Using Heatmaps and Overlays to Tune Your Site

So you’ve built a site, you think it’s perfect, and you release it for all the world to see. You’re getting traffic, rankings are growing, but people just aren’t going to the places on your site you expect them to go. As I’ve said many times before, there’s a lot more to running a brand than simply having an operational website, that’s really just step one (or step two if you went through a process to get the domain).

Your brand is a business so you should always be doing everything you can to understand what visitors do when they come to your site, and how you can optimize the experience to increase conversions. I’ve been using Heatmaps and Overlays for years to better understand how users interact with my site and improve conversion rates.

Kayaking.org is a brand we’ve been doing a lot of tuning on over the last year and CrazyEgg has been a good friend of ours. One of the items we have been working hard to optimize is the image in the very center of our site. As you can see from the Heatmap below we still don’t have it right, people are clicking, but we want to find something that makes people go nuts and turn that center graphic into our most-clicked location. Of course these means a lot of experimentation and taking the time to test something out for a month to see how users respond.

One item we have optimized is that top link. We found-out what was most important to our visitors, namely, choosing a kayak, and we put it at the very top. As you can see from the Heatmap, it is getting the attention we expected, but our poor little image ni the center isn’t getting enough love, so we’ll continue to tweak, tune, and test, using Heatmaps and Overlays to help us interpret the data.

If you are building a brand conversion rate is something that should be going through your head at all times. The higher your conversion rate the better job you’re doing of delivering what your customers want, and of course a nice fringe benefit to that is, more revenue, which is always good. CrazyEgg is not a sponsor of my blog and I don’t know a soul over there, I do use their product just about every single day and highly recommend it for anyone looking to better understand how their visitors interact with their site.

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