When businesses work with Pearl Lemon Convert they quickly find that we are big fans of heat maps. In the initial stages of a project we’ll talk about them a lot and they will used to discover problems in the initial stages and then to
80% of all companies with a website labour under the assumption that their website is delivering excellent customer journeys. In fact many of them make use of taglines that reflect that confidence. ‘We put customers first’ ‘Top Rated Customer Service’ and more.
However, statistics show that many of those companies are dead wrong. According to who? Their customers.
Heatmaps are one of the ways that Pearl Lemon Convert uses to cut through perceptions and assumptions and expose the reality, so that those taglines and promises really mean something.
Why Companies Assume They Are Providing a Great Customer Experience
Why do so many companies believe they are offering a great customer experience when they are not? Often because they do not really understand what that is in the digital space.
In the past, customer service was always seen as something of a soft skill. So, it may be that an older business, one that has had a strong physical, or even phone, presence, sis provide amazing customer service and great customer journeys. But things are very different when you get online. Online it’s all about great infrastructure, not lots of thank yous (although those still matter.)
Online, mapping the complete customer journey, and therefore understanding what’s working and what isn’t, involves mapping all the touchpoints where the service “touches” the customer via content, a specific process or, at some point, contact with a company representative. This includes:
- Branding and marketing materials
- Any digital interaction with the business, whether that’s an email, a chat message, a social media contact and more.
- Operational processes – menus, navigation, checkouts
- Web based company standards and procedures.
- Company voice
- Staff training
In an ideal world a company would take the time to put themselves into a customer’s shoes and go through every single one of the options on their website from that point of view. But often that does not happen.
Instead, the company creates a web experience that revolves around their processes, their culture, their standards, their design preferences even, when in order to provide the best customer journey, which will lead to more users taking the actions a business wants them to, the customer’s needs should be driving everything. Heat maps can be used to visually demonstrate the reality of what a user experiences on a website, by showing things like
- Which areas of a website, and website elements attract the most attention
- Where visitors click, even if they are not clicking links
- How much time visitors spend on various areas and elements of a site
- See where visitors seem to get stuck
- Where customers drop off your site and click away
- How and where visitors complete forms or checkout procedures
- See what visitors like and don’t like.
Heat maps visually highlight the areas that get the most attention and maps out clicks. What does a heat map look like?
Here’s an example
While heat maps are the easiest way to analyze the effectiveness of your website navigation and structure as far as visitors go and getting them to do what you want them to do, it’s just a tool. To get the most out of heat mapping you then need to be able to spot the problems and determine how best to fix them while amplifying, or even duplicating, the things that do work.
That is where Pearl Lemon Convert come in. Contact us today to discuss what heap mapping -and customer journey optimization in general, could do for your business.
Conversion Rate Optimisation FAQs
What is Measured as a Conversion?
The simple answer here is what do you want your visitors to do when they visit your website? What actions are most valuable to your business, or to your current sales campaign? A conversion can be a lot of things. It could be a booking, a sale, a sign up to a newsletter. These are usually called macro conversions. But there are micro conversions you might want to measure too, things like time on site, video plays and downloads.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
If you want the textbook definition opinion actually varies widely and can be anywhere from 4-20%. But a better answer is that a good conversion rate is better than the one you have now, because the aim of any business should be to continually seek to improve.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
In a nutshell, conversion rate optimisation – or conversion rate optimization if you are in North America – is a system, or set of systems, and strategies that increase the percentage of browsing and returning users who complete a previously defined, desired action on a webpage.
CRO is, however, a broad umbrella term. It encompasses data analytics, A/B testing, marketing psychology and more.
How are conversion rates calculated?
Conversion rates can be calculated by taking the number of successful conversions, whatever that conversion might be, and dividing it by the number of visitors the webpage receives. It’s fairly simple maths, but maths that needs to calculated carefully.
What is A/B testing?
Some terms and tactics you’ll read about here on the Pearl Lemon Convert website, and which our team, if you speak to them, will discuss are relatively new and unique to the digital space. A/B testing is not one of them.
A/B testing is an old, tried and tested tactic that has been used by marketers and advertisers for decades. The way it’s conducted has changed, but the basic principles behind its use have not.
A/B testing – which is also known as split testing – takes two versions of something – content, visual design, email messages, webpage navigation and more – and pits them against one another.
A/B testing can be as extensive as sending two different versions of an email newsletter to a divided but similar subscriber segment, or offering two completely different landing pages or as small as changing the placement of a call to action button or the title of a blog post.
The goal of A/B testing is to determine what elements will increase conversions, and what elements might decrease them.
What is Multivariate Testing?
As you might have been able to guess from the name, multivariate testing changes a number of different things at once, instead of focusing on a single change in the way that A/B testing does. Two completely different versions of a website homepage for example.
Multivariate testing is used most often when a website is cluttered and has too many conflicting elements, and/or if conversion rates are very low or the website itself is brand new.
Which is Better; A/B testing or Multivariate testing?
They are different concepts, so one is not better than the other, but they are used in different situations. If yours is a brand new site, or your conversion rate is very low, then multivariate testing may be the best way to go. They offer an advantage in that a full website redesign for a newer, less established brand may result in the drastically increased conversions needed faster. For a more established site, with fewer traffic issues, the longer A/B testing process is often more efficient.
How much traffic does a site needs to execute A/B testing?
It’s not really about traffic volumes, you can A/B test on a lower traffic website. However, it may take many months to garner useful, actionable data. It’s for this reason we may often recommend that a business concentrate on a growth hacking campaign first, so that they can better determine just what audience they are optimizing their website for.
How Do You Determine What to A/B Test?
Most websites have almost countless elements that could, in theory, be A/B tested to potentially increase conversions. But testing every button, every image, every text path is not needed. The best way to determine what to test is to analyse traffic data and determine where the biggest opportunities for change might lie, and then plan to test there.
What are heat maps?
Heat maps are fairly simple visualisations of just what visitors do when they interact with your website and they are highly useful CRO tools. They can answer some very important questions quickly and easily. What areas of the site fail to attract any attention? Are there distracting elements that take away from the main call to action? Are users trying to take an action but can’t? A heat map can offer some great answers fast and speed the CRO process considerably.
Does Conversion Rate Optimization really offer good ROI?
CRO offers excellent ROI. There is a trend in digital marketing today to spend lots of time and money concentrating solely on attracting visitors to a website. But if those visitors just arrive, browse for a minute and then leave much of that time, money and effort is wasted.
If you are getting good traffic to your site but you are not meeting your conversion goals more traffic generation is no longer the answer, optimizing your conversion funnel is.