Optimize Your WordPress Site with a Heat Map
Creating a profitable website is the same as building any business. If you are starting a WordPress site with the hopes of creating a really successful blog, then you need to approach this new business with the same attitude that you would any other venture. You need to market, plan and analyze information. First and foremost, you must pay attention to your consumers, be willing to adjust your plans according to data and have a good grasp on marketing. There is nothing more detrimental to your business than creating something great and then ignoring consumer behavior. Just because you have a fabulous site full of great information, you can’t simply expect that you will make money. It’s a lot more complex than that. However, in this day and age, there are some pretty simple and straightforward software applications out there that can help you to look at your data. If you want to be successful, you will need to get your hands on the right tools to analyze data and find out what people are actually doing on your site. It’s not rocket science. You just need to pay attention to the following and adapt accordingly.
- What are people loving?
- Where are they scrolling?
- What are they clicking on?
- Where is the traffic?
- Where do they seem to linger?
- What are the things that are distracting them?
These questions matter. Just as you would want to know what consumers were spending the most time looking at in your store, or which foods diners loved at your restaurant, you need to pay attention to what they are viewing, reading, clicking on and noticing on your web site. That is where click heat maps come into play. Investing in a heat map marketing tool may be the best thing that you could do for your website
What is a Web Heat Map?
A web heat map is a simple application that looks just like an infrared click map as seen below. It shows you
- what’s going on your website
- what are people interested in
- which ads are placed well
- how often are they being clicked
With this information, you can target your content to suit consumer needs and wants. If your site is doing well, then you can see why so that you can keep doing what you are doing. On the flip side, if your site is suffering, then you can make the changes that you need to so that you can turn it around. The issues that may need to be addressed can range from design, to content, to placement, or even the types of links you are using. This insight will help you to make your site the best that it can be.
How do Heat Maps Optimize WordPress sites?
#1 Monitor user behavior
If you aren’t monitoring your users’ behavior, then you are making a huge rookie mistake in business. The assumption, for example, that your videos are so great that all that you have to do is post them and people will view them is a very wrong one. You need to make sure they are placed well and that people are able to find them, view them and enjoy them. Creating great content, or an awesome site design, is just the beginning. Heat map software provides both at-a-glance data, and in-depth analytics. It will allow you to see what is being done on your site. This gives you actionable information. For example:
- do your visitors prefer to click on text, buttons or pictures?
That information will give you the opportunity to change even small, subtle parts of your site so that people enjoy visiting and feel that it is user-friendly. If you are looking to redesign your blog or if you are going to use a WordPress theme, you will know what might be the best choice based on the data that you can find with a heat map, as well.
#2 View where traffic is interacting
With a heat map you can:
- interpret user’s actions to decide why you are successful… or not so successful.
- Are there distractions on your site like links, ads or pictures? You may need to move their placement or simply eliminate them based on what you see on your heat map.
- You can easily see what people love, what people don’t seem to care about and what is driving them away or sucking them in.
This is a simple strategy, but one that may not be considered by some site owners. Though you may be posting often and think you are adding great stuff, are the people actually reading? The old ‘if you build it, they will come’ concept has become outdated.
#3 Strategically place your features
So, with a heat map, you can get a very simple and straightforward view of your site and see what people are doing. As we discussed in # 1, this provides information that can easily be acted upon in design decisions. Look at where people are scrolling, clicking and spending time and then put your call to action features and other most important links there. Conversely, your dead areas should include the least important information or links. Don’t add your call to action or sales links to areas that are “cold” on your map and then wonder why no one is clicking or looking! Add them where they will be seen and noticed!
#4 Remove Distractions
As we touched on, heat maps can help a site owner eliminate distractions, but let’s take a closer look. Your website, like any business, has a goal. You want people to see certain things, read certain things and spend time viewing certain things. You also want them to click on your ads, of course. Anything that is keeping from people doing that is a distraction and is not helpful to your business. If you see that people are spending a great deal of time viewing or reading things that draw them away from your site, address that. You may not even realize the areas that are distracting your consumers and many people are surprised to see which things are problematic.
What are the Benefits to Heat Maps in Wordpress?
Improve User ExperienceUser experience on your site is paramount. It makes no difference if you THINK your site is great. You need to find out what THEY think. If they are having a great time on your site, they will come back. If you can pinpoint what people are doing on your site, then you will have a better understanding of what they are experiencing. Are they enjoying your content? Do they find your information useful? If so, what can you do to increase this type of content? If not, what type of content do you need to start putting up?
Optimize Visitor Engagement
Hypothesizing about what will draw people in is the best way to kill your site’s chances for success. There is no good that can come from just thinking that you know. Guessing has no place in business. Cold, hard facts are what will help you to be successful. Numbers, data and graphs are the keys to understanding your visitor engagement. You need to know what your visitors are doing. With Heat map analytics, you can optimize engagement by providing the types of content, pictures, ads and more that your audience responds to and engages with. If they are spending a lot of time engaged with articles about specific topics, then you need to provide more of those. Simple as that!