Visualizing user interaction has always been an important step in understanding exactly how people are engaging our websites. There’s something humbling to a web designer to see where people click and what users do when they’re actually on your website. We pride ourselves in being user experience (UX) design experts, but there are always surprising results when you can actually see the usage data. Why didn’t they click that button? Why are they using the footer navigation and not the top menu? How could they miss that call to action? Why are they trying to click the banner image?
How to track user engagement visually?
There are tons of tools out there to assist in visually outlining your website’s usage in tracking where people click on your website and the percentage of those who do. Some free, and some paid. These tools allow us to understand what users do when they are on your site, and how they are actually navigating the site to measure where they are clicking.
Google has always had an option called Site Overlay in the Google Analytics report under the ‘content’ section (which we often found quite buggy). Recently Google Analytics has released a completely remodeled version of this report called In-Page Analytics that shows click data superimposed over your website as you browse your various web pages.
What you can measure with In-Page Analytics?
Viewing “Clicks” by percentage is a report to show us where on the page that users click in respect to the percentage of those who are clicking (to help eliminate the outliers). You can see a speech bubble next to the links on your site that represent a % of users who click that link.
Scroll map is a bar that follows you as you scroll down the page to tell you the % of users who are clicking on any links below that point. It’s quite helpful in determining the true “fold” of your website as well as secondary navigation items or alternative call to action regions.
What’s lacking from In-Page Analytics?
There are still imperfections in the accuracy of the data using In-Page analytics. Knowing where on the page that someone clicks can be just as important as what the user clicks on the page. What this means is that say we have a link to our online Portfolio, and we have links to this page in both the top navigation menu and the call-to-action button on our website. In-Page Analytics would show the percentage of users who click to that page, but not that of the 43% of users who visit that page 24% use the main navigation and 19% use the call-to-action button.
We also run heat mapping tools that let us paint a better picture of exactly where people are clicking on the website to help us measure the data we receive from the In-Page Analytics in more detail.
Overall rating of the new Google In-Page Analytics
We would rate Google’s new tool around 4 out of 5. It’s an incredible tool to pair with your existing Google Analytics reports and it’s a big step up from the original Site Overlay. Customizing reports and visualizing the Goal Conversions makes this a must have, whereas something like crazy egg wouldn’t allow you to leverage the power of the other analytical data from Google. Still hoping they improve the click placement, but we’re really pleased with all of the new Google Analytics improvements and certainly the In-Page Analytics section.
This article has been provided courtesy of the top Orlando Website Design and Orlando SEO company Designzillas. Designzillas is a full service Website Design Agency in Orlando specializing in web design, user experience (UX) design, web development, e-commerce solutions, and online marketing. For more information, visit http://www.designzillas.com.