The changes in the Google algorithm require website owners be more selective in the content that appears on their sites and more careful in the layout of a page. Too many ads or ads in the wrong places can cause a drop in the rankings; that is bad for business. Heat maps offer websites the precision necessary to maximize the website for business without negatively impacting search engine optimization.
Heat maps are a way to graphically present user activity on a website. The software presents the data with colors to represent typical patterns of usage for a site with the areas most frequently visited being given warmer colors such as yellow or red and areas with less activity showing as blue or green. There is no color shown in areas with no activity.
Heat Map Data Types
1. Heat maps can track mouse usage on a page and, there is data showing an above 80 percent correlation between mouse movement and the eyes of a website visitor.
2. Heat maps can track where the visitors are clicking on the website. This can include any links, objects, or simply “dead space” on the site.
3. Heat maps can also track how people scroll on a website. This shows where a visitor stops scrolling on each page, every time he or she scrolls. These locations of successive scrolling are known as folds.
How to Use Heat Map Data
Mouse movement-based heat maps provide the website owner reliable market research about where the visitors are looking, and facilitates the optimal placement of ads or calls to action. Click tracking heat maps reveal which ads or links need repositioning and also will point out parts of the website that are getting clicks where it should not. This helps webmasters improve call to action placement and links that lead to conversion. Tracking the scrolling on the website tells you whether those ads or important links at the bottom of a page are going unseen. This data can suggest what to move upwards to get more eye contact with visitors. Combining heat map market research data with Google Analytics helps present a complete picture of the activity on a website.
Using Feedback Comments to Create a Heat Map
Encourage customers to comment on ads, logos, and other mockups to generate feedback. AnswerTap is a source that can supply relevant precision heat maps from this data. This type of heat map works with other data providing a current outlook on market behavior.
Product Development with Heat Maps
Any new product in development or long-term successful products can benefit from knowing what their customers really think. Heat maps help businesses see through the eyes of their customers. Heat maps generated through customer feedback show verifiable trends in customer opinion and experiences. This level of market research allows product optimization for customers and better returns for the website owners – a true win-win scenario!
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.