When the web first came into being, sites were very innocuous and posed no way of knowing how a viewer used the information, or how they came across it. That was in the days of the first generation of HTML. In the last few decades the prevalence of internet commerce and the need to understand customers’ behavior better, HTML now stands at version five and its potential is astounding. It has given webmasters unprecedented insight into the way each viewer uses the website and how they interact with it. As for dental websites, this is a very important development in the last few years as the information they include must be accurate without diminishing the path of the site’s visitor.

What Is A Heat Map
One of the most interesting technologies to parallel the HTML 5 standards is the heat mapping technology that is amazingly accurate. Imagine if you could place a camera on every screen and that camera was watching the pair of eyes that are looking at a website. But triangulating the focal points of the eye, one would be able to discern exactly the coordinate the eyes were trained on at any given time. How is this beneficial? Well each visitor in isolation gives no usable inference. However, a map of the screen that puts the last thing every person looked at before clicking away from that page is magnificent intelligence.

How To Use A Heat Map
The use of a heat map in dental websites should be apparent by this point. To take it a point further, a heat map is able to depict a pictograph of all the heavily treaded areas of the page. Think of it also like a used carpet. When you look at it, you will be able to see easily where the heaviest foot traffic traversed during the life of the carpet by looking at the ware pattern. In a heat map pictograph, a color chart, similar to a heat map is superimposed onto the dentist’s website to show where most people look at. A pattern soon develops and it’s easy to see what people like and dislike after a period of time.

Adjusting Web Content Based On Heat Maps
Once the site has been online for some time, a traffic pattern that is usable and discernible emerges. There are two ways this information can be of benefit. Off course there are others that are apparent to the imaginative mind. The first is that it can be appreciated what content on any one page is attractive and has the desired set of effects on a reader. The second of course is to know at which point on the page most visitors leave. Combine this with the bounce rate and it’s easy to fix whatever is wrong with the site.

As the HTML technology increases, there are more and more tools that come available to the webmaster. The whole point is not to invade on the viewer’s privacy but more importantly to provide a more accurate and appropriate solution. Heat mapping is at its infancy and it will surely be used with other analytic applications to further sculpt the perfect site experience.

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