Website Heat Maps for Small Business

Staring at Google Analytics all day will tell you part of the story on how your website is performing.  But what it won’t tell you is what your visitors are doing on specific pages.  For example, if your sales landing page (meaning the info page leading up to a potential customer taking action) is getting read, has an ok bounce rate, and maybe holds the visitor’s attention for 3 minutes.  (3 minutes, by the way, is a crazy long time.)

But what really happened during that visit?  What specifically did the consumer read?

Very difficult (in fact, darned near impossible) to tell from traditional web analytics methods.  So, we need to look at heat maps.

Heat maps function in a number of different ways.  They can track eye movements, or mouse movements of your web visitors to determine the efficacy of your page layouts, or if your color schemes are popping your call to actions, or whatever.

Those two methods are expensive though, and the average small business may not have those resources available to them.  I was fortunate to bump into AttentionWizard, which logo_attentionWizarduses statistical computer modeling to mimic the “gazing patterns” of your web visitors.  In other words, what are they actually looking at when they are visiting your web site.  Don’t forget, a Page View doesn’t necessarily equate to the visitor “seeing” what you want them to.

So AttentionWizard models that for you.

Can AttentionWizard Really Tell What Visitors Are Seeing?

But is it accurate?  And what can it tell you?

From their website:

“AttentionWizard results are 75%+ correlated with eye tracking and mouse tracking approaches. The algorithm is optimized for fast computation. Slightly higher accuracy can be achieved by more compute-intensive algorithms, but these can take several hours to produce a result.

AttentionWizard heatmaps also tend to produce more focused hotspots because they are designed to simulate where the brain’s awareness is highest. By contrast, eye tracking and mouse tracking images tend to have more ghost-like halos that are simply the result of movements between the actual points of interest.

AttentionWizard is not a substitute for landing page testing. It can not evaluate the effectiveness of your sales copy, the strength of your brand or value proposition, the pricing of your product or service, the professionalism of your landing page design, or the Web visitor’s psychological reactions to the specific color scheme you have chosen.

But it can help you to improve the quality of your landing page, to make sure that the call-to-action is clear, and to make sure that other visual elements do not distract from the stated conversion goals.”

So, we can glean some good info from these reports, but we need to remember that it won’t tell the whole story.  Like is our copy any good.  Or have we picked a color scheme that expresses our main goals.  Etc, etc.

Let’s look at my home page here as an example.

A Heatmap/Eyeball Predictive Modeling Study of

For starters, we should remember that I’m discussing a blog home page here.  My main goal is to get people to read what’s here.  Since I don’t sell a service, I’m trying to emphasize articles, and not sales pitches.  So while you’re reading this, imagine your key AdWords landing page.  Which, by the way, should be the first page you try this with.

Here’s my homepage:

EyeBall Heat Mapping

My goal here is pretty clear.  Click “Read More” and, well, read more.  My LinkedIn button is prominent too.  I like making new business acquaintances.   But I wonder… Is that what my visitors are looking at?

The heatmap/eyeball model:

Predictive Pageview Model

Uh oh.  Let me run out to my site and see what happens when I click where people are looking….

Driving Real Data From Heat Map Predictive Modeling

So what happens if I click on the “hot spots”.  Well, people go to the homepage, or they get a pop up picture.  That’s NOT my intended result, is it?

So we need to chew on this modeled data, and see if real data supports it.  If you’re using Google Analytics, you can use a feature called Site Overlay that can map this out for you.  Once you log in, it’s in the Content Section.  It will show you what percentage of people clicked on what links.

In my case, it was pretty accurate.  It showed that the Home Page link was the most popular (one of the two big hot spots in the AttenetionWizard map), but that no one had clicked on the other hot spot.  The WordPress logo.  But, I’m willing to bet AttentionWizard is correct.  I’m sure almost everyone looked at it.

So the real data is a combination of the predictive against the actual results.  We can plan a new layout to work better, in the meantime, checking our copy for important keywords and strong calls to action.

Head over to AttentionWizard and try it today.  Like any good drug… the first one is free :)

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.