As bloggers, we are trying to find creative ways to influence engagement on our website so we rely on tools to help us out. I read an article several months ago on heat maps and how they help in increasing user engagement. I’m a true believer that we should always invest our time and money into finding what works for our readers. Without high user engagement, it’s very hard to meet our bottom line, whatever the reason we started blogging. With higher traffic comes the opportunity for increased ROI, traffic, engagement, and influence. If you are new to the concept of heat maps, then let’s look at some benefits of using them in your business. Let’s get started…
What are Heat Maps?
These are representations of how visitors interact with your page. They will be shown in the form of different colors on your page, showing engagement. For example, the stronger color, orange, on a section of your page will show you where MOST of your visitors engage.
In the above image, you can see, in Google search, most of the interaction is on the right side where the search results actually appear.
How can they help you?
I’ll be going over some of the reasons heat maps are important for your blog. They can help you understand a lot about your audience and improve the overall user experience.
Web Design –
One of the main reasons heat maps are important is for web design and improvement. For example, knowing how my audience interacts with my website will allow me to make tweaks to those sections and others. First, where engagement is higher, I’d like to try and profit in those areas and I’ll be discussing this in more detail later. Secondly, where engagement is low, I’d like to try different things to increase it and understand how these improvements help my ROI.
If you have a huge traffic flow each month, then you can monetize by selling ad space on your blog. What’s even more amazing is with heat maps, you can find areas with high engagement, offering those sections for advertising space. The more ROI advertisers get from your blog, the more they’ll be willing to pay for banner space. Heat maps will help you understand and identify these high engagement sections so you can put together the right package for your sponsors.
Content Visibility –
The more visible your content, the higher chances of it being shared and producing conversions. If content marketing is your main strategy, then you want to focus on getting people to your content and this is only possible if you know where to put it on your site. For example, with heat maps, you’ll get a good breakdown of the sections your visitors are spending MOST of their time so it’s time to profit. Start placing content and links in those section because this increases the chances of them clicking-through.
Through content visibility, you are doing the following:
- Increasing conversions
- Social shares
- External CTR
- Internal CTR
We all know there are many factors that influence your rankings and you need to do what you can to tweak elements you have control over. For example, bounce rate has been known to affect rankings because a high % shows visitors don’t find your page engaging or doesn’t provide what they are looking for.
Through heat maps, you can reduce bounce rate by making other sections of your page engaging. If you see people are always on the left part of your page (as seen in illustration above), then add more engaging elements there to keep them browsing longer.
At the same time, you can try to improve other sections of your page to help with bounce rate.