top sections of the page and which sections are catching attention. Perhaps you find that the video on the product page grabs your attention so much that they don’t end up checking out. Such information can help you improve the layout of the website in terms of sales and in terms of audience expectations.
How to use heatmaps to optimize in-store and on-site conversions?
The UX elements described above are also conversion optimization elements. Therefore, if you want to improve the number and conversion rate with heatmaps, consider:
– CTA placement and effectiveness as well as content (click map and scroll depth, etc.),
– images and content,
– page layout.
However, there are several other page elements that can be optimized with heatmaps that have an impact on conversion optimization. We will discuss them below.
Heat maps can help you effectively optimize your mobile pages. With their help, you will learn where to place clickable elements on mobile screens so that users actually pay attention to them and click on them. You can also check whether users on mobile devices focus their attention in those places that are crucial for you in terms of conversion optimization. You can check: where on the mobile device there are fold lines, above which users see the content without scrolling (for different devices it can be different places).
Optimizing the shopping cart page
How to use a heat map to optimize conversions? Analyze the shopping cart page through scrolling, click and traffic maps. You will learn:
– whether the buttons are placed in the right places,
– whether data forms do not discourage customers from purchasing,
– do customers click on the button transferring to purchases without registration,
– what percentage of customers develops the rebate code field,
– do users click on links to products in the shopping cart,
– whether users develop information about products in the shopping cart.
How to optimize content with heat maps?
A website heatmap is a great way to optimize your content. Scrolling maps will be useful for optimizing the page length, and traffic maps for selecting those areas where important fragments should be located.
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Heat maps and content creation
The length of the content has some importance in positioning, but too long content may have a negative impact on the UX and speed of the website. How to optimize website content using heat maps?
– Check how deeply your visitors are browsing the page. If the browsing depth is less than the content, it may be a good idea to shorten the content or implement a solution that encourages users to continue browsing.
– Check what is the intention of users in terms of specific content – whether they expect a short answer or maybe a longer tutorial. Or maybe they just scan the text with their eyes and scroll it quickly without delving into the content?
– See the scroll depth of the most effective content on your site and the least effective content. Compare them with each other and think about what you can do better.
– Check which areas your users are focusing on and add the most important content there.
– Optimize the content above the fold.
– Complete the content and images and white empty spaces – this makes the content easier to read and makes it more attractive.
How to use heatmaps for website SEO optimization?
Heatmaps can also be used in positioning websites and stores. In what areas should they be applied and what elements should be improved with them?
Internal linking optimization
Internal linking is an important element in building the website structure and increasing user engagement on the website. With heatmaps – clickmaps – you can verify that users are actually clicking on internal links and therefore whether they are useful to them. Thanks to heatmaps, you can also find optimal places to place internal links to increase audience engagement.
Optimization of outbound links
Heatmaps can also be used to optimize outbound links. It may turn out that:
– users leave the website after clicking on an irrelevant or spamming external link,
– users do not reach outbound links at all,
– users do not click on outbound links at all.
In such a situation, it is worth considering how to improve your external linking strategy and remove spammy and broken links.
Optimization of the customer’s shopping path
A well-optimized website guides users to content that is relevant to the stage of the shopping funnel they are on. To make sure your page structure supports your goal, you need to check that your links lead your audience to the right content. You can do this with clickmaps. Remember that internal links must be relevant – if they are unrelated to the shopping funnel, you increase the risk of losing a customer. To determine the relevance and quality of internal links in the context of the customer’s shopping journey, answer the following questions:
– How long have users been on the linked page?
– How deep do they scroll the linked page?
– Do they engage with the content on the linked page, e.g. click images or buttons?
Heat maps and website optimization. Summary