Saturday, April 28, 2012

SEO in 30 Minutes or Less: Leveraging Smokin’ Hot Heat Maps

Heat mapping has been available for years, but now it’s easier than ever to implement, use, and leverage it in your website. For merely the cost of a dinner each month, you can implement heat mapping software throughout your website. And the insights you can glean from heat maps are nothin’ short of smokin’ hot!
Heat map analysis can be conducted more quickly than you might imagine. In fact, in the time it takes to watch your favorite sitcom, you could be identifying valuable learnings from heat maps about your prospective customers’ thoughts, interests, and online behaviors. You can leverage these insights to adjust your SEO campaign to be more aligned with your business needs, and to streamline your site so that it’s funneling your most prized visitors to the areas you want ‘em to go – and ensuring that they do what you want ‘em to do.
Instead of viewing heat maps as merely click analytics, you should develop broader correlations to set your SEO results on fire. And to that end, here are five specific steps that you can take to glean SEO insights from heat maps in 30 minutes or less:
1.  Weight Your Links
The first step in the process is to assign a different value “weighting” for each of the links within your site. For example, a link that drives someone to contact you may be 10X more valuable to your business than a link to your news page.
2.  Verify SEO Keywords-to-Clicks
Using your heat mapping software, investigate which SEO keywords are driving the right clicks. Regardless of site traffic from SEO, if you see that your most highly prized keywords are not producing the specific onsite clicks you desire, identify a few changes you can make to your page layout, messaging or calls-to-action.
3.  Compare Search Popularity vs. Overall Popularity
It’s critical that you understand which links on each page produce the most clicks, revealing the popularity of the content on your pages. You can then add more SEO-friendly content to your site in line with your audience’s interests, strengthening your positioning on related SEO keywords.
In addition, compare the popularity of links on your site by their source. If you notice that visitors from the search engines are not clicking on your most popular links on the site, analyze the underlying reasons. Should you adjust your target keyword phrase for the page? Does your keyword-to-page mapping need refinement?
4.  Verify Country-to-Clicks
How are your visitors from your target or priority geographies clicking through your site? Are you segregating this data from other geographies? For example, one of our clients was targeting the Japanese market. However, they had been making conclusions based on aggregated global data, leading them to incorrect business decisions. You need to analyze the RIGHT data to make the RIGHT decisions for your website.
5.  Fix Anomalies
If you’re noticing anomalies with the way your site visitors are clicking on the site, address it with SEO in mind. For example, if folks are trying to click on something on your web page that actually is not clickable, try adding some SEO-friendly descriptive text to guide your users. Remove the confusion they are facing, while concurrently giving your SEO a boost.
Use heat maps for their full SEO value. Remember that a heat map is full of customer insights that can help you fine-tune your website’s SEO implementation, leading to greater business growth. Now that’s HOT!

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