Avoid landing page Redirects

how to increase landing page quality score and how to avoid landing page redirects
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Published Date:03-08-2017
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■ CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX Conversion Ninja Toolbox—Diagnosing Site Problems Many methods are available for identifying land- ing page problems and seeing why they are not meeting the needs of your Internet visitors. You 111 just need the guts to lift the veil of denial and to view these flaws and compromises objectively. To do that, you will need to arm yourself with an array of powerful tools and train yourself to be a ruthless and effective conversion ninja—fighting bad user experiences on behalf of your website visitors. 5 CHAPTER CONTENTS You Are Not as Good as You Would Like to Believe Focus on the Negative Web Analytics Tools Visual Analysis Tools Feedback and Survey Tools Website Performance Tools Competitive Analysis Tools Usability Testing Tools E-mail Enhancement ToolsYou Are Not as Good as You Would Like to Believe Imagine that you have been involved in designing or marketing websites and their land- ing pages for a long time. This typically involves holding fun brainstorming sessions, creating exciting graphical presentations of possible page designs, and writing persua- sive offers and text copy. Then comes the public unveiling and the first influx of visitors to your website. As the euphoria of the project starts to wear off, you inevitably start to see chinks in the armor of your beautiful and perfect creations: The text is too long, the intended audience is not identified clearly enough, there are no useful navigational cross-links if someone lands on a page deep within the site. It gets worse. Your dread may grow as objective evidence of poor design starts to mount: high shopping cart abandonment rates, extensive call-ins to the toll-free support number, high bounce rates on important pages, lower-than-expected conversion numbers. 112 Yet, in all of this gloom lies the way out of the mess too. After you take a step back and apply the tools and techniques in this chapter, you’ll see exactly why your landing pages are at cross-purposes with the way that people take in and process infor- mation. Based on your honest analysis, you can prepare yourself for deciding exactly which elements to test and ultimately help improve. Somewhere in the world is the world’s worst doctor. And what’s truly terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him tomorrow morning. —Comedian George Carlin The chilling thought above is brought to you by the deliciously twisted mind of the late master comedian George Carlin. What makes it so funny is that it is factu- ally correct—there is somewhere by definition “the world’s worst doctor.” Of course, the consequences of being the world’s worst landing page designer are not as severe. No one will die on the operating table. Your online marketing campaign will simply fail. If you are not the worst one, your campaign may simply bump along at a much smaller scale than it otherwise could. Besides, you can always go to your bosses and after throwing up your hands in frustration tell them all about how it is impossible to get cost-effective traffic to your site in the face of ever-increasing advertiser competition and rising prices. Most online marketers do not want to admit that they are doing a poor job at conversion rate optimization. They liken themselves to the denizens of the mythical C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE Lake Wobegon from Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion where “the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are all above-average.” The whole field of decision-making theory is based on the understanding that people have warped perceptions of themselves and others. They do not make rational decisions. People consistently overestimate their own skills, influence, and importance. In one survey, 80 percent of participants reported that they were above-average drivers. You have to let go of your own professional ego structure and become the most vicious and uncompromising critic of your own website. Focus on the Negative Instead of waiting only for good news, filter it out instead. Accentuate the negative. Focus on problems and things that are askew. The mind-set that I am describing is not some prescription to become a cynical person. It is a well-respected business approach called managing by exception. Assuming that you have set up your systems and pro- cedures properly, you should have key indicators that tell you when things are going 113 smoothly. During those times you should work on further strategic improvements to your business. Only if something goes wrong (as quickly flagged by your monitoring of key performance indicators in your web analytics tools) should your attention and resources be focused on the problem. I do not mean to imply that if your online campaign is making money that you should be satisfied and smug. Unless every potential customer among your Internet visi- tors has already converted, you still have a lot of work to do. The main point is to unflinchingly uncover and face problems with your landing pages and not to duck or hide from them. Remember that your baby is ugly and has significant problems—many of which may appear over time, as your market or com- petitors evolve. This spirit of continuous problem solving and improvement is at the heart of some of the most successful businesses on the planet. It should be an example for all of us to follow. Now that you are prepared to look for landing page problems, you will be happy to discover we have created a conversion ninja toolbox to help you find the most impor- tant problems on your site with greater ease. This toolbox includes many types of tools that you can deploy to uncover prob- lems with your site—from simple web analytics tools to more advanced eye-tracking and web usability tools. Testing tool companies are addressed separately in the Appendix, “Landing Page Testing Tools.” We have summarized some of the best currently available tools in this chapter u , b t the Internet changes very quickly. VisiConversionNinjaToolbox.com t for an updated list of the latest ones. Web Analytics Tools One of the most important steps of landing page optimization is to first implement a tool that tracks all your website traffic and the actions of your visitors. Once you have collected historical data, you will be armed with much of the information that you need in order to effectively uncover issues and improve your website. The following tips will help you discover issues with your site. They can be performed using Google Analytics or a similar web analytics tool like Omniture SiteCatalyst, IBM Coremetrics, or Webtrends. We have chosen to show reports from and include instructions for Google Analytics because it is widely available and free. Make Sure Your Mission-Critical Pages Are among Your Top 10 Pages As discussed in Chapter 2, “Understanding Your Landing Pages,” your mission-critical pages (like your key product pages and sign-up pages) are the most important on your site because they are involved in your conversion goals. 114 You can monitor your top 10 pages to see if the mission-critical ones are among them. To find this information, log into Google Analytics and click Content, and then select Content By Title. The results will look like those in Figure 5.1. Figure 5.1 Google Analytics top pages report If your mission-critical pages do not show in the top 10 pages report, recon- sider how you are promoting these pages on your site to make them more accessible. Consider placing prominent links on your most popular pages to generate more expo- sure for them, and tweak your navigation menu options for a similar effect. You should also reconsider your SEO strategy for any of your mission-critical pages that do not show in your top 10 pages, and perform SEO adjustments on and off page in order to get them to rank higher in search engines for your most relevant tar- geted keywords. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ WEB ANALYTICS TOOLS Identify Top Entry Pages with High Bounce Rates Examine the top pages that act as the entry point to your website, because these repre- sent key moments where your visitor will make split-second decisions to stay or leave. The best way to identify problematic entry pages is to find pages with a high bounce rate—that is, exit pages where people arrive on your page and then leave immediately. This usually happens because people do not find what they are looking for. In some cases, there is nothing you can do about this. But you can probably improve the page to provide more relevant information or better navigation, which will encourage visitors to stick with you at least a little longer. To find these problematic top pages, select Content, and then click Top Landing Pages. You will see entrances, bounces, and bounce rates, as shown in Figure 5.2. Scan the top 20 or so pages and write down any of your pages with a bounce rate higher than 40 percent (definite room for improvement). These pages are perfect optimization candidates. 115 Figure 5.2 Google Analytics Top Landing Pages report To fine-tune this report even further, consider your top organic search pages in particular, since they often form a significant bulk of high-quality traffic ripe for optimization. To find this in Google Analytics, drill down from the Top Landing Pages report you were just on. Use the drop-down filter menu at the top of your pages that says None, and then select Source and filter on the word google (or any other search engine) in the bottom left. The results will look like those in Figure 5.3. Figure 5.3 Google Analytics top SEO pagesThis is the 80/20 principle at work at its best. Identifying and fixing these prob- lematic entry pages will give you the biggest kick-start in helping to optimize your website. Consider the Depth of Interaction on Your Website and Main Sections Identifying how many pages visitors usually consume on your site (average page depth) is a good way to uncover more general site problems and represent an overall barom- eter of your website health. For transactional websites, you should be looking to mini- mize the average number of page views. This, along with a high conversion rate, can be thought of as a measure of your website efficiency in quickly getting someone to their intended goal. By contrast, for advertising-supported content sites, the goal will be to increase the number of page views per visit. Average page depth can be found for the site as a whole (shown on the main Google Analytics dashboard as Pages/Visit) and by content groups (by looking at Content Drilldown report). Page depth can be worked out by dividing page views by 116 the number of visits (this is often also called page views per visit). Set Up Goals for Your Conversion Points To understand conversion rates for your key site goals (such as newsletter sign-ups, shopping cart completions, or whitepaper downloads), you need to examine your exist- ing conversion goals, or set up new ones, in your web analytics tool. We suggest you set up as many as possible for all your relevant site goals (both micro- and macro-level ones). To get an even more granular understanding of page flows leading to your goals, you can set up “goal funnels” for each of your goals. These allow you establish and track a series of pages leading up to the goal completion and the drop-off points between each step (for example, homepage to product page and then to checkout page). This technique is particularly good at identifying problem- atic pages and drop-off points for e-commerce shopping carts and forms that span multiple pages. To examine your goal conversion rates and goal funnels, click Goals Report to see the screen shown in Figure 5.4. This screen breaks down your conversion rate for each goal and trends it over time, along with the goal value. Pay particular attention to conversion rates that seem low to you (this will vary significantly depending on your desired action, as discussed in Chapter 2)—they should be considered prime candidates for conversion improvement. Flow visualization (shown in Figure 5.5) is another powerful way to see if your conversion funnels are working properly and to identify inefficiencies and point of high drop-off. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ WEB ANALYTICS TOOLS Figure 5.4 Google Analytics goal report 117 Figure 5.5 Google Analytics flow visualization Analyze Your Main Traffic Sources Your conversion rate will vary widely based on the type and quality of your traffic sources. To analyze your main traffic sources, navigate to Traffic Sources, and then select All Traffic Sources. Doing so pulls up a report that buckets your main types of traffic sources (for example, “google” and “direct”) and gives you key metrics to deter- mine their success—Pageviews Per Visit, Average Time on Site, % New Visits, and most importantly, Bounce Rate. In particular, you should be looking for traffic sources that have bounce rates above 40 percent and time spent less than 30 seconds. Once you have identified these problematic sources, you can spend more time looking for reasons why they are underperforming. Two common sources of problems are pages ranking well in search engines for unintended keywords and a poor match between what the visitor clicks on and what they see on the landing page. It’s also important to compare your conversion rates for your goals (that we dis- cussed in the previous section) for all your traffic sources. To do so, go to the list of all traffic sources as explained earlier. Then click on the Goal tabs shown above the list of traffic sources (similar to those in Figure 5.6). Any traffic sources that have a lower conversion rate than your average sitewide conversion rate should be examined and optimized. 118 Figure 5.6 Google Analytics traffic sources report Direct/Bookmark Traic Remember that direct/bookmark traffic usually arrives on your homepage via a book- mark or your website URL directly typed into the browser address bar by the visitor. If you find that the direct source has high bounce rates, your homepage most likely has significant conversion problems. Having too much on the homepage is a common cause of high bounce rates. Homepage clutter can confuse the visitors and cause them to leave. Avoid turning your website into a Turkish bazaar; don’t continue to add new content to your homepage without removing or prioritizing existing content. A quick way to tell how cluttered your homepage is would be to run the free Clutter Test available at www.websitecriteria.com/index.html. Sample output from the Clutter Test is shown in Figure 5.7. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ WEB ANALYTICS TOOLS Figure 5.7 Clutter Test output for SiteTuners’ homepage 119 Another common direct traffic issue might be poor navigation and not directing visitors properly deeper into the site. This issue is covered in more detail in the “Too Many Choices” section of Chapter 4, “Common Problems—The Seven Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design.” Referred Traic Referred traffic comes from other websites that link directly to a page on your site, and you can’t control where it lands. However, you can do two important things to improve the performance of such traffic. Visit the referring URL and review the specific landing pages on your site to make sure that they function well as a starting point for a visitor and are not a dead- end with no relationship to your desired conversion goals. Understand the context in which your site was last seen by the visitor. In some cases it will be favorable (“this company is the greatest thing since sliced bread”). In other cases, your link will be buried in a long list of competitor sites. It is also possible that the link will be there for the purpose of belittling your company. If you understand the mind-set of the visitors from important referral traffic sources, you can modify the landing page content (amplifying goodwill or neutralizing negative perceptions as appropriate). SEO Traic SEO traffic (usually from Google, Yahoo, or Bing) can often be a problematic traffic source. As we will discuss in Chapter 15, “Avoiding Real-World Pitfalls,” there is often an inherent tension between getting high placement in search results and having a landing page that converts well. Search engine spiders prefer a lot of informational text centered on a coherent theme. But visitors who land on the page are often looking for something quick to click on and do not want to wade through a lot of text. SEO performance can vary greatly depending on the keyword being used. Therefore, it’s important to examine bounce rates for keywords in more depth. To do this, use the left-hand menu to click Traffic Sources and then Keywords. This will show you a report (see Figure 5.8) that lists your top keywords and their performance. It is particularly important to pay attention to keywords with bounce rates above 40 per- cent, since this could indicate a mismatch in visitor intent and landing page and should be modified and optimized. 120 Figure 5.8 Google Analytics search keyword report By examining the most popular organic searches and corresponding landing pages, you can modify the content of the landing pages to make them more actionable. These pages may not have been part of the mission-critical page set that you previously identified in Chapter 2, but they may be important feeders for these pages. Consider whether they effectively transport incoming visitors from important keywords to the intended conversion path. In other words, you may not be giving the visitor a clear trail to follow to get to your conversion task’s front door. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ WEB ANALYTICS TOOLS Paid Search Traic Paid traffic (whether from PPC, banner ads, text links, or other sources) has several desirable characteristics as a traffic source. It can be controlled (turned on and off, or increased or decreased) depending on the circumstances. It can be targeted (the traf- fic can be sent to its own specialized landing page). Its value and profitability can be tracked (by campaign, keyword, and even the version of the ad copy used). Yet many companies do not take full advantage of these capabilities. The main obstacles and issues are improper traffic mapping and inappropriate landing page content. By looking at paid search performance, you can see how your efforts are faring as a whole. More importantly, you can detect which paid keywords and traffic landing pages do not perform well (look for high bounce rates) and consider them as candidates for landing page optimization. To find and examine the performance of your top paid keywords, click Traffic Sources, select Keywords, and click on the Paid link at the top of that report (see the 121 results in Figure 5.9). Figure 5.9 Google Analytics paid keyword report In many cases, paid search referral traffic is sent to the website homepage instead of the more appropriate pages deeper in the site. Or the traffic is sent to the most relevant page on the corporate site but should instead be sent to a stand-alone landing page that does not have all the navigation options and other distractions of the main website. Review traffic mapping for all high-value keywords to make sure it is being sent to the best possible pages. You may have to create new and more specific landing pages to receive the traffic from these keywords. Social Media Traic Thanks to the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you should pay par- ticular attention to your social media traffic source performance. This source of traffic is often engaged in your brand or website and should therefore have low bounce rates and high conversion rates for your goals. On the Referring Sites report, look for the major social media websites and examine their performance. In addition to Facebook.com and Twitter.com, look for the presence and performance of StumbleUpon, Digg, YouTube, and Del.icio.us, as these are also important social media sites as of this writing. If your social media traffic sources aren’t performing particularly well for your website or are simply not driving much traffic, reconsider your social media strategy efforts and optimize them. Check Your Repeat Visit Rate A lack of repeat visits is a tell-tale sign of a site that is not optimized to meet the needs of visitors. This is because unhappy visitors usually won’t return (unless you have no competitors), whereas engaged, happy visitors will return much more often. You can examine this repeat visit rate for the whole of your website by looking 122 at the inverse of the % of New Visits metric on the main dashboard. You can also mea- sure this by individual page, using the Custom Reporting option. Choose Page Title as the dimension, and then select the Pageviews and Repeat Visit % metric. This will show you a list of your top pages and their repeat visit rate. Look for any pages that have a low repeat visit rate—these are often prime candidates for improvement. Another good barometer for understanding repeat visitation rate is by using return frequency, which is measured by calculating the average number of visits per monthly unique website visitor. This is especially effective for understanding the over- all repeat visit health of your site or site sections; any time this metric is lower than 1.10, you could consider it problematic. Don’t forget, though, that since returning visitors have already been exposed to your message on their first visit, it may lose effectiveness on subsequent visits. Therefore, you may consider showing different website content or even a different offer to this group. For example, returning visitors who have already acted once on your initial offer may not be eligible anymore and should be presented with an appropriate follow-up offer instead. For e-commerce sites, returning buyers should be accorded special status. At a minimum this means recognizing them and acknowledging their return to your site. Additional business rules can be added to display certain promotions based on customer loyalty (such as the number of purchases or total spending to date), or recom- mended products based on what they have purchased previously. It is important not to neglect the other side of the coin, though—your new visit rate. If your website is heavily dominated by return visitors, you are not doing enough to drive and acquire new visitors. A return visit rate above 80 percent could also be considered problematic. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ WEB ANALYTICS TOOLS Check Your Top Internal Search Keywords for Relevancy and Quality It’s important to set up an internal (onsite) search tool on your website to help your visitors find what they are looking for (especially if you a have a complex or large site with many pages and diverse topics). However, it’s even more important to analyze what they are searching for. Luckily, Google Analytics allows you to establish and ana- lyze internal search tracking. Once you have set up internal search tracking, you can take a look at your top internal search keywords. You can run each of the keywords through your inter- nal search tool and check for the quality and number of relevant results. Doing so is important because research shows that many visitors will abandon a website if they do not find what they are looking for on the first page of results or are unsatisfied with the number of relevant results. Pay particular attention to top search results that yield no matching results—this indicates a mismatch between visitors’ desires and expectations and the ability of a site to provide relevant content. By taking a careful look at such empty search results, you can identify the type 123 of information that is not effectively being found on your site. SiteTuners once helped a client in the wine business to significantly improve their search function by returning proper results for common misspellings of wine brands and specific product names. By insisting that the visitor must be able to type in searches correctly, the site was turning away business. You can also autopopulate common empty search results with hand-picked search results pages. Alternatively, you can broaden the scope of the search to at least bring back close matches if exact results are not found. If a search is common, it may be a candidate for inclusion in the site’s permanent navigation. In other words, you may want to determine the amount of permanent vis- ibility for that search query to help even more people find it. Set Up Advanced Segments Based on Visitor Behavior Another great way to uncover issues with your website is to create advanced segments (groups) of your visitors and analyze their patterns and performance. As we discussed earlier, a simple way to do this is by segmenting for conversion rate based on referring source, but you can get even more granular to dig even deeper for issues. Here are a few ideas for advanced conversion ninjas: • Set up a segment for visitors who convert for your goals and a segment for visitors who don’t convert. Then compare these two for patterns such as their top entry pages, top page flows, or top search keywords used. Based on what you find, you can tweak your site to promote page flows that mirror the user flow of visitors who always convert.• Set up segments for returning visitors and new visitors and identify con- version rates for both. If either of these is particularly low, adjust your site’s language and create pages or flows for each type of visitor (for example, create a page for new visitors and link to it from your homepage explaining the benefits of using the site). • Set up segments for your most valuable visitors, such as those who order a high volume of products or visitors who have high engagement (high page views per visit, for example). You can then analyze their behaviors and tweak your site to match what these ideal website visitors seem to be doing. Many analytics packages already have predefined segments, and you can always add your own. The overall traffic graph in Figure 5.10 shows the total traffic to a page and also breaks out new and returning visitors. The returning visitor line at the bot- tom is relatively stable, whereas the middle line showing new visitors shows significant 124 variability. This variability is tied to various marketing activities. Breaking out the new visitors makes it easier to see the real impact of each campaign. Figure 5.10 Google Analytics traffic sources by segment report Analyze Your Visitor Demographics to Identify Missing Oe ps portuniti Google Analytics can also be used to learn more about the demographics of your web- site visitors, in particular their location and native language. To help optimize geographic aspects of your website, pull up the Map Overlay report (see Figure 5.11). You would expect lots of visitors near your physical location or where you market your site the most. If you notice any heavy concentrations around other regions, you can use this information to create specialized content specifically for certain regions or to adjust your customer service or business hours. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ VISUAL ANALYSIS TOOLS Figure 5.11 Google Analytics Map Overlay report 125 If a significant number of your visitors originate in other countries, you can determine whether you are ignoring their needs. Additional native-language and native culture–based content may be appropriate (see the discussion of international cultural issues in Chapter 8, “Best Practices for Common Situations,” for additional back- ground). You do not have to include a complete copy of your site in each applicable language. But if you intend to get conversions in other languages, at least the mission- critical tasks should be available in their native language. Visual Analysis Tools Web analytics tools mostly concern themselves with page-level issues. They may help identify behaviors related to the whole page (such as likelihood of bouncing), or help identify flows of people across pages on a website. However, they are not well suited for understanding the behavior of people within a page. A new class of visual analysis tools allows you to understand site activity at a much more granular level. Since our experience of the Web is primarily visual (seen through a browser window), the nuances of our interactions with the page can provide a rich source of information about potential conversion problems. For example, you can track the movement of people’s mice, see if they scroll the page, watch what they click on, see if they hover over objects without clicking, and see how forms are filled out. This information can be aggregated across many visitors or analyzed at the level of an individual user session.CrazyEgg CrazyEgg (www.CrazyEgg.com) monitors visitor activity at an individual page level. It installs with a small snippet of code on the target landing page on your website. After that, information is collected about visitors’ interactions with that page. When enough people have visited the page, their information is combined into a series of simple visual reports. One interesting use of CrazyEgg for conversion is to view a mouse-movement heatmap of the page). Since a small percentage of people will use their mouse as a pointer when they navigate the Web, a mouse-movement heatmap can serve as a quick- and-dirty substitute for eye-tracking. Of course this is different than true eye-tracking studies because those can capture very rapid (and often unconscious) eye movements, but it can provide insights into what people fixate on within the page and where their conscious attention is drawn. However, scientific research shows a high degree of cor- relation (around 84–88 percent) between the two. 126 The brighter areas on the heatmap overlay (shown in Figure 5.12) indicate areas where more mouse movement and hovering occurs. Another useful report is the Confetti tool. This report shows your clicking behavior on the page. This can help identify visitor confusion (people clicking on page elements that are not clickable), or lack of prominence (visitors not clicking on clickable elements even though you may want them to). Figure 5.12 CrazyEgg mouse movement heatmap C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ VISUAL ANALYSIS TOOLS The Confetti reports can be segmented by traffics source, browser resolution, and a number of other filters (see Figure 5.13). 127 Figure 5.13 CrazyEgg Confetti report showing clicks on the page for a range of browser s creen sizes In particular, you should use this tool on your top entry pages and check what your visitors are clicking on the most. If they aren’t clicking on your high-value links or navigation options on these pages, you can tweak their wording or layout to entice more clicks. This tool is inexpensive and can be deployed quickly. ClickTale ClickTale (www.ClickTale.com) offers a rich and robust set of tools for in-page web ana- lytics. Its main components consist of the following. • Mouse Tracking Suite (visitor recording, movement heatmap, click heatmap, real-time monitoring, and link analytics) • Heatmap Suite (mouse movement, mouse clicking, attention, and scroll reach) • Conversion Suite (conversion funnels, form analytics, advanced filtering and segmentation by business rules, and custom alerts) This tool takes visual analysis one step further than CrazyEgg by recording and playing back your visitor’s interactions with your website in real time. These recordings allow you to gain a wealth of insight about your visitor behavior, which may reveal possible issues. You can watch your visitors’ mouse movements, what they hover on, how far they scroll down the page, and even which form fields they get stuck on the most. ClickTale’s recordings of your visitors interactions are especially valuable because the visitors don’t know they are being recorded and act naturally, unlike in traditional web usability testing where the participants are fully aware they are being recorded and may act in different ways than usual, or may be prompted or guided by a moderator. The results of these visitor session recordings are then automatically translated into aggregated static reports, allowing you to gain additional insights. These reports offer unique insights. For example, the funnel report (often seen in web analytics packages) is taken to another level when intra-page information is exam- ined. In Figure 5.14 the Conversion Report shows a progression of engagement with a form on a landing page: • Visitors who landed on the page 128 • Visitors who interacted with the form • Visitors who tried to submit the form • Visitors who successfully submitted the form Figure 5.14 ClickTale intra-page conversion funnel report The company offers a variety of reasonably priced plans and also has an enterprise-level offering for larger clients. ClickTale was one of the pioneers of in-page analytics, but there are also other recent options, including tools that are more expensive but feature-rich like Tealeaf as well as less expensive but more basic tools like Userfly. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀■ VISUAL ANALYSIS TOOLS AttentionWizard Visitor heatmaps and recordings are great for understanding visitor interaction with a live website, but what if you want to know how visitors are likely to interact with your page before you even launch it? An interesting new approach is to use a software algo- rithm to predict initial visual attention on the page. With advances in neuroscience and computational attention, it is possible to predict where a visitor to a website will focus during the first few seconds of their visit. One example of such a service is the AttentionWizard tool (www.AttentionWizard฀ .com) created and operated by SiteTuners. An image is cropped to simulate the “above- the-fold” experience on the page (so that no conscious volitional browser scrolling is required). The image is then uploaded into the web-based tool. See Figure 5.15 for an example of the original image. 129 Figure 5.15 Example input image for AttentionWizard The corresponding AttentionWizard image is instantly produced showing both the predicted eye movement as well as the heatmap of attention for the page (See Figure 5.16).130 Figure 5.16 AttentionWizard heatmap example Although not as accurate as eye-tracking, and slightly less accurate than mouse- movement heatmaps, the AttentionWizard approach has some compelling benefits: • No real people (site visitors) are required. • Results are available within a couple of minutes. • AttentionWizard can be used on design mockups (that are not “live” yet). • AttentionWizard can be used repeatedly to refine a design concept. AttentionWizard can identify which page elements are being looked at and which are being ignored. A “busy” eye-gaze path and scattered heatmap with many hot spots is usually an indication that visual priorities of the page are not clear, which could cause visitor confusion and result in a lower conversion rate for your landing page. Armed with this information, web designers can adjust the visual elements on a page to focus attention where it belongs, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Attention heatmaps can be created several times during the design or redesign process to ensure that the visual refinements are having the intended effect. A heatmap that shows a relatively simple eye gaze path and a small number of hot spots focused on the desired conversion action is a good predictor of a page’s clarity and effective- ness. The service helps you to understand and fix potential visual issues before you push a new website or page live. C H A P T E R 5: CONVERSION NINJA TOOLBOX ■฀฀฀

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