We used a heat mapping service for the first time last month and we found it really interesting to see where you (our readers and customers) go when you visit our site.
As you can see in the snapshot above from our home page, you (our users) most commonly visit our "About" and "Insights" pages from the top navigation, as well as visiting our "Portfolio" page from the Footer navigation. There is also some activity around the social media buttons in the Footer navigation.
This tells us that;
- we should spend time and energy on the commonly visited areas to keep them up-to-date and relevant and
- focus on the other areas which had little or no activity and explore why users didn't visit those areas as often.
In brief, heat mapping can be used to find:
- your website's biggest failure (and how to stop it)
- what your audience loves about your site
- what page elements are distracting (and how to fix it)
While heat mapping is no replacement for deep analytical review, it is a relatively low-cost, at-a-glance service that can form part of your ongoing website performance management. It is also useful for visual presentations when you are trying to capture an audience's focus.
The cost of the heat mapping service is relatively minor – around $100 a year depending on the service and how many URLs you want to track – and can be really useful to gauge the success of campaigns, re-designs or if you are testing new online concepts.
If you want to try it out on your own website let us know. It involves code placed in your website which is tracked by the heat mapping service.