Do you sometimes wonder what your visitors do once they arrive on your blog? Do they just read one article or do they click on your links, your categories, your navigation tabs, social icons or on your ads? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see exactly how the traffic behaves on your blog? You can. There are tools that allow you to analyze the behaviour of your visitors on your site. The output of these tools is a blog or a website heat map.
There are a number of companies that will create a heat map for your blog or your website for a fee. They will track the clicks and will provide you with results that will pinpoint exactly where your blog excelling or failing in attracting clicktroughs. But did you know that Google through their analytics tools offers us this service for free?
Most bloggers are not aware of this wonderful service. I did not know either until I came across Andrew Hiddleman’s video where he talks about heat maps. But before you take a look at Andrew’s video let me show you how you can easily find your blog’s or website’s heat map using the good old Google Analytics. You all should have this plugin on your blog so you all should have access to this information. If you do not have Google Analytics plugin installed yet please do so as it tracks your site and provides you with a plethora of useful information about your site.
How to Find Your Blog’s Heat Map In Google Analytics.
Sign into your Google Analytics account and access your blog’s analytics dashboard. On the left hand side of the dashboard click on Content and then click on In-Page-Analytics.
Once you open In-Page-Analytics you will be able to see the behaviour of your visitors related to your blog. In other words you will be able to find out which areas of your blog are most favored by your readers. Below you can see a few examples of a heat map from Blogging Spree website.
The orange rectangles on the image represent the percentage of clicks per item. It is hard to see but the “Home” tab received the most views, over 60%. As you can see every single tab was clicked on at some point, with the exception of “Contact”. As well, the ad under the header, the article and the categories linked to the article were also viewed.
These results suggest to me that I should not waste the valuable navigation bar space with a Contact Tab. I should place the Contact link either in the footer or under the About tab.
The clicks continued below the fold as well. You can see that pretty well every post and categories were clicked on at some point.
Notice the sidebar widget. Every single post labeled in the “Latest Posts” tab was clicked on suggesting the need to have related post section somewhere on the home page. These clicks are likely the reason why the bounce rate of this blog is so low.
The last image I want to show you is an interesting result from one of my posts. When you are on the Google Analytics dashboard looking at your home page results, just click on any of the posts or pages and you will see the results for that particular post or page. I selected one of my recent posts about commenting platforms. I’ll explain why below the image.
What was interesting to see was that when visitors visited the post many of the clicks were going to various related material information, suggesting the need of having related posts listed also on the bottom of your post. Although not shown on this image, the widget on the sidebar that shows latest posts also received a number of views
Most surprising were the clicks on the section just above “You may also like”. This is the output of one of my newest plugins I installed on my blog. I only installed this plugin a few days ago so I cannot analyze the results precisely but the values in the orange boxes show that 87% of the visitors clicked on these tabs. To me that is very revealing. It suggests that the readers are curious and want to know what’s new, what’s hot and what’s related to the topic of the discussion.
Learn More About Heat Maps from Andrew’s Video
To conclude, all I can say that I am very excited about my ability to analyze my blog’s heat map. It has given me so much food for thought. A lot of it relates to the monetization of my site. I can tell right now that my sidebar widgets, apart from the “Latest Posts” and “Categories”, have not received any attention at all. This suggests to me that if I want also to make money blogging, I should not waste this valuable space with ads that are no clicked on. In the near future, I will replace these ads with different ads to see if it will make a difference. If I will continue to see such lackluster trend I will replace the ads with other material more prone to clicks.
Google Analytics gives you an opportunity to get a lot of information about your site, not just a means to track your traffic results. I bet you that if you analyze your blog’s /website’s heat map and tweak your blog based on what you learned, your bounce rate will diminish (the average bounce rate for my site is around 3%). In addition, you may get more interactions such as comments, likes, Google pluses which may help you gain more rankings hence more traffic eventually.
The last point I want to make is about the totally unexpected result in Figure 5. As I mentioned, I only implemented this plugin a few days ago, but the results are astounding. 87% clicks is huge. I will discuss these results with the developer of the plugin. As this plugin is not available to the public at this time I will also ask the developer of this plugin to see if I can get access to it and share it with you. If you think you may be interested in getting it let me know either via comments or by contacting me directly .
I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. Please make sure to share this post with your blogging friends so that they too will have an opportunity to analyze their blogs and if necessary, improve them.