Tag Archives: analytics

A Guide to Unlock ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

Everyone loves a good intrigue. We like to think there’s a hidden agenda behind everything that inconveniences us in some way. That’s certainly how many SEO professionals see the way that Google controls site owners’ access to information. Case in point: the ‘Not Provided’ debate, raging since 2013. For the conspiracy theorists among us, the advent of Google Analytics ‘Not Provided’ keywords was a sign that the platform was out to make the SEO process much more difficult and ruin the world of online marketing. And while it did limit access to keyword data and made analysis more challenging, it certainly…

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A Guide to Unlock ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

How To Use Heatmaps To Track Clicks On Your WordPress Website

There are lots of ways to measure the performance of a web page and the most popular one is by far Google Analytics. But knowing exactly what images, words, or elements on your site catch your site visitor’s specific attention is not possible with these tools alone.

Sometimes, you simply want to know what makes your page great in terms of design, layout, content structure (you name it) and what prompts people to take one intentional action instead of another. You will be probably surprised to learn that there’s actually a solution to your question: heatmaps.

Unlike Google Analytics, which works with numbers and statistics, the heatmaps show you the exact spots that receive the most engagement on a given page. Through heatmaps, you will know what are the most clicked areas on a page, what paragraphs people select while scanning your content, and what is the scrolling behavior of your clients (e.g., how many went below the fold or how many reached the bottom of the page).

In this article, we will talk about why heatmaps are so efficient for your marketing goals and how they can be integrated with your WordPress site.

Why Use Heatmaps On Your WordPress Site

Before progressing to the “how to” part, you might want to know why it’s worth it to dedicate valuable time on implementing heatmaps for your WordPress site and what their actual role is.

First off, visual marketing is constantly growing as many more people now respond positively to a modern and user-friendly interface and skip a plain, non-interactive one. If a certain action requires too many steps and a hard to maneuver platform, they eventually give up, and you lose clients.

Of course, great content is still the key, but the way your site is structured and combines various elements will influence the activity of your visitors, which is either convert (engage) or leave.

Marketing experts researched this kind of behavior over time:

But what were heatmaps built for specifically? A heatmap can help you discover valuable and, sometimes, surprising facts about your audience.

If you add one to your WordPress site, you can:

  • Track your visitors’ clicks and become aware of their expectations while browsing through your site. This way, you can adjust your pages and make them catchier and more compelling.

  • Find out what is of interest for people. You’ll know what information they are looking for, so you can put it in the spotlight and use it to your favor.

  • Analyze the scrolling behavior. See how many visitors reached the bottom area of the site and how many left immediately without browsing further through the sections.

  • Keep an eye on the cursor movement and see what pieces of content your audience is hovering over (or selecting) in a text.


Scrolling behavior heatmap


Scrolling behavior heatmap

Again, using heatmaps is not only about tracking clicks for fun, it can have many implications for your business’ growth. They can influence purchases or conversions of any kind (it depends on what you want to achieve with your site).

You will know if your call-to-action buttons get the attention you intended, compared to other elements on the same page. Maybe other design elements you placed on your sales page distract people from clicking the buy button, and this can be seen on the hot spots map. Based on the results, you can change the way they look, their position, their styling, etc., hence sales increase.

Bloggers can also use the heatmaps because this way they will know how to create customer-friendly, appealing layouts for their content. Some layouts generate more traffic than others, and it’s up to you to find out which ones.

If people linger on a certain piece of information, it means it’s valuable for them, and you can use it to your favor by placing a link or a button nearby. Or you can simply create a separate post with even more information on that topic.

How To Add A Heatmap To Your WordPress Site

No matter if we are talking about plugins originally made for WordPress or third-party tools, the integration is not difficult at all. Usually, the most difficult part about heatmaps is the interpretation of the results — the conclusions along with the implications they have on your business and how to use them to your advantage.

When it comes to installing them, you just need to choose one tool and start the tests. Crazy Egg, Heatmap for WordPress, Hotjar Connecticator, Lucky Orange, and SeeVolution are the best and most popular tools that will help you in this direction. Heatmap for WordPress and Hotjar are free, while the other three come in premium plans (they offer free trials, though).

It’s important to mention that all these tools (except for Heatmap for WordPress) work with other website builders as well, not only WordPress. They are universal; it’s just that the WordPress developers found an easy way to integrate them with the latter so that the non-coders won’t struggle much with it. To integrate them with any other website builder, such as Squarespace for instance, you need to play with the code a little bit.

So, how to set up the heatmaps on your site? Let’s use Hotjar because it does a good job overall. It is intuitive, modern, and quick to implement in WordPress.

In this case, let’s take Hotjar Connecticator plugin as an example. After installing and activating it, you need to create an account on hotjar.com, add the URL of the site you want to monitor (you can add more sites later), and copy the provided tracking code to the plugin’s page in your WordPress dashboard (as seen below).



Now, it’s time to create the heatmap, which can be done right from the Hotjar platform (you can’t customize anything on your WordPress dashboard). So, click on Heatmaps, then New Heatmap.

Next, you need to choose your Page Targeting preferences. Do you want to track the hot spots on a single page? Do you test several pages at the same time to compare their results? That works too. If you need the latter, you have some URL formats available, so you can make sure you can target all the pages from a specific category (sorted by type, publishing date, etc.) You can even write the exact words that the links contain and Hotjar starts tracking the pages.

An interesting thing about Hotjar is that it lets you exclude page elements that you don’t want to monitor by adding their CSS selectors. This way, you can avoid being distracted by unneeded things when you compare or analyze the results and can focus only on the ones that you want to test.

After you create the heatmap, the first screenshot with the hot spots will be provided only after the page starts to get visitors and clicks, so don’t expect results right away. The tool tracks all the views you had on that page since the heatmap was created so that you can make reports based on the views and the number of clicks. This kind of reports let you know you how clickable (or not) your content is.

Here’s how the first screenshot provided by Hotjar looks (the testing was done on an uncustomized version of Hestia WordPress theme):



Another awesome thing about this tool is that it provides you the option to create simple and interactive polls to ask your users why they’re leaving your page or what were the things they didn’t enjoy about your page.

Case Study: How We Improved Landing Pages On ThemeIsle And CodeinWP With Heatmaps

The theory sounds captivating, and it’s almost always easier than the practice itself. But does this method really work? Is it efficient? Do you get pertinent results and insights at the end of the day?

The answer is: Yes, if you have patience.

We love heatmaps at ThemeIsle and use them on many of our pages. The pages are mostly related to WordPress themes since the company is an online shop that sells themes and plugins for this particular platform.

One of the most popular pieces of content from CodeinWP blog is related to themes as well. We have a large range of listings, and many of them rank in top three of Google results page. Lately, we have experimented with two types of layouts for the lists: one that has a single screenshot presenting the theme’s homepage and another providing three screenshots: homepage, single post page, and mobile display.

The main thing we noticed after comparing the two versions was that quite the same number of people reached to end of the list, but the clicks distribution was different: the listing with more visuals didn’t get as many clicks in the bottom half as the one with only one screenshot. This means that the list with more visuals is more explanatory because it offers more samples from the theme’s design, which helps people realize faster which ones are appealing to them. Given this fact, there’s no need for extra clicks to see how a theme looks.

In the one-screenshot case, people dig deeper to find more details about a theme, since there’s only the homepage that they can see from the picture. Hence, they will click more to get to the theme’s page and launch its live demo.

So, if you’re looking for advertising opportunities or you’re using affiliate links, the one-picture version will help you more in terms of user engagement and time spent on your site.





Another example of using heatmaps is Hestia theme’s documentation page. During the testing process, we noticed that a significant number of users are interested in upgrading to the premium version after seeing the number of clicks on the word “Upgrade”, which convinced us to move the upgrade button to a more obvious place and improve the destination page that contains the premium features of the theme.

Speaking of premium features, another experiment of ours was to track the cursor movement and see what are the features people are hovering over more when checking the documentation. Based on the results, we used the most popular items on many landing pages that were seeking conversion – which, in this case, was the upgrade to the premium theme by our free users.



We also created a heatmap for our FAQ page to track the less clicked questions, which we replaced subsequently with other relevant ones. The test is still in progress, as we are trying to improve our support services and offer the customers smoother experiences with our products.



The Importance Of A/B Testing

After getting great insights from the heatmaps, you don’t have to stop there. Create alternatives for your pages based on the results and use the A/B testing method to see which ones perform better.

A/B testing is probably the most popular method with which you can compare two or more versions of the same page. The end goal is to find out which one converts better. You should try it because it definitely helps you get closer to your goals and offers you a new perspective on how your content is being consumed by your audience.

So, after using heatmaps for a while and tracking the behavior of your users, start to make a plan on how to improve your site’s usability. Create alternatives, don’t stick with only one. If you have more than one idea, put them all to test and observe people’s reactions. The goal here is to create the most efficient landing page, the one that has the best chances to convert or to receive the expected engagement.

But how does A/B testing work?

Well, there are several plugins built to make this method work on your WordPress site, but Nelio A/B Testing is the most popular based on the reviews it has on WordPress.org directory (and it’s also free). After installing the plugin, you can choose the type of experiment you want to run. It has a large range of options to compare: pages, posts, headlines, widgets, and more.



Now, starting an experiment is really easy, it takes a few minutes. When you create it, you need to add the original page you want to run tests on, the alternative you want to compare it to, and the goal (what you are trying to achieve with the experiment: get page views, clicks, or direct people to an external source). After stopping the experiments, the plugin will show you detailed results that revolve around the goal you set in the first place. So, at the end of the test, you can tell which page performed better, and you can use it on your site… until a new idea comes to your mind and you should start testing again. Because digital marketing is not about assuming and hoping that things will happen, it’s about making things happen. That’s why you should always test, test, and test again.

By the way, with Nelio A/B Testing plugin, you can create heatmaps too, but they are not as sophisticated as the plugins listed earlier and don’t deliver as many insights. But you can try it out if you want to run quick experiments and need some basic information about a page.

Conclusion

If you want to have a successful business or to be the author of a bold project, keep adjusting your strategies. Try new things every day, every week. To be able to adjust, it’s not enough to simply know your audience but to also test its behavior and make the next moves based on that.

Marketing is not about guessing what your customers want; it’s about finding it yourself and offering them that one thing they need. The heatmaps method will help you along the way by sketching people’s behavior on your site and highlighting what they care most about. It’s simple, fast, visual (you don’t need to dig too much into statistics to understand your audience), and fun.

Knowing what your users’ actions are when they land on your web pages could be something truly fascinating, and you can learn a lot from it.

Smashing Editorial
(mc, ra, il)

Credit: 

How To Use Heatmaps To Track Clicks On Your WordPress Website

Why Is Google Analytics Inaccurate?

You may have noticed that some of your Google Analytics data isn’t entirely accurate. Whether you saw a sudden, unwarranted change in user behavior, picked up on major differences after a redesign, or found some unexplainable information within a report, there are many things that can indicate issues with your data. And that’s completely normal. Google Analytics is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) platforms for monitoring site performance. It can provide tons of valuable insight and is considered by many SEOs and site owners to be an indispensable tool. But it isn’t perfect. In fact,…

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Why Is Google Analytics Inaccurate?

How to Improve Your Content Marketing Using Digital Analytics

How do you know your content marketing is effective? It’s not a rhetorical question, though it may seem like it. While it’s difficult to measure the success and return on investment of content purely quantitatively, you can absolutely use digital analytics to get some directional insights as well as insights that help you improve your approach. The good thing: there are no shortage of tools and guides to help you do that nowadays. The bad thing: it can be a bit overwhelming when you think about how to get started with digital analytics, especially if you’ve got a content calendar…

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How to Improve Your Content Marketing Using Digital Analytics

The Best Website KPI’s For Three Different Website Types

You know you should be measuring your digital marketing efforts. Monitoring and analyzing your data can help you gain insight into what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve your site for even better results. But platforms like Google Analytics give you access to more data than you could ever possibly hope to comprehend. And while each of the various reports can help you learn something about your audience, you don’t need to be monitoring all of them on a regular basis. So, which metrics should you be measuring? The answer, of course, is that it depends. More specifically,…

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The Best Website KPI’s For Three Different Website Types

A Simple Guide to Understanding and Creating a Website Conversion Funnel

How many articles have you read recently about the “conversion funnel”? Probably a lot. If you regularly read marketing blogs, it can sometimes feel like you’re hearing, seeing, and having the term “conversion funnel” shoved in front of your eyeballs constantly. I personally come across conversion funnel information multiple times per day when I’m focused on research and reading. It seems like every marketer in existence wants to be sure I don’t forget about this part of my strategy. So why is this? The short is answer is that an optimized conversion funnel is critical to your online marketing success. You might be…

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A Simple Guide to Understanding and Creating a Website Conversion Funnel

Content Marketing And WordPress: Tips, Plugins, And How To Make An Impact

Content marketing is the practice of creating a piece of content (generally digital) that is both useful and valuable to certain members of your target market(s).
This piece of content is generally free, though it may be hidden behind a simple email/lead-capture form, and it usually is meant to be found through search or through free/low-budget distribution methods (think social media, low-cost PPC, a small press release).
Some might call this permission marketing, the idea being that your target customers have given you permission to market to them by choosing to access your content.

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Content Marketing And WordPress: Tips, Plugins, And How To Make An Impact

Mouse Recorder: How You Can See Your Visitors Interacting

mouse recorder

Why would you want to record your users’ mouse movements? Mouse recordings give you a deeper view of user behavior than click-based heatmaps and scrollmaps. As well as knowing what a user clicked on, mouse recordings let you see all their movements on the page before and after. That leaves you in a better position to guide users to what you want them to do. And like each new layer of real user insight, it comes with surprises. First-time users of Crazy Egg’s heatmaps and scrollmaps often find that users are clicking on non-clickable assets like images, scrolling past CTAs…

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Mouse Recorder: How You Can See Your Visitors Interacting

Why are You Neglecting the Highest-Traffic Lowest-Converting Page on Your Website?

I’m not talking about your home page. Sure that gets the most traffic, but notice the qualifier in the post title; highest-traffic “lowest-converting”.

But why would you care about a low converting page? Because chances are, it’s not converting because you forgot to add a call to action (CTA).

I’m sure you know about some pages like this on your website, but you’re using one of the following excuses to do nothing about it:

  1. I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with it.
  2. It’s not my responsibility.
  3. I don’t know what to do with it.
  4. I’ll get to it later.

The last excuse is the absolute worst. Because you never will “get to it”.

It’s 2018 – Stop Wasting Time Ignoring This Page

Don’t start this year with yet another failed attempt to go to the gym. Commit one day to optimizing just one page.

For Unbounce, that page is “What is a landing page?“. We’ve held the #1 spot in Google for this term since early 2010, and guess what? We haven’t updated it since early 2010.

Every time we look at Google Analytics, we see this:

10,000 unique visitors every month to that page. And 84.15% of them are NEW visitors. That’s an incredible amount of value.

What does the page look like?

It was embarrassing, to say the least. Spoiler alert I updated it last night. But here’s a screenshot of the abomination that was our previous 8 years of letting visitors down.

A few observations

  • The content is ancient, and has a lot of useless information. Some of which is fundamentally wrong.
  • The CSS is all broken making the layout and reading experience terrible.
  • It links to a bad blog post I wrote in 2010 that has a photo of Miley Cyrus wearing a carrot costume.

You read that right. Miley Cyrus in a carrot costume is the call to action on the highest traffic page on our website (aside from our homepage). #facepalm

How to Convert Top-of-Funnel (TOFU) Traffic

“What is a Landing Page?” is the most TOFU page on our website, which means we need to choose carefully when we ask people to do something.

I decided to go with three options in a choose-your-own-adventure format, as a learning exercise so we can study what these visitors are actually looking for.

Option 1: “I’m new to landing pages, and want to learn more.”
CTA >> [ Watch The Landing Page Sessions Video Series ]

Option 2: “I have a landing page, but I’m not sure how good it is.”
CTA >> [ Grade Your Page With The Landing Page Analyzer ]

Option 3: “I need to build a landing page.”
CTA >> [ Try The Unbounce Builder in Preview Mode ]

The New “What is a…” Page

(Click to see the full-length page in a scrolling lightbox.)

High-Traffic, Yes. High-Converting? We’ll see.

I’ll be looking at the analytics (Hotjar click and scroll heatmaps), Google Analytics (changes in basic behavior), KISS Metrics (changes in signups), and I’ll report back with the results later in Product Awareness Month.

Find your highest-traffic lowest-converting page, now

Do it.

Cheers
Oli Gardner

p.s.

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Why are You Neglecting the Highest-Traffic Lowest-Converting Page on Your Website?

The Online Business Owner’s Periodical Website Sanity Checklist

Website Checklist

A common oversight of many online businesses is NOT using their own websites. Simply put, they don’t spend time in their visitors’ shoes. Many site owners are busy with day-to-day, business-as-usual tasks, working on new features or promotional campaigns or whatever other millions of things there are sitting on their to-do lists. Very few spend time checking up on their own online properties to make sure everything is in working order. For a business owner, whose time is valuable, this job can be handed off to an intern, virtual assistant, or entry-level employee. It’s a good idea to make a…

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The Online Business Owner’s Periodical Website Sanity Checklist