Heat maps and other eye-tracking software can tell you a lot about your website’s performance
If you are a business executive or marketing professional, you probably have some strong opinions about your website—how good it looks, how well it reads, how easy it is to navigate, and most importantly, how effectively it compels visitors to take the actions you want them to take.
Question is, do your opinions match reality?
For example, you may think that rotating banner on your homepage is attracting all kinds of attention. But are visitors actually clicking on it? Are they just scrolling right past it? Is there other information that would be better served having that real estate?
These are all questions you’ll want to answer to optimize the user experience. But before you make decisions about whether to add or delete content or graphics, or redesign your site, you’d be wise to learn how visitors currently interact with it.
In this regard, eye-tracking software is your ticket to seeing your website in a whole new light. Digital marketers use this technology to generate visual overviews of where visitors spend their time on your site, what they do while they’re there and what links they click to find what they want.
Specifically, eye-tracking software includes three key tools that can be used to mine valuable data about your site:
- Heat maps – With heat map technology, the brighter the region, the more clicks it gets.
- Scroll maps – Scroll maps break down the performance of specific parts of a given webpage, with the brightest sections garnering the most views.
- Confetti maps – Like the name implies, confetti maps use colored dots to show what links visitors click on based on their referral source. Colored dots are placed on specific areas that attract visitor clicks. This gives a little more insight from your heat map; in fact, confetti maps can even show which days of the week are more active on specific pages.
Why is this information valuable, and how can you leverage it?
- Learn what’s working and what isn’t. Heat, scroll and confetti maps all deliver hard data about visitor experiences. Knowing where visitors are clicking, and where they aren’t, helps you and your team identify the truly prime real estate on your site. From there, you can make informed decisions about optimizing that space—and improving areas and functions that don’t perform well.
- Make good things better, and eliminate the bad stuff. If your heat, scroll and/or confetti map report shows that visitors are clicking on non-clickable sections, you can use that knowledge to find more value-added (and clickable) functions for those sections. Eye-tracking software can also be used to measure desktop versus mobile versus tablet experience. It can help you test banners versus text links to determine which are more popular. It can also identify popular images and calls-to-action (CTAs)—and conversely, it casts an unflinching light on features that fail to earn visitor traffic.
- Optimize your site’s usage, functionality and value. When Google likes your site, it’s a beautiful thing. What makes your site likeable in Google’s eyes? You guessed it—it’s visited frequently, it’s easy to navigate, it includes easily accessible contact information, and it features rich, relevant and timely content. With particular regard to content, eye-tracking software provides you and your team with a deep dive into lots of valuable content marketing analytics. Heat, scroll and confetti maps help you gauge how popular your premium content (e.g., white papers, e-books) really is, where imagery should be located, which CTAs are resonating, where CTAs should be located on a given page, and much more.
- Prioritize website real estate and features for an eventual redesign. Websites aren’t meant to last forever; redesigns are inevitable. When that time arrives for you and your company or firm, the insights gained from eye-tracking reports can help you put things where they should be from the outset. This can save you valuable time and money in the long-run.