Google Analytics is a great tool to use to analyze website traffic and visitor behavior, but it can be arduous sifting through and organizing that data. Recently we installed CrazzyEgg on our sites to see what a heatmap would tell us that Google Analytics, StatCounter, Sitemeter, etc. do not.
It may be the instant gratification component of a heatmap but the data we found from data given in a quick image snapshot has allowed us to adjust our content and design in real time. Can you do this with Google Analytics?
Yes. But a few things stood out, that Google Analytics doesn’t tell us:
- People are trying to click on areas that are not clickable
- Where visitors are clicking to get to the articles
- Visitor sources we have not been paying attention to
These 3 things point to missed opportunities and potential for improvement.
If you look at the image you will see that visitors are trying to click on the image in the top left hand corner and in other areas in the header, perhaps we should link those areas to pages in the site to keep people on longer and allow for easier access to information.
Visitors click to see more images in the image slider and they follow some of those images through to the post. That is prime blog real estate and we are glad to see that it is pulling visitors further into our site.
Since our blog topics are information rich, we chose news-magazine style for our blog layout and from what the confetti map is telling us, that was a good idea. You can not see our full site in the image below, but our visitors travel the length of the front page and click on stories all the way through.
The red bar you see in the middle is a Wibiya toolbar that is located at the bottom of the web browser, when I installed that toolbar I wondered if we would really get any use out of it but as you can see by the bright colored confetti it is getting clicks, so we did good there.
We recommend to our clients that they keep their categories at a manageable level to make it easier for visitors to find content on their blog. What is that level? Well it depends on the content, your target audience, and the width of your navigation bar. We think that keeping at or below 10 is a good start.
If there are categories that are not being clicked then should they take up space?
From our heatmap we can see that Technology, Anything Goes, and Featured are not clicked as often as the other categories.
So, should we scrap these categories? I would say no or not just yet. We may need to blog more under those categories or rename them to peak more interest. As an example, Technology posts are clicked on in the home page but not as much in the navigation bar this could mean we have miss labeled those posts or we need to relabel Technology.
- New Technology
- Business Technology
- Social Technology
When posting articles to your blog, it is common to find that a post fits into multiple categories, should you add it to multiple categories?
I think it is good to add your post to multiple categories, but do not go overboard, and make sure it fits the category. Never try to make things fit, they either do or don’t and your reader is trusting you to navigate them in the right direction. From the heatmap we found that some posts that were in multiple categories were clicked from both categories and some were not.
Our popular categories from the navigation bar are:
Our popular post on the home page were categorized under:
So, what does all of this tell us?
First and foremost, a little adjustment may be in order. It is always good to keep your site current and fresh, visitors can get bored with a site that doesn’t change it up a bit. Also content can get missed if you do not occasionally repurpose and reposition.
- We may need to change up the Technology Category in the navigation bar. Be careful when changing your category labels, if it effects your permalinks it can affect your search engine ranking. Check out 301 Redirects.
- Our sidebar is being under utilized, we have clicks on our social icons and our newsletter sign up but nothing else.
- The image slider is pulling people into blog posts.
- We need to blog more in Business and Marketing, they are popular categories all around.
- We need to add more resources, it is being clicked but we are not adding to them.
- Facebookers are not explorers we need to pull them in one article at a time, so make them good.
- Twitterers, Googlers, Blog Readers, and Tech Users are clickers. These visitors clicked areas that a non-techie person might not know could be clickable, we need to adjust our site to meet that curiousity since they are a larger majority.
Let us know if you are using click tracking and/or heatmapping, we would like to know who you are using and the data you are getting?