Mar 8, 2012
Your team has spent hours at a whiteboard dreaming up the concept. The technology and creative departments have spent long nights with their heads down crafting the visuals, architecting information, and designing the user experience. The end result is your website—the online representation of your brand. You turn it live and unleash it into the digital ecosystem.
Building your website is only half the battle, knowing exactly how your audience (be they healthcare professionals, patients or caregivers) is interacting with your site is the other half. While there are lots of great analytic tools out there that will dump enough numerical data on you to cry “Uncle”, (we wrote another post on defining metrics and why you should be diligent) how do you really know where visitors are clicking on your website so you can refine the design, and continually evolve the experience to better meet the needs of your audience?
That’s where click tracking comes into play.
About Click Tracking and Heat Maps
Through a combination of proprietary technology and third-party software, our agency is able to generate visual “heat map” overlays of where visitors to our sites are clicking. Think of it as a transparent touchpad overlay on top of a website. Every time a visitor clicks, or “touches” the screen, that interaction is recorded and used to generate a heat map—showing where visitors are clicking and, most important, where they are not.
Putting Practice Into Play
I’ll use our own recent website re-launch to illustrate that insights gained through data visualization is not just good for pharma—it’s good for any industry.
Below is both a clean screenshot of the “About” section of our website, and an export of what this page actually looks like from a user engagement/interaction standpoint (the brighter/more intense the color the greater number of clicks—think Doppler radar from your local weather station).
In the example above, four key insights can be gained about visitor engagement:
- Top navigation is providing access to content as intended—visitors are clicking the “Strengths” section most frequently from this section.
- Left rail navigation is functioning well—“Careers” subnav clicked the most, reinforcing the success of our most recent staff recruiting campaign.
- Visitors are using contextual deep links—accessing/engaging with more content on the site.
- No interaction/engagement is transferring over to our social properties (Pharma-Bytes blog, @RoskaDigital Twitter feed, SlideShare, or LinkedIn channels).
While the first three insights support what we’re doing right, and successful areas of the user experience, the fourth insight is equally important. No clicks on these icons informs us that one of two things are occurring—visitors to our agency website are getting what they need and are not interested in ancillary content/properties, or we haven’t yet optimized the location/representation of the value of these areas on the site.
Generating Results Combining hard metrics (those generated from tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.) to identify opportunities to optimize traffic sources and content, with softer click tracking to optimize design and user experience, results in online experiences that are highly tailored to the needs of customers. By utilizing this method of measurement and optimization we were able to realize a significant boost in activity and engagement with our brand.
- 200% increase in traffic
- 100% increase in new visitors
- 1.2x increase in time spent on site amongst repeat visitors
- 95% increase in overall page views
- Significant increase in contact with our agency leaders driven from web traffic
- Increased in-bound requests for earned media opportunities
How are you visualizing and optimizing your online engagements? E-mail me or post a comment below to discuss what’s working for you and most important, what’s not.
By Heather Brady, Digital Campaign Planner Roska Healthcare Advertising