We’ve all heard the old adage “customer is king”. It’s a saying for a reason. Especially these days, and especially online, providing an excellent customer experience is guaranteed to be a huge part of the success of any successful business.
But sometimes it can be hard to know what customers want. There are methods and means of making an educated guess on what people will respond well to, but at the end of the day, predicting what will actually end up providing the very best experience for site visitors can be tough.
This is where heat maps on websites can help. What is the best way to find out what customers like or don’t like about your website design? How can you definitively know what people are finding confusing or engaging about your web pages? The simple answer is to get the information straight from them.
But site visitors often decline to take surveys, or might not even be aware themselves of what they didn’t like about a particular website. This is where heat maps come in. Heat maps are a reliable way of collecting consumer data without disturbing them whatsoever.
What Are Website Heatmaps?
Website heat maps allow you to get all the important information you need about how consumers are interacting with your site, without ever having to ask them. It’s getting your information from the horse’s mouth, but better: it’s from your customer’s fingers.
If you’ve never used them before, heat maps may seem like a complicated concept. In fact, they are actually a way to make reading data easier. So what exactly is a heat map, and how does it work?
How Do Heat Maps on Websites Work?
Essentially, a website heat map will show you the areas of your web pages on which site visitors are concentrating most. There are many ways to create a heat map, it is possible to create your own. However many people opt to go with heat map software providers, such as Decibel, for the wide suite of choices and added insights they can offer.
Heat mapping software tracks customer interaction with your website. It identifies the places a lot of people are looking, and where they ignore. This data is represented on a heat map, where the most popular areas and least popular areas are shown as a scale from red to blue.
Through this data visualization, you will be able to clearly see where people are clicking and what they are missing. The insights that you can gain through the use of this data gathering and representation software is extremely powerful.
Different Types of Heat Map
There are three main types of heat map:
- Scroll maps
- Move maps
- Click maps
In each, the data visualization methodologies are the same, with a color scale ranging from red to blue. What each measures, however, is slightly different.
A scroll map shows you how far down people are scrolling on your web pages.
Move maps track cursor movements across your site. By seeing where the cursor moves and hovers, it is possible to get a good idea of where the person controlling it is looking.
Click maps, you can probably guess, tell you what the most clicked and least clicked areas of your website are.
How to Use Heat Map Data to Your Advantage
When it comes to creating an outstanding customer experience, data and insights are of the utmost importance. A key principle of CX design is that the customer should be at the very center of the design process.
Heat maps enable you to allow your customer’s experience to inform key decisions you make regarding all aspects of your website and marketing strategies.
More Detailed Insights for A/B Testing
Just like heat maps, A/B testing is a great way to see what aspect of your website or marketing campaign works, and what doesn’t. But when you combine A/B testing with heat maps, it is possible to gain even more detailed insights into what people like, what they don’t, and how they are interacting with your site. This, in turn, can inform any design decisions you make.
Boost Conversions and Sales
If you feel as though you have a great product, a well-presented website, and a solid landing page, but you’re not making many sales or converting many leads, you have to ask yourself: why? Using heat maps can help you to see where your landing pages or website are underperforming. Using this information to fix these issues will help to increase sales and conversions.
Discover Pain Points of Site Visitors
Through heat mapping, you can discover where consumers are having trouble on your site, and what information they might have difficulty finding. You can then correct these issues and stop yourself from losing potential customers and gaining a negative brand image.
Improve Overall Customer Experience
In one study, almost 90% of consumers said that they would be less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. This is only one of the countless reasons you should ensure your site is optimized to give all visitors the best possible experience. Heat mapping data, when collected and analyzed correctly, is one of the best ways of knowing how to do just that.
Knowledge is Power: Insights are Invaluable
Any brand selling a product or service would likely relish the opportunity to get inside the minds of their target market. While there may not yet be a way to do exactly that, heat maps on websites can get you pretty damn close.
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