As Renato Lima described in his article two issues back, heatmap tracker tools are a useful and valuable option when it comes to on-page optimization. And now that backlinks have lost a bit of importance and unique content continues to play a major role, heatmap tracking can be particularly helpful. Why so, you wonder? What does a heatmap tracker even do? How much work is it to implement this tool?
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start: Implementing a heatmap tracker is just as easy as implementing a Google Analytics tag in your site. Copy and paste in front of </body> – 30 seconds, and you’re done.
From now on, clicks, mouse movements, and scroll behavior on the site(s) will be tracked, and you can get an adequate visual representation of where your users click within a very short period of time, depending on how much traffic you get on the site. This tells you what the users pay attention to (and what they ignore) and how far down they scroll.
Eyetracking – well, actually, the term is misleading because instead of really tracking eye movements, the system is based on the assumption that the mouse cursor is where the user is looking at, so actually, mouse tracking would be a more correct title uses colors to mark the position of the mouse cursor on the screen. If an area is red that means that the cursor has been in that area a lot, next is yellow, then green, then blue. This is a great tool to get an impression of the main perception area on the site. Use this to place ads or for A/B testing, etc. If you’ve added a banner feeling it would get many click but stats are underwhelming, eyetracking can show you if the banner has maybe just been placed at the wrong spot?
As an addition of the results you get from heatmapping/mousetracking, this tool will definitely save you a lot of time. It’s also interesting to filter the heatmap for user clicks. And if you place the mousetracking and clicktracking maps next to each other, you can get some fascinating information that may well come in handy the next time you optimize the page.
But what about perception above the fold? If ads, etc. fail to attract attention because the users simply don’t scroll down on your site, heatmap tracking can definitely put things such as poor click stats in perspective. This is also another great example of how useful heatmap tracking can be. First of all, this feature should only be used for individual cases as it takes a big bite out of your resources, and I am not only talking about the tracker, but also and especially by using the data. When you track an individual session, it can take hours to fully analyze it afterwards. Watching a user’s movements on your site “live and in color” can be extremely interesting, but fascinating as it is, tracking the customers journey in such painstaking detail only makes sense in small doses. So if you are pondering questions like:
When, where, and why do people jump off from my site?
How do users perceive my ad, and where do they pay the most attention to it?
Which part of my site is particularly interesting or not interesting at all to the users?
Where do I place ads for maximum effect?
When and where is A/B testing useful?
Or other questions like that … then don’t hesitate and turn to us.