Written by Apoorv Bhatnagar 

Advent and widespread growth of online shopping has put the customers in a win-win situation. They can shop as per their convenience and there are plenty of sellers to pick from. This is a double-edged sword for the business, as it is. While they can reach out to more buyers in less time using the web, most companies face the risk of customers flocking to the rivals – for various factors. A section of your online store visitors actually leaves without placing any order! Definitely you will want the maximum possible number of site visitors to buy products and services from the site. This is why businesses are focusing on conversion strategies. Using heat maps is part of effective conversion boost strategies for most businesses nowadays.

Nuances of heat maps and their relevance for conversion

To ensure the visitors end up buying products from your site, understanding their mindset and preferences is important. This is where the heat maps come into the picture. ‘Heat map’ can be defined as a visual, accurate representation of user activities in the web pages. The mouse movements, hovers, clicks and eye movements of the site visitors are tracked and these are displayed using various colors. Most of the business resort to mouse tracking heatmaps as it is affordable and gives a more accurate depiction of visitor activities in web pages.

Using heat maps, a huge amount of data is collected and analysis of that data reveals how the visitors use your site, what they like and what puts them off. Thereafter, you can alter elements and content in the site to keep the visitors hooked and entice them to buy products.

How heat map data help you interpret mindset of the visitors

Online Marketers can make good use of insight on site visitor behavior obtained by heat map data for enhancing conversation rates. From analysis of collected heat map data, the following things become clear:

  • You can assess the usefulness of web page content with heat map data

By using eye and mouse tracking heat map data, you can figure out the efficacy of content used in your website’s pages. The heat map data – including click and hover tracking data makes it clear which parts of a page are getting maximum attention from visitors. The sections of the page that are getting little or no click and mouse hover can also be demarcated.

  • You can be assured of color scheme in web pages working or not

Sometimes, the color scheme used in your website may be a reason for visitors turning away quickly. This is owing to the fact certain colors evoke specific feelings in the human mind. If the web site’s color scheme does not resonate with target visitors and buyers, they will leave the site early. When heat map is deployed, this can be analyzed.  If any specific part of a page with certain color gets no viewer, it can be replaced with a more suitable substitute.

  • You can put CTAs in site pages without guesswork and anxiety

If the site visitors largely skip the CTA buttons and links- that will affect the conversion rate adversely. These have to be put in the right areas in your site pages for optimum visitor conversion. Usage of heat maps indicates whether the visitors are evading the CTAs and why. Thereafter, you can reposition the CTA links. Sometimes, images or ads can distract the visitors from the CTA elements in web pages.

  • You can reduce the rate of shopping cart abandonment

The visitors to your website may abandon shopping carts midway for different reasons. While a section of visitors leaves the shopping cart for uncertainties or safety issues, some others may simply leave midway because they face hardship in checking out process. Wrong positioning of the checkout button can serve as the deterrent. In some cases, the button may not be big or bright enough. Proximity of distracting graphics or animations can also be the root cause of such cart abandonment. All these become clear when heat maps are used. Thereafter, you can get rid of distractions leading to shopping cart abandonment. The cart button can also be changed to improve the conversion.

  • You can check if strategically placed images are working or not

Sometimes, mid to large sized images are used in web pages with specific purpose to draw the attention of visitors. Some websites have images of children’s or women’s faces with expressions that attract the attention of the visitors. These images are placed in such web pages to direct viewer’s attention to specific content including CTAs. For example, an image of a man or woman with rolling eyes can be placed in a web page to direct viewer’s attention to an ongoing promotion in the online shop. Using heat maps, it becomes easy to figure out if such strategically placed images are serving the purpose or not. Of course, the emotion evoked by the visual has the final impact on viewer, not just its placement in the page.

  • You can assess the efficacy of ad placement in the site

In most websites, some amount of ads is used. However, the ads should get the desired number of clicks and these are not just used for making pages look enticing! The placement of ads vs images should work as desired to convert the visitors. Whether this is working can be assessed by using hover and scroll tracking heat maps. Based on the data analysis changes can be made in positioning in ads in the web pages.

  • You can assess the efficacy of content

It is also important to assess the efficacy of site content. From positioning to legibility and blend of content with visuals, everything should be just right to work on visitors. Scroll and hover tracking based Heat maps can be used to assess if the site visitors are going through the content or skipping it too early. Usually, the majority of web users read text from left to right of the pages.

Things to keep in mind

While using eye and mouse movement based heat maps can be helpful in analyzing visitor behavior and mindset, you have to remember some vital aspects. Different websites are visited by different types of users. For example, the target visitors to an online store selling maternity and baby products will be different from visitors to a site selling automobile insurance. So, the visitor browsing patterns in such websites are likely to be very different. This change will be reflected in heat map data obtained from such websites. You also have to remember the accuracy of mouse-based heat map data and eye tracking based data differ.

Summing it up

Heat maps are quite useful in analyzing and assessing efficacy of website content and elements. You can figure out which elements in the web pages are drawing user attention and which ones are turning out to be ineffective. The heat map data eliminates the need to speculate and indulge in guesswork, in this regard. By analyzing different types of heat map data you can make necessary changes to these and that helps in enhancing visitor conversion. However, you have to use a suitable software solution to get the best results.

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