But First – Acronyms!
I come from the world of Information Technology (IT) where acronyms are as common as……well, let’s just say that you risk being covered in it if you stand around beneath flocks of pigeons or seagulls for too long!
Acronyms are also popular in Internet Marketing; known as IM.
So it’s really no surprise that I’m not particularly fazed about this aspect of the business. If I come across an acronym I haven’t seen or heard before I’ll just make a note, either on paper or in my head and look it up when I can.
This got me thinking about creating a page where acronyms are listed.
So I’ve done just that and created this page, which is also accessible through the menu above On-line Marketing>Basics>Internet Marketing Definitions. I plan to add to the list when I come across any new acronyms. As an added extra, I have also sourced a free ebook called ‘The Ultimate IM Dictionary’, which is a PLR ebook with Giveaway Rights which I got from my favorite PLR source, Resell Rights Weekly.
It’s a funny thing, but I didn’t really intend to start this post talking about acronyms! However, it spurred me on to create the acronym list which I intend to ‘flesh-out’ over time and hope that it will become a valuable source of reference.
The true focus of this post is about optimizing conversions on your website, by recording exactly what visitors are doing and where they’re going. This is done with the help of a heatmap, so that a visual representation of the session can be viewed of what visitors are doing on your site: where they are going; what they are clicking on; where they are spending the most time.
This is known as ‘UX Analysis’ and I guess you can now see why I started the post with acronyms (UX = User eXperience)!
I was perusing through the many gigabytes of ‘stuff’ I have gathering virtual dust on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as well as a folder of interesting emails I have collected over time.
Recording Where The Visitor Goes
These days, however, I peruse with intent. That is, rather than eagerly looking for the next Bright Shiny Object (BSO) to waste money on, I look at whatever I have previously bought – and never used – with the intention to finally use it. Provided, of course, that it is still fit for purpose in 2015 and is still actively updated and supported.
The same goes for emails I’ve stored in a separate folder, that contain interesting or useful information.
It was in one of those emails that I came across a free deal from AppSumo that I had signed up for back in June 2014. It’s a web-based software called Inspectlet that records the activities of visitors to any site that it setup in the User Dashboard. All sessions are recorded both as a heat map image and a video of the recorded user activity, which can be played back to show the website owner where the visitor’s mouse-pointer went and what they clicked on.
A heat map shows when and where the cursor stops on the page for any length of time and a ‘heat signature’ is representing that length of time is recorded at that spot on the page. Depending on the ‘stop-time’ duration, spots recorded on the page are displayed through shades of green, blue, orange and red, with the maximum stop-time displayed as a dark red.
Heat-map recording software has been produced by various companies and is available at different price points and types of software, ranging from web hosted, HTML/PHP script and WordPress Plugins.
I’m not endorsing, judging or recommending any particular product in this post – I’ve just ‘fired up’ Inspectlet because I found it languishing in an email that will actually be one-year-old in June 2015!
Inspectlet is web-hosted and I’m pleased that it is still around and the login I created back in June 2014 still works.
As I have free account, I am limited to only one URL site entry. The images shown are of sessions recorded on my blog https://miketflanagan.com after I created an Inspectlet entry and copied/pasted some HTML code that was provided after creating the entry.
The ‘Image 1‘ screen-shot shows two visitor sessions recorded, one on May 6 and the other on May 7. Also recorded is the time of each visit as well as the country, browser type used, IP address, number of pages viewed and the overall amount of time the visitor spent on the site.
Clicking on one of the sessions allows either the captured recording to be played or the heat-map image to be shown. ‘Image 2‘ is a heat map screen-shot of the upper portion of my Home page. The spots give an indication of how the visitor traversed the Home page, clearly showing cursor movement horizontally across the banner and erratic movement down and across the text as the visitor was reading my welcome message.
‘Video 1‘ below is the playback of the visitors session of May 6. Although that particular session only lasted 33 seconds, it’s very interesting to observe exactly what that visitor was interested in. It kind of gives a small insight into their mind and what they are looking to gain from the visit.
However, it is interesting that they scrolled right past both the ‘Partner With An Internet Millionaire’ and ‘Get Your Free PLR Products’ banners, which leaves me to deduce that maybe this visitor was another Internet Marketer curious about ISP’s being used by their competitors to host WordPress blogs and other websites.
Video 1 – Recorded Visitor Session On My Home Page
As I said earlier, this is not intended to be any kind of endorsement or recommendation of this particular product. I have no doubt there are probably better products available that give more information. However, this ‘experiment’ has caused me to change the title of my welcome message from ‘Blog’ to ‘Home Page’ and put a blog-icon with a message to click it in the text.
The reason I did this is because of one of the recorded sessions, with the visitors’ actions indicating that they didn’t really know what to do or where to go next.
This type of software is certainly useful and reveals more information in a visual way than raw statistics and analytics alone could ever achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this can replace analytics but should be used along with Google Analytics, Piwik and any other analytic products you may use. Heatmaps and video recordings of user behavior on your site are, in my opinion, a worthy addition to everyone’s toolkit.