Google AdSense is a free service which allows you to display adverts on your website, relevant to your content. You receive a small (very small!) amount of money each time a visitor clicks on one.

There are pros and cons to using AdSense: and we’ll go into those in a future post.

However, on the AdSense help site, in a section giving advice on where best on your site to place ads, there’s a useful bit of information whether you’re using AdSense or not: the heat map

Google's 'heatmap' for AdSense

Google's 'heatmap' for AdSense

Can you feel the heat?

The heat map – based on Google’s reseach – shows a representation of an ‘average’ website layout, and is colour-coded to indicate where ‘average’ visitors first look when they land on the page. Darker areas are where the visitor’s eyes tend to land first; with lighter areas indicating those parts of the web page where eyeballs seldom fall.

Of course, there’s no such thing as an ‘average’ website or an ‘average’ visitor, but the informations is useful nevertheless.

What are you trying to say?

Whatever your business, there will be something you’re wanting to sell, promote or highlight.

The heat map is useful tool to help you and your web designer decide where to put that most important content – the ‘buy now’ button; the link to your services; the banner promoting your latest special offer.

In the digital marketing world, these things are often referred to as ‘calls to action’. All this means is something you want your visitor to notice, click on and then – hopefully – take further steps (whether that’s contact you, buy something from you, or simply read about your business in more detail).

If you stick your important information in a light or white area of your website’s heat map, you could have the best products & services in the world only to have them unnoticed by the majority of visitors.

And if you have clutter or irrelevant information taking up room in the ‘hot spots’, you could be missing a golden opportunity.

Go where the heat is

So bear this in mind when you’re designing or redesigning your website.

Put your killer content and your links to what you want to promote in the hottest areas – don’t leave them out in the cold where no-one will find them.

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