I meet a lot of business owners every day. Some of them are more knowledgeable than others, but almost all of them have a good understanding of online marketing and related technology. Yet, many of them are not aware of the two extremely important tools for online success: heat-maps and A/B testing. These tools are crucial for optimizing and improving the overall user experience on your website. Not only that, they help you analyze user behavior and make decisions that can result in a lot of people following your funnel.
Back in 2005, when I first started working online, I had a lot less opportunities to analyze my visitors’ behavior. Now, you can basically monitor everything. This way you can have an impact on the way the people interact with your page.
Let’s take a look at this heatmap for example:
You can see where on the page your customers are clicking. If they click where you don’t want them to click, you can move the button elsewhere, so they will not be distracted. This is one of the practices that is going to help you increase your conversion / click-through-rate.
Another type of a website heatmap is the “Scroll Heatmap”.
Here you can see how far down your page the users are scrolling. As you can see, most of your users are seeing the top part of the page, so you would put the most important call to action there. This is a great example why most landing pages are putting the call-to-action forms above the fold, right on the top where everyone can see them.
On this version of the heatmap, you can see the movement of the mouse. In most cases you will notice one of the most popular patterns. People usually look and read from the left side to the right side. This is another reason most landing pages have the information to the left and the call to action form to the right. However, every rule has an exception, so some people may prefer a different structure. Most advanced heatmaps will even provide you with video recordings of the sessions. If you are just starting, I recommend Hotjar or maybe Clicktale. Most of the good tools will require at least $39/month but if you look hard enough, you might find some cheaper ones that will give you a good idea about how it works.
Regardless of the information that your heatmaps will give you, you will need to start testing different variations. This is done through A/B Testing. Basically, you can’t get anywhere unless you try different variations. Testing is the only way you can optimize your pages for a higher click-through-rate which will decrease your cost per acquisition and increase your conversion rate. Sounds good, right? And to be honest with you, it’s not that difficult either. I keep telling all my clients that this is my favorite way to prove them wrong on their UI/UX solutions. Very often, people think that the way they designed their website is very good just because they like it.
The truth is – the way you see your website and the way your customers are seeing it could be absolutely different.
So how does A/B Testing work?
Let’s take my website for an example:
So just for argument’s sake, let’s say I noticed that too many people are clicking on my logo instead of the “FREE CONSULTATION” button. What I would do is take the button and move it on the left side.
This way, I’m going to get more clicks on the button. Of course, this is not a real life situation because of the pattern we spoke about earlier (left to right), but it’s accurate enough for you to understand how to use these tools.
So what does A/B testing have to do with it?
Making changes on your website too often is not good. That’s why, before you are sure what’s working and what’s not, you will have to split the changes between your visitors and give it some time. So if we say my website had 80, 000 unique visitors a month, I will take that button change and show it to 20% of my visitors. Then I will make few more variations and divide them evenly between my users. Now I know what’s converting best. This is just one little example of A/B testing.
Don’t lose an opportunity for a sale because you had the wrong color for your call-to-action button!