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Use Visuals When Data Is Just Not Enough

Data is a beautiful thing - it helps us understand how things are performing, how successful our hypotheses are, and gives us the ability to make data driven decisions for the future. Data is the lifeblood of any company or brand that is looking to effectively market to its customers and stay ahead of the competition. That’s why it’s so important that companies leverage their data and analytics effectively in a way that helps them achieve their goals.

But sometimes, executives and decision makers aren’t numbers people. They don’t want charts or graphs or novel long reports, they just want the information in its simplest and truest form. As marketers and analysts, sometimes providing information in that form is hard, especially as we see caveats and areas of gray. But luckily, it’s not impossible.

Say It With Visuals

Humans want information quickly and efficiently. We don’t like having our time wasted or compromised, especially when it comes to complex ideas or information. One of the best ways to remedy this issue, especially for your executives who are short on time, is to provide visuals that say it all. When it comes to visuals:

  • People remember 80% of what they see
  • Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text

Visuals are the most effective form of communication. For instance, did you know that 93% of all communication is nonverbal? While this reflects body language, it still goes to show that we are highly visual beings that process information with our eyes and mind. So, whenever we are trying to make changes happen in our company or on our website, use visuals. The information will be much more effectively communicated. But, when we want to make changes to our website, how do we convey that visually?

Effective Visuals For Website Optimization

When receiving feedback about your website from users and analyzing your data to make changes to your website, be sure to include software that allows you to track a user’s movement and engagement on your website. Having this capability on your website is your first step to helping your team understand why changes are being suggested at a visual level. And even beyond that, it’s a real, live person on your website using the functionalities you put in place to help them make a purchase. It’s not a robot or a person paid to peruse your website; it’s a breathing user you are watching use your website.

What types of visuals can you utilize? At Marcel Digital, we use three:

  • Heatmaps
  • User videos
  • Click maps

What Is A Heatmap?

When it comes to a heatmap, the way we use this information is to analyze how far a user is scrolling down a webpage. We leverage this information to make sure that compelling information or calls to action are properly placed and that the users are reaching or seeing them the way that they are intended to be seen. When you see this type of mapping, you understand your content or media placement more and where it can be moved to be most effective.

Use Visuals Computer

Notice that the more red the color, the more users were on that section of the page as they scrolled, and the more blue the color, the less users made it to that portion of the page. This helps your team hypothesize how a page layout can be tested to be more effective for your users and your conversion rate.

What Is A User Video?

The next type of visual we use at Marcel Digital to effectively communicate our thoughts to clients are user videos. What we love most about user videos are that they are the most raw and purest form of user engagement you can get on a website. Not only will these visuals show you how the user is engaging with your website via a live session, but it will also show you trails of where they moved on your website and where they clicked. This cuts away all the analytics and data at the number value to show you what matters most: how a user is using your website with no caveats.

Here’s a screenshot example of a user video:

Use Visuals Landing Page

What Is A Click Map?

While both scroll maps and user videos are fantastic for showing how users are moving through your site, another helpful map shows you exactly where users are clicking on your website and content. Click maps help you see what elements in your website design that users find most intriguing to click. This helps you gauge what colors, buttons, headers, links, or images are most enticing to users and if these elements are accomplishing what they are intended to or being distracting.

Here’s a screenshot example of a click map:

Use Visuals Multiple Devices

How Do I Get These Visuals?

The internet is chocked-full of vendors and services that will help get you the visuals you need to make visual data driven decisions, but finding a tool that utilizes only what you need and falls within your budget is what counts the most. Decide as a team, based on your goals, what information would be the most important visuals to track. Then, decide on what your budget for such a tool is an begin to conduct research online. Here are a few tools that can help get you started:

It’s important to note that getting these tools setup and measuring correctly should be done by a professional. While they are easy to use and get set up, properly tracking and tagged can be quite difficult if you are not technically inclined. Be sure to utilize a CRO expert that can help get your team and website on the right track.

Tying It All Together

Visuals give you a wealth of information that numbers and data simply can’t. It effectively conveys user engagement on your website and what elements are working in your favor and against. Be sure that whatever visual you decide to use that it is accurately tracking the goal performance that your team decided is most important and that actionable insights are taken from it. Not only do visuals portray information in a digestible way for everyone but they also save time and effort into complex report summarization.

Next time you want to drive your point or idea home, use visuals!

Want to learn more about how you can convert your users at a higher rate with more than customer surveys and feedback? Expand your marketing arsenal to include Conversion Rate Optimization, where data and marketing combine to ensure your users have nothing short of an amazing experience on your website. Learn more by contacting us - we’re here to help!

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

Kyle Brigham headshot

About the author

Kyle Brigham

Kyle Brigham is the Chief Strategy Officer at Marcel Digital. He specializes in client services and project management, but also original Nintendo games and ping pong.