[Off topic] Mark Dykeman has just posted an interview with me so I decided to share it with my readers right away, please check it out: Catch the brainwaves with SEO Smarty!
My previous post on calls-to-action attracted a number of comments asking for advice on my readers’ current website design. I am not a professional web designer, so the only way I can find the best solution is by experimenting and testing. So I decided to review two simple methods that can help you identify who and where clicks your call-to-action button.
What encourages your visitors to act?
Google Analytics Reverse Goal Path (not very convenient for blogs, but works great with static (ecommerce) websites) can help you identify the (most popular) paths that bring people to your call to action and (possibly) tracks who actually acted.
While Google Analytics is great at showing the path that brings your visitors to the goal (content and internal structure analysis), the heat/ click maps can show you which visual elements of your design attract more clicks.
I’ve been doing this quick test with CrazyEgg: the ‘hotter’ the spot looks, the more links it has generated – as simple as that. Well, assuming that the reason behind my blogging was not to find new clients, I am doing fairly well at attracting feed subscriptions with my ‘seasonal’ feed button (well, I should probably change it for something more spring-like soon).
If you are testing a blog (like me), don’t set the experiment length to more than 1000 clicks. With each new post (and hence the home page look change), the heatmap can also slightly change. For example, with my previous test when the top post contained a black-and-white image, the click rate to the post link was considerably lower – instead people clicked at the ‘free SEO consultation’ link and feed button.
Who acts where?
Crazy Egg has another useful feature worth playing with: confetti. The beauty of this statistics is that you can learn your heat map based on the referrer. What can (probably) interest my friends who come to my blog from SEOMoz? That be (1) my profile, (2) my feed, and my content:
Alternatively, people who are referred by my StumbleUpon profile page get more excited with ‘free SEO consultation’:
Again, for more accurate results you will have to run a few short tests and compare.
These tips won’t provide you with the exact picture of your visitors’ behavior (like any other statistics, heatmaps and Google analytics are subject to generalization and missing some important variables, for example Crazy Egg does not show the world map stats and there is no way to filter my own IP address – and I am guilty of visiting my own blog a few times a day 🙂 ) but they offer you the way to see what works and how to make it work better.
Post image: swarm1
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