ETIP #60

‘Hot’ new technology for A/B testing and analytics

‘Hot’ new technology for A/B testing and analytics
Example Heat Map

Example Heat Map

A Heat Map is like pseudo-eye tracking on your site. It outputs a visual representation of where users are clicking on a page on your site. The more clicks in a certain area, the brighter that area of the page glows in a warmer color, hence the term “heat map.” How is this useful? In many ways really… Web traffic reporting systems like Google Analytics are great for tracking the overall traffic to your site, showing time on site, page visits, most trafficked areas, and much more data that can be insightful and sometimes a mountain to plow thru. Where Google Analytics is great to show trends on your site over time, a Heat Map is a great report every time you make a refinement to a page, showing if the refinement helped to focus your visitors towards where you want them to go. Example Heat MapWhere Google Analytics will show you the total quantity of clicks on a particular anchor (such as “Request an easy, no-obligation Custom Quote now”, a Heat Map will actually show the concentration of where in that link the users were clicking (for instance the word blog or widget). And where it’s really the most useful is in the constant process of web site refinement. Many small refinements over time can have a positive impact with a lot less risk than an entire overhaul. Every time you refine a page, run a heat map report on that page for a short test (for instance 1000 visits, or 7 days). What you end up with is a series of A/B tests, all showing if the refinement worked better or not. If it did, identify the next area to refine and repeat the cycle. Heat Maps reporting is a great complement to your monthly analytics. The information you can gain can be invaluable to your long term site effectiveness.