Where to put the most important items
Your key messages, adverts and calls to action are critically important, and heatmaps can help you place them where they’ll have the greatest impact on your conversion rate. The right location for a call-to-action button can super-charge your product and checkout pages; the wrong one can have the opposite effect. If your calls to action are too weak, or difficult to spot, users may seek other content instead – or even navigate away from your site.
What variant of a page to use
If you’re doing multivariate (A/B) testing, a heatmap can tell you whether variant A, B or even C is the most effective version of your page. The only way to test this is to get a substantial number of users to try the page variants out, and for you to see how they interact with them.
Where content isn’t getting seen
Users allocate 80% of their attention to content that’s above the foldi . In a perfect world, we’d like to have everything above the ‘fold’, so users never have to scroll. But that’s not possible for every page, so we need to make sure that content is getting seen in the right order. Heatmaps will tell you what parts of your pages are getting seen, and what users do when they get there. Do your up-selling messages, or your call to action, appear just once – at the end of a long page? Are your crucially important third-party endorsements, like ratings and reviews, user testimonials and client lists, above or below the fold?
Where you have lifeless content
Your heatmaps will tell you where people dwell and click. If these don’t match with where you want them to dwell and click, maybe you need to crank up your content. Are your calls to action weak and waffly? Is your main content dry and boring – or just too complicated? Would images or video liven things up a bit?
Whether your page is serious about selling
Some webpages are more suited to casual browsers, whereas some are tailored to serious buyers. If you’re all about selling, use heatmaps to ensure you’re doing everything possible to:
- Get your messaging into the right hierarchy
- Get your page elements in the right place
- Make your calls to action prominent, compelling, clear and frequent; ensure the user knows exactly what to do next
- Minimize the amount of work the user has to do (clicks, number of pages to visit, number of form fields to complete, etc.)
- Clear every possible blockage from the funnel.
Where you have disorganized pages
- Do your heatmaps show people wandering their mouse all over the place, unsure of what to look at, or do, next?
- Is it time to declutter and streamline your page, emphasizing the essential and removing the unimportant?
- Are there too many distractions – for example, do you need to ditch your sidebar or even your navigation on some crucial pages? And while you may have a great short video, do you really want to people to have chance to watch it on your payment page?
Where you have technical problems
If there’s a glaring area of red over a CTA button, perhaps nothing happens when people click it (so they click repeatedly). If users are scrolling far more than expected, maybe they can’t find your ‘submit’ button, or it simply isn’t loading.
Where you need to provide better help
Sometimes a user knows something is wrong – but not why. They need a helpful error message, in a place where they can see it (not at the top of the page where they’d need to scroll to see!). Or if you know that people struggle with your forms, you could provide on-the-spot access to live chat.
Whether your page is effective with all types of browsers and devices Not only are there a lot of variants out there, but they change all the time as updates are released. To complicate things further, users will behave very differently according to the device they’re using. Heatmaps help you track technical issues as well as the quirkiness of human behavior.