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These days, it seems as if it is not only true that “there’s an app for that,” but there is a map for that, too, with apps like Google Maps, FlightAware, and MapMyRun becoming more and more popular. Today’s maps include 3D, street view, business reviews, nearby friends, and much more. Heatmaps have also evolved into a must-have tool for customer experience analysis, which we discussed in a previous blog post, as they enable you to visualize the mouse moves, clicks, hovers, and scroll patterns of website visitors.
Customer experience professionals rely on heatmaps like 1990’s Domino’s Pizza drivers relied on a good old-fashioned Thomas Guide or printable Mapquest. But an error in analyzing a heatmap could be much more disastrous than flipping to the wrong map book page.
I am often asked why mouse movement is important. The reason is proven by independent research: there is an 84% to 88% correlation between mouse and eye movements. Therefore, by studying how users move their mouse, we study what they see with a high rate of accuracy.
A mouse move heatmap aggregates the mouse movements of thousands of visitors to a specific page. It has, in a sense, become an affordable alternative to the expensive eye-tracking studies that are at the disposal of large enterprises.
A mouse move heatmap can give customer experience optimizers insights like which content, elements, and layout increase conversion rates, what your customers see just before they decide to purchase a product, and how many people miss call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
A mouse click heatmap on a webpage has possible CX optimization at its core. Customers use mouse click heatmaps to identify obstruction in conversion funnels. With this information, they can find CTAs that are being ignored and unclickable elements that are being clicked.
For example, if a page includes a heading that is not linked to anything, but heating up with clicks, perhaps users crave more information on that topic.
In addition to where users click, it is also fascinating to study where they don’t click. That is, where they hover, or hesitate. By carefully analyzing this information, you can assess how to convert these hovers into clicks, conversions, and revenue.
Did you know that a heatmap can serve as a boring-o-meter?
With attention heatmaps, you can determine which content is interesting to your users and what they skip over.
Irrelevant web content and other unengaging elements increase visitor frustration and cause high bounce and abandonment rates. By understanding which parts of a page are interesting (and which are not), businesses can eliminate roadblocks to conversion, optimize advertising locations, and create more of the content that engages users.
It can be debated that important web elements should be placed above the fold. In fact, some are arguing that there is no fold. Screen sizes and resolutions differ, and user attention spans are shorter. For example, vertical layouts, that are so popular today, have lower scroll rates unless they are used with visual ques indicating that the user should continue scrolling.
Understanding the scroll habits of the actual visitors to a site helps customer experience pros optimize page length and arrangement of elements within it.
With scroll reach heatmaps, you can optimize the effectiveness of your content, the impact of your CTAs, and the income generated by your ad spaces.
Have you ever been in a car with a driver who thinks he knows how to get there, but ends up getting lost or stuck in traffic on the way? Sitting uncomfortably in the back seat, if you are like me, you were thinking “why didn’t he just use Waze?”
Running a website without heatmaps and other usability analytics tools is kind of like that. The tools are available to you – there is no reason to waste away in traffic or try to guess what users find interesting. Maps can save you the frustration . . . not to mention – both time and money.
Learn more about how to use heatmaps to truly impact the different stages of your websites conversion funnel.
Written By Merav Keren
Originally posted on ClickTale Blog on October 21, 2015