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  1. Sahil

    Thanks a lot for such a nice post. Usability and the site architecture are the two main things where the real marketers try to focus on. Providing the content that users love, making it easily accessible and leaving the rest to them rather than wasting time in overly promoting the content makes lot of SEO sense. Analyzing the user behavior on the site, drawing conclusions based on that and acting on them makes real marketing sense.

    Reply
  2. Russell Jensen

    If people actually knew that their actions were being traced down to the mouse movement most would be more careful what they look at on the internet.

    Reply
    1. Chris Makara

      I had this talk with my wife (not tech saavy) last week and she was shocked about how many different ways you can and are tracked online. I agree that most people would be more careful of where they go or what they do online if they really knew about tracking.

      Reply
      1. Russell Jensen

        I used Google Analytics tracking on my personal online portfolio to know if people actually looked at it when I turned in my resume for a job. It proved to be VERY valuable information:) After I saw that someone had spent a significant amount of time on my site I would know to follow up with them shortly after.

        Reply
    2. Peep Laja

      Its always best to assume that everything you do can and will be tracked. Especially if it’s a free site.

      If you don’t pay for a product, YOU ARE the product.

      Reply
  3. Angie Schottmuller (@aschottmuller)

    Great post, Peep! Perhaps #7 (men are visual, women seek info) is too broad of a generalization? I prefer visual data. =P

    For #8 (kill the slideshow), I’ve seen some tests where the carousel adds UX value, but it has to be the style that displays thumbnails of slides with relevant images (and titles if possible). I’ve found slideshows to be a very useful tool for reducing bounce rates and boosting conversion… *IF* the default slide is set to correspond to the referring search keyword phrase. [No thanks to Google on the whole “(not provided)” spiel.] Have you ever used keyword referrers and slideshows for that?

    Otherwise, I totally agree that slideshows are very overused. The multiple, hidden options either distract users or get missed completely. The home and category pages need to be treated as traffic cops. Don’t show me every intersection in the city, just show me the main routes that will help me get to details if needed. =)

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Thanks!

      Yes, there are always generalizations and outliers.

      Sliders: I have as well seen tests where they boosted conversions, but in 98% cases they do the opposite. The default execution is just terrible.

      Reply
  4. Garry Ponus

    Interesting comment about slideshows. I’ve found them to be quite distracting, which is a really big risk online. It seems to me what we often want is people to focus on just one thing when they come to our site, the slideshows detract from that.

    Reply
  5. Jervis Whitley

    It takes the elderly up to 40% longer to complete the tasks. Do you think simplifying the website to increase conversions in the older audience would increase conversions for the younger?

    Reply
  6. Nicholas Montgomery

    Really well researched and written post, props! One piece of immediate action I’m taking is removing my automatic carousel.

    Reply
  7. Ivan Wong

    Good tips here. Do check out GetClicky – another tracking tool that has also incorporated heatmaps.

    Reply
  8. Ricky

    There are some pretty good insights. The heatmap and click-through rate teaches a lot of things. This post will surely help me to show my eCommerce client the importance of design.

    Reply
  9. It can be challenging to get clients to accept some of these practices. Particularly the home page rotating banner. Study after study shows them to be ineffective, yet people still want them. We can only try.

    Great post. I love reading about this sort of thing. I want to get the best I can from our client’s sites.

    Reply
  10. Robert Kingston

    Great post, Pep – I won’t begin to imagine how long the research took. Thanks for the mention, as well.

    Just to let you know – Google discontinued the API on which the script was built on. I’ve just updated my post though, so your readers can still build conversion rate heatmaps. :)

    Reply
  11. Mitchell Shields

    Excellent post, I agree the general use of the carousel creates blindness in some cases, depending on the subject. I have a decorative arts client where the carousel is perfect for showcasing their work. I think most people searching for visually stimulating related queries might like it, nay, expect it.

    Reply
  12. SEO Slammer

    Awesome peeplaja! Thank you for helping to get the word out on what really works!

    Peace,

    Kirk

    Reply
  13. great article… and damn do i have a lot of work to do now :)

    Reply
  14. iDream Design

    Study #1 – If the focus of the page was to increase social sharing I assume the social sharing buttons should be above the fold? For example if the information the user was looking for was below the fold with inline social sharing buttons, to increase conversion rate it would be a good idea to move this unit (information and buttons) to a more prominent position above the fold, which should increase conversions?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Social sharing is a bit different. People wont share before theyve read the content, loved it and thought it will give them karma points if they share it to their friends and followers

      Reply
      1. iDream Design

        Thanks for quick reply Peep.

        Let’s say you run a Q&A site like Yahoo answers, they have a question which is then answered by the website. Not a lot of info in some cases well not as much as a article, how do you increase social sharing or maybe it’s just a case this kind of content just isn’t shareable. Do you think putting it above the fold would have no positive impact when working with content like this?

        Thanks for taking the time to respond as well, much appreciated.

        Reply
  15. Trent Scott

    Hi,

    This is Trent from Mouseflow. Thanks for the mention!

    Really liked your post…

    Reply
  16. Michael Campbell

    Thank you for such a wonderful post on the topic of Heat Maps. It pretty much confirms the conclusions from experiments I’ve run for the past three years.

    If you’d like to share my research with your readership, it’s available free for Amazon Kindle until Thursday January 24th at Midnight PST. Just search for “Ultimate Heat Map” or Amazon’s ASIN number B00B1ZHGM8 in your local Amazon, if you’re outside the USA.

    Thank you so much for your continued interest in Heat Maps. I hope that you can add my research to yours and we can all benefit from it.

    Best regards,

    Michael Campbell

    Reply
  17. Quentin Aisbett

    Thanks guys for another great post. Quickly becoming one of my favourite email subscriptions.

    Reply
  18. ResultFirst

    I am quite amazed to learn how your visitors use your site by analyzing mouse heatmaps. Very Interesting post.

    Reply
  19. 3 stage Marketing

    Point #6 is solid gold I have already changed a few of my clients sites to a image that looks at their phone number . I have been doing heat mapping for a couple of months and this article really puts it into perspective. I actually gave it to my head web designer and made her read it , and we are going to start implementing some changes asap ! Thanks

    Reply
  20. I’d love to know the regional base for the above research. I’ve often found that for example middle east and some regions of asia are more prone to looking at the right of a screen first.

    Reply
  21. Mike Cowburn

    Hi Jaan-Matti!

    I’ve been organising a message grid for one of my client’s websites and needed to heat map information to guide the placement of the content.

    Your article was the was the best and most helpful one I came across.

    Please accept my grateful thanks!

    Mike C

    Reply
  22. Apkamart

    Thank you for being my personal instructor on this issue. My partner and i enjoyed your own article very much and most of all enjoyed reading the way you handled the issues I thought to be controversial.

    Reply
  23. heatmaps

    Thanks for a great read. As Steve Jobs said : “Innovation is what separates leaders from followers.”

    Reply
  24. Sweet Life

    This is fantastic information. I was wondering about the lower conversions on the models I had listed on my site, and noticed people would always look at the person, but no where else. The tip on having the model’s eyes affixed towards the content is brilliant! Thank you very much.

    Reply
  25. sua chua may tinh tai nha

    However, heat mapping tests revealed users were not taking advantage of this function. Instead, they were clicking on arrows located on either side of the thumbnail photo to rotate the carousel, but not on the photo itself. Clearly, there was an interest in the photos, but users seemed unaware of the ability to enjoy larger versions.

    Reply

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