Do you know where visitors are clicking on your website homepage? Do you know which parts of your website are hotspots that attract visitor attention? You can, of course, fire up your web analytics tool and tell me that 20% visitors go to sign up page after visiting homepage but that information doesn’t tell you the whole story.
First, some stats about Visual Website Optimizer homepage: 30% of visitors who come to homepage visit the sign up page too. Of course, this figure is unsurprising because we have a giant Sign up for FREE 30 day trial button right in the middle. So, a lot of visitors must be clicking on it to arrive on the sign up page?
That is what we believed all the while. In Visual Website Optimizer, we had recently released an experimental feature called clickmaps & heatmaps. Clickmaps provide complete click statistics on the web pages for different test variations. Heatmaps help in visualizing hotspots on your webpages where most clicks happen.
Continuing with the story of our homepage, here is a screenshot of heatmap of our homepage:
Can you see the hotspot over tiny Pricing link in the top navigation bar? To know exact statistics, we turn to clickmap of the homepage:
We were completely thrown off our chairs when we realized that 25% of the clicks on the page happen on that tiny link, while the giant Sign up for FREE Trial only gets 5% of the clicks. Moral of the story: the button isn’t playing as important role as we imagined. So, what we now replaced the Sign up button on homepage with Watch a short video button because any way visitors interested in signing up are clicking on Pricing link.
A/B testing and Clickmaps combined
The power of clickmaps & heatmaps increases ten-fold when you combine it with A/B testing. For example, if we replace Pricing link with Free Trial – will it generate a similar distribution of clicks? What if we replace navigation bar from left to the right? What if we change the text of the big button from Sign up for Free Trial to Plans & Pricing? All these are interesting scenarios and we plan to test them one by one.
Recently we completed an A/B test where we tested homepage against a simple page with a text box allowing visitor to do a live demo of the tool on his/her website. While the test results weren’t conclusive, the heatmap provided interesting insights:
The clicks were evenly distributed on different links and elements. Another surprising statistic was that in this variation about 10% clicks happened on Home link in the navigation bar as compared to 2% in our default homepage. This shows that because of the text box a lot of visitors thought that they weren’t on the homepage and tried to go to a page which provides more information.
The qualitative results produced by clickmaps and heatmaps complement quantitative A/B test results such as the one in screenshot below (not related to our homepage test):
The combination of A/B test and clickmaps is a lethal one! Being able to visualize click activity for your different variations gives you tons of ideas and insights beyond what can be captured in hard statistics.
Login to your Visual Website Optimizer account or sign up for a free 30 day trial to let us know if you find the new feature useful. Eagerly waiting for your comments! :)
PS: You can, of course, produce clickmaps and heatmaps for your website without needing to create an A/B test.
More optimization awesomeness
Know all that you need to get started:
- What is A/B Testing?
- Is it compatible with SEO?
- How to start your first A/B test?