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Heat Up Your Insights // Weekend Wisdom

As owners, visitors and general perusers of websites, we all want the same thing. We want to spend on our time on easy to navigate, information-packed sites.

But how do we figure out if what we’ve created, is what people want?

The answer is simple; Heat Maps.

Virtual heat maps are great for helping us analyze our visitors behavior. These heat maps can walk us through where our visitors have clicked and give us insights into where they are getting confused/turned off by our sites.

There are two common types of heat mapping available; eye-tracking and mouse-tracking. Eye-tracking uses cameras and other specialized software to track the movement of your eye on a page. Mouse-tracking on the other hand, follows the movements of your mouse throughout a website and tracks where you land.

The accuracy of data collected by these sort of tracking methods is pretty substantial. Eye-tracking off shields a near 100% accuracy when it comes to its test subjects, and mouse-tracking sits around the 90% range.

If you are keen to dig a little deeper into what your viewers are looking for, then adding heat map to your site will be worth your while. To find out what others have learned from their heat maps and how you can apply this to your own site, read on!

5 LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH HEAT MAPPING

1. You will find out what is most important to your audience. Once you know what they want, place this at the top of your webpage for easy access and a higher click rate.

2. Turns out people prefer to view the left side of a webpage, over the right. Make sure to design your page in a way that attracts viewers to this side of the page.

3. Avoid banner blindness. If you’ve ever heard of highway hypnosis then you likely know where I’m going with this. When you are subjected to the same boring stretch of road (or in our case, advertisements), you tend to subconsciously zone out. How this affects your page is simple. If part of your website looks like an abundance of ad space, people will inadvertently skip over it. The best way to avoid this is to be particular about where you place your ads or those of your sponsors.

4. Mona Lisa your images. What this means is that when you use facial images in your design, take note of where the images eyes are landing. Visitors will follow the eyeline of your image model, so make sure that whatever lies at the end of their eyeline is a great piece of content.

5. Colour-contrast to help guide your visitors. Similar to colour-contrasted Call-To-Actions, using highly contrasted colours helps draw people’s attention and move them in the direction you want them to take. For example, if someone is on your homepage and  you want them to move towards a money-making landing page, make this link or image or what-have-you, stand out from the rest of your page. Visually, we pick up on this colour difference, and our inner Curious George comes out, ultimately making us much more likely to click through.

If you want to heat up your insights a little, be sure to check out a simple heat mapping program like ClickTale this weekend and find out exactly what your audience is looking for!

Until next weekend; stay healthy, happy and hungry!

Sabrina Taylor is a writer for the Female Entrepreneur Association, with a new Weekend Wisdom post out every Saturday to help keep you inspired over the weekend. Say Hello or simply enjoy her daily dose of sass by following her on Twitter and Facebook.

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