Heya – it’s Day 19 of Reboot Your Blog and I’m going to BLOW YOUR FREAKIN’ MIND!
Just thought I’d throw some hype in – see if anyone is paying attention.
But the real deal is that if you implemented what we talked about on Day 18, you’re going to have some stats that’ll tell you exactly what to focus on in the future. Stats that’ll stop you from wasting time on traffic sources that don’t convert.
But if you’re running a site where you have, say, Adsense, or purely affiliate offers, you might not have been able to implement the tracking we talked abut yesterday.
So today, you’ll get a new kind of “fly on the wall” insight into exactly what your website visitors are doing – and where you can improve their experience in such a way that it improves your bottom line.
DAY 19 OBJECTIVE
Watch your website visitors.
DAY 19 ASSIGNMENT
There are quite a few heatmap or tracking services out there, and my favorite is Crazy Egg. They’ve got a “first 30 days are free” thing going, and that ought to be plenty of time for you to run your first test.
Signing up for an account will be your first step, from there you’ll be able to create a new Snapshot:
Your first test should be your homepage, as it’s likely the most trafficked page on your site and therefore the one that will benefit most from improvement.
Give your test a name, enter in the URL of your site, and the rest of the settings should be just fine at the default.
Then, save the snapshot.
I use the WordPress plugin to add the code to my sites. That way I see it in my plugins list and am reminded to take it off when the test is done.
I’d planned to show you some dramatic test results from this blog so you could see for yourself how very valuable the information you’ll get from this CrazyEgg test is, but while I was in my CrazyEgg account grabbing screenshots for this post I deleted the test by accident!
Instead, I’ll have to show you what I learned without the actual heatmap. DOH! You’ll get the idea though!
Here’s a look at the homepage of this site.
The majority of the clicks went to the first couple of posts. The next section that people clicked on were the links in the navigation bar at the top of the site. After that, there’s a smattering of clicks amongst various sidebar features and older posts.
But you know what didn’t get many clicks at all?
The BIG, GIANT “Reboot Your Blog” image and title at the top of the site. That links people to a page where they can learn what Reboot Your Blog is and sign up for it. But on one (well, hardly anyone) was clicking it!
I knew that there was plenty of room for improvement with that section of the site, but I didn’t know just how poorly it would perform.
Some ideas to improve it: I could use a different graphic, I could test code and see if I can get the “signup” box from Wishlist Member to render up there with some text, I could add a YouTube style “Play” button over the image to encourage people to click / let them know it is clickable.
All of these are worth testing – and I won’t know which one does best unless I test.
I bet that you’ll be surprised when you run your test too!
Let me give you another example – this one is sans images just because it’s a juicy, earning niche site I’m not willing to share.
I was running a right hand sidebar on this niche site that had a link to some Amazon products and also displayed Adsense. What I found when I ran my CrazyEgg test was that no one was clicking the right sidebar at all. I switched the site to a left sidebar and saw my clicks – and income – shoot through the roof!
We all know some basic eye tracking data – it’s been published everywhere. But until you test your own site, words, graphics and layout together, you won’t get a clear picture of what people are doing on your site – that’s why the data on how this site performed is so different than what you’ll see on most eye tracking studies.
What makes perfect sense to you, as the person who put the site together, could be confusing to the new visitor. Running a CrazyEgg test like this will show you exactly where these discrepancies lay.
By then end of today’s Reboot Your Blog, you will have:
- Opened an account with Crazy Egg
- Added your site’s homepage to your CrazyEgg dashboard
- Added the CrazyEgg code to your site to begin tracking
- Set a reminder to check your heatmaps in a week (more or less, depending on your traffic) so you can act on what you learn