If you know me even just a little, you know that I love data. Especially in the field of arts marketing because we tend to have our own preconceived notions as arts marketers on what “our people” like, what they want, and how they behave. Good data can either back that up or contradict it and put you on the right path.
This is so true with websites. In my travels, I find that most arts organizations are very concerned with how their website looks which is understandable because we are so visual. However, what if that visually stunning website actually hurts your conversion rate or is hard for people to navigate?
I hope that everyone reading this has Google Analytics installed on their site and that you regularly look at the data. (If you don’t, install it IMMEDIATELY. If you do, go and look at the data right now. RIGHT NOW. If you aren’t sure how to read the data, Google has lots of free resources to help you.)
Another way to see how people are interacting with your site is through heatmapping. I’ve had heatmapping installed on the Palm Beach Opera website for the past few years and, I’ve got to say, that I love it. It gives you a different take on the data because you can see not just what content people are viewing, but where they are looking on each page of your site.
Here’s a sample heatmap:
You don’t have to be some sort of tech genius to see that the Buy Tickets button is performing pretty well here.
My favorite heatmapping software is CrazyEgg.com. You can set up any number of what they call “snapshots” which are really just pages for them to track. Let them fun for a few weeks to see what people are looking at most, or what might be more useful, what people aren’t looking at.
They offer a nonprofit rate and I end up paying about $100 for the entire year which is affordable for even a small nonprofit.
Installation is also quite easy. If you have a website that is built using WordPress, all you have to do is install their plugin and copy and paste the little bit of code that they give you when you create your account. If you don’t use WordPress, they’ll give you some code that you can copy and paste (or have your website person copy and paste) into your site’s HTML.