Increasing conversions – Heat Maps 101

By Testing

When you have invested in a custom made website that is perfect for your business, and you have an active promotions plan, you hope and expect that your conversions will increase. The problem is that this doesn’t always happen and you are left scratching your head wondering what went wrong.

Do you ever wish that you could have a crystal ball, so you could find out why your visitors are not converting? Well enter the heat map, because this is almost as good as visiting a psychic.

What is a heat map?

A heat map will show you in graphical terms, how your visitors are interacting with your website. So you will see the elements on your web pages that draw people’s attention and the areas they ignore. For example, if your call to actions are in the areas your visitors ignore, this is vital knowledge that can make a huge difference to your conversions.

There are 3 different types of heat maps you can use, each giving you information and data on the user-friendliness of your website.

  1. Mouse clicks: This type of heat map shows you where your visitors are clicking on your web pages and where their cursor stops as well. So if they keep clicking on something that appears to be a call to action, but really isn’t, this can be a reason for your poor conversions. Also, when a cursor stops in an area on your web page, it can be because the visitor is engaged and reading, information that is also good to know.
  2. Eye tracks: This type of heat map is not for everyday use, because it requires a focus group of people whose eye movements are tracked, as they interact with your web pages. This gives you a perfect overview of what elements on your web pages attract your visitor’s attention and those that they ignore. There are online companies that will perform this eye tracking for you, at a fee.
  3. Scroll maps: These heat maps show you where on your web pages, visitors tend to click away from the page. So if they don’t bother to scroll down at all and only read above the fold, you know that you should relocate your call to actions from the bottom of the page to the top, above the fold.

Why use a heat map?

In short, heat maps give you real time data on visitor behaviour for your website. You can access data over a short or a long period of time, giving you ample data to formulate a rational plan, based on empirical data. This enables you to optimise the different elements on your web pages to increase the engagement of your visitors and improve your conversions.

Where can you access heat maps?

To build heat maps for your website you need to contact a company that offers this service. Here are a few you can try:

  • HotJar is free for up to 2000 pageviews per day or $29 – $89 per month.
  • Crazy Egg is free for the first 30 days, and then starts at $9/month and up.
  • Arcalea is free for the first 30 days, but then charges a monthly fee.
  • Feng-GUI charges $100 a year, but they have other cheaper plans available.
  • Attention Wizard charges $27/month, but other plans are available.

How can a heat map help you to increase conversions?

When a visitor lands on your web page they will look around, scroll up and down and then decide to click away or to investigate your site further. To increase conversions, you need to not only give your visitors interesting content that they want to read, but also clear call to actions.

A heat map will help you to find any blocks on your web pages that prevent your visitors from converting. Here are 3 elements that can influence these conversion rates:

  1. CTA placement: A heat map can indicate the optimal location of your BUY NOW or other call to action buttons on each page on your website.
  2. Length of page: A heat map can show you that hardly anyone reads below the fold on your website, so you may as well write shorter content. On the other hand, it could tell you that pages with longer content creates a higher click through rate.
  3. Invisible elements: If your CTAs are hidden by all the clutter on your page, a heat map will give you vital evidence of this problem.

Even with this brief overview of heat maps, you can already appreciate the usefulness of heat maps for increasing conversions on your website.  If you need help with online marketing and conversions, contact us on 02 8097 7957, email us at or complete our online enquiry form.

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