Use a Heat Map to Enhance a Website’s Usability

Heat Map golden triangle enhance Usability

A heat map is a JavaScript plugin that can determine where the eyes of your end user will look at your site first. It uses information taken from the user’s mouse cursor to highlight the elements on your site that are most prominent. The most popular sections are shaded in a red, orange or yellow colour (hottest) and the least popular sections are shown in a blue or green colour (coldest).

This article gives you more info on heat maps and how to add one to your site.

Optimum Ad Placement Using a Heat Map

A simple rule of thumb is to always add Google AdSense ad units to the ‘hottest’ regions of your site, thus giving them good exposure. The research has proven, the top/center and upper-left portions of a website get the most attention.

However, a statement on the official Google Search blog mentions an algorithm update that penalizes websites that place “too many ads above the fold”. To be on the safe side, use ad units sparingly.

“The Golden Triangle”

The Golden Triangle is a web industry term referring to the hottest point on a search engine results page. The term takes its name because of the sector’s triangle-like shape.

The Golden Triangle is a key indicator not only for websites, but for articles too. It should also show you the best position to place ad units. In the above example, when looking at Google AdWords placement: the top/center region gets the most visibility, with the top of the right column getting second string.

Using Heat Maps as a Marketing Analysis Tool

A great advantage of using heat map technology is that they give you an insight into visitor behaviour. You are clearly able to see what, on average, your visitors are clicking or mousing over. Here are a few other important points to consider:

  • With a heat map, you can see which part of a link is being clicked more. For instance, if you have a link such as “cars for sale,” you might notice that most people are clicking on the word “cars” within that hyperlink, instead of the “for sale” part of it. Look for these kinds of behaviours as a whole, and you can more effectively fine tune your site’s navigation and enhance your linking strategy.
  • You can reveal poorly performing areas of your site with a heat map. For instance, if many visitors are clicking an non-hyperlinked image, they’re probably expecting something to happen. These kinds of actions are much easier to diagnose when your website has a heat map feature. Locate these spots, and hyperlink them accordingly to where visitors are most likely expecting them to point to!
  • As previously mentioned on this page, look for “high click traffic” spots on your page, and consider putting an ad there for maximum results. Also, pay attention to highly trafficked areas on your menu. Is there anything you can do to make it better or less cluttered?

Get A Heat Map For Your Site

There are a number of JavaScript plugins you can use to see where the most activity occurs on your site. These heat maps are based on the areas where your visitors’ mouse cursors have been trailing.

  • Mouseflow Mouse-tracking software that lets you actually view video of how your visitors navigate your site. A really cool innovation in viewing visitor behavior on your sites. Plans range from free, to $264/mo.
  • ClickHeat The free (but very basic) solution to getting a fully-functional heatmap up on your site.
  • Crazy Egg This full Analytics package includes a heat map feature, with prices ranging from $9/mo to $99/mo.
  • Click Density Another web analytics package offering heat map technology to show where your visitors are looking and clicking to. Its pricing plans start at $5/month.
  • Click Tale An enterprise solution for implementing a feature rich heat map solution, with analytics and heat map playback. Plans range from $99/mo to $990/mo.

Source: Squidoo