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heatmaps web design analytics
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Heatmaps: The One Tool That Can Actually Tell You Where People Focus On Your Webpage

Websites are a lot of work. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning, designing, building and executing a well-developed professional website. However, the work is not over once the site launches. Continued analysis of your site is needed, as it not only helps increase your traffic flow as well as keeping your visitors up-to-date on your business’s happenings – it is needed to ensure that visitors are getting the right information when they need it.

Analysis – that must mean Google Analytics, right? Well, yes – Google Analytics does certainly help show what pages are being viewed, how many times and for how long. Great metrics to use when trying to determine what users are wanting when viewing your website. However, they do leave out one important detail – what the user is looking at when they are on the page. That is where Heatmaps come in.

What Are Heatmaps and Why Do They Matter?

Heatmaps are visual tools that allow for you to see where visitors go on a specific page of your website. Heatmaps allow for a visualization of what content is being viewed, or not viewed on the page. By being able to see where your visitors are going, and ultimately viewing, you can tailor your most important content to the heavily viewed areas. Highlights of varying intensities depict the density of user activity at each point of the page; typically annotated with data. For instance, number of clicks on elements and other useful ratios like clicks/hovers. Broadly, there are two kinds of heatmaps:

Eye-tracking: A variant of usability testing – this method asks you to engage in a sample size of your website’s visitor population and tracks their eye-movements as they engage in designated webpages. The Eye-tracking method is a bit more expensive and only somewhat reliable as it is only tracking a sample of the website’s population.

Mouse-tracking: The mouse movement heatmap tracks all mouse movement and activity of all users to the website over a period of time and are represented graphically. It is also a fairly good indicator of eye movement as studies found that eye-movement and mouse-movement have an average distance between curser and eye gaze of about 90 pixels. This method is the more preferred method as it is also the most affordable on top of being the most accurate.

What are the different kind of Mouse-Tracking Heatmaps?

There are three different kind of mouse-tracking heatmaps available. Each of these provides useful insight into how visitors are viewing your content- how they engage your website and how to increase your click-thru-rate.

Mouse-Movement Maps

Mouse-Movement maps are probably the closest way to getting an eye-tracking test without having to pay huge amounts of money for it. These maps do what they say in their name – track the mouse movements of users (hover and click-thru) and then converts that data onto the page. They provide insight into how users read and navigate a page on your website. Mouse-movement maps also show analytic data, such as how many visitors hover over a particular areas of the page – which can indicate how well content-areas are being received.

mouse movement heatmaps web design

Scroll Maps

Scroll maps analyze how visitors use the scroll on the page and where they abandon the page altogether. You can utilize this data be seeing where those points are and adjusting the length of the page for optimal effectiveness. According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, 80% of visitor’s attention is spent above the fold (or the space seen when loading a page before having to scroll).

scroll map data heatmaps

Now, that does not mean that your conversion rate will suffer if your webpages are long. However, it is good to test out where people lose interest. These maps provide analytic data in terms of the percentage of people dropping off from the page at any given point. Data from Scroll Maps can tell you if people are missing important content tucked away below the fold – and if you should restructure your page.

scroll heatmaps web design analytics

Click Maps

Click maps analyze where users are clicking on your website. How can this help? It gives insight into where users flounder on the page, weeding out any unnecessary or unwanted distractions that could be blocking your conversion rate – or getting users to the contact or order pages and thus getting new business. You can see if links are working against each other on a given page as well as if any design elements are clogging up the works, so to speak. Having click maps gives that visual as to what is drawing the attention and where the user experience is going. With this information, you have the ability to clean things up and improve user experience.

click map heatmaps web design analytics

In essence, heatmaps are a great tool to help you visually understand your visitor’s experiences. They allow you to make sure the content you express to potential customers is getting viewed and processed, This allows you to focus on tactics that improve website conversion for your business. Just like any analytic tool set, having the data and numbers can help shape the ongoing user experience you have with your users. Still not sure about heatmaps or not sure how to set one up? Andromeda’s website development team can help! Give us a call, or reach out and we can start getting your website into top shape!

ats website development and design upkeep and maintenance
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6 Reasons Your Website Development Is Never Truly Finished

What most don’t realize about website development and design is that your website is your biggest brand ambassador, 24 hours 365 days per year.  It works tirelessly to market your company, constantly finding new clients and educating your existing ones. It is arguably the most public facing and most visible part of your company.  Your website is your brand, culture and marketing rolled up into one neat little ball.

When you are sleeping, it is working.

OK, I think you get the picture.  Website development and maintenance is critical and needs almost constant attention in one way or another.  Whether it is new content, taking down old stale information or just updating pictures – there is always something to do.

Start talking about Search Engine Marketing (SEO) or paid advertising (SEM) and you just added another level of critical web marketing development that constantly need updating.

With that, here are 6 reasons your website development is never truly finished:

Six Website Development Items To Keep Updated

1) Current & Up-to-Date Testimonials/Reviews Are a Must

Remember that client success story you were so proud of 10 years ago?  Well, they went out of business and your prospective client now knows this success story doesn’t really reflect your company today.

2) Images Must Reflect Industry And Product Standards

Woah! – is that a white CRT monitor in the picture of your office.  If you actually still have that monitor, please call us to talk IT – but since you probably don’t – might be time to update the picture.

3) Products Come And Go

No, you don’t sell the XL3000 anymore, but those 10 pages talking about it are driving people to your site, you are attracting valuable customers with the wrong message. Now you disappointed them because you don’t carry the product you want and you are missing out on the clients you do want because you aren’t updating your content.

4) Trends and Aesthetics As Well As Functionality Change Constantly

In the fast paced online marketing world we live in – website trends change every 2-3 years and that 4 year old site really starts looking like that 1986 Saturn.  Now, nothing wrong with the Saturn – great cars, but you probably aren’t going to have people flocking over to check the Saturn out . . . you catch my drift.

5) Search Engines and Bots Reward Change/New Content

Search engines don’t reward sites with old, stale info and they start noticing that people aren’t really visiting your site anymore.  So, you are left wondering why your inbound sales leads are down and that is a vicious circle with a bad ending.  Time to refresh.

6) First Impressions Matter

And, the #1 reason your website is never finished . . . You are trying to grow your business and make more money . . . frankly, your website is the first place people go to check you out – long before they have talked to a single person at your company.  It needs to be current and relevant – always make it a priority.

Keep a look out next month for more web development and SEO content – 3 Reasons You’re NOT Showing Up On Google’s First Page . . . And What To Do About It