Heatmaps are not just for seeing where you’re wasting electricity or gas through poor home insulation. Nor are they just for spotting where the escaping house burglar is hiding. Heatmaps are a great way to quickly see what your web visitors are doing on your site, so that you don’t end up wasting your energy getting them to visit your site, only to disappear or hide up on the wrong pages.
So, what is a website heatmap?
So, imagine you have an interesting and pivotal page on your website, with lots of page views, but you’re not sure where all those visitors are looking, clicking, scrolling or giving their attention.
Now imagine that you have a tool that lets you see all that. Imagine that the areas with lots of clicks are a bright red, an area on the page where the mouse pays only a fleeting visit is a pale yellow and there is no colour when there is no attention. You are imagining a website heatmap! Your analysis might be better if you use a tool that can turn your imagination to reality.
So, what do the best heatmap tools give you?
- Four different flavours of behavioural heatmap showing: mouse movements, mouse clicks, scrolling (up/down, left/right) and attention (areas of a page where visitors linger).
- Filtering allowing you just to take into account particular sessions. For example, sessions on a large resolution screen, sessions that used Chrome 25, sessions in a specific date range, or sessions performed on a particular device (e.g. iPad). A great tool will of course let you combine these filters.
- Filtering based on what happened after your page – this is really useful! So, make sure your heatmap tool allows you to show the heatmap for only the visitors to the page who subsequently bought, or dropped out of the site on this page, or whose visit covered more than 20 pages.
- Filtering based on what happened before the page you’re wanting to heatmap – also really useful! So, a good tool let’s you compare heatmaps for people who arrived from a marketing landing page versus the arrival from the standard home page.
- The facility to replay all the individual sessions that were combined to produce the heatmap.
So, what will a good heatmap tell me?
- Where to put your adverts or calls-to-action.
- Whether version A, B or even C is the most effective version of the page.
- Where you’ve built content that isn’t being accessed by any visitors.
- Whether your page is better for browsers or purchasers.
- Where you can make improvements to your design.
- Whether the page is effective with all types of browsers and devices.
SessionCam comes with all this as standard, so if you don’t have SessionCam, or are not using the heatmap features, then why not start now.