Better Web Maps with Map Analytics

Analytics are a great tool for monitoring and reporting on website traffic and user interactions. It is reasonablely expected that, as a web developer I will use analytics to better understand my users and deliver them with incrementally improving services and experiences.

At Sparkgeo we build web maps. We have been doing this for half a decade and we have watched this space evolve over that time. The idea of interactive maps is not new by any means. However the idea that we should instrument our maps in a manner to actually derive meaningful analytics from them has been entirely missed. It is interesting, but seemingly most of us have been happy to just get a functional map on our websites, let alone using it as a tool for user discovery.

So what are we missing? Starting at the beginning, here are some very simple examples:

  1. What is your map bounce rate? How many people visit your map, or the page with your map and do absolutely nothing with map?
  2. Conversely, do you have an enormous number of activities on your map?
  3. Do 99% of your users zoom in immediately?
  4. Where on the map are users navigating to?

With the above cases it is possible to use the captured data to drive real business benefits:

  1. Can you make do with a static map? This could result in lower licence fees and a lower client weight (less js)
  2. Is the map much more valuable to users than the management thought? Now you understand the value, can you add conversion opportunities to info boxes?
  3. By optimizing the landing zoom, can you eliminate user barriers to discovery and conversion?
  4. By understanding where your users are looking is it possible to provide a more accurate and faster business product? This data can inform business analysts of market interest, web developers of caching strategies, and designers of UX problems and opportunities.

There are enormous benefits to measuring your web map. The biggest benefits of all will be in the knowledge you gain of your users and the knowledge that your mapping technology is doing what you expected it to. Demonstrating your map’s ROI, and justifying its presence in your website rather having the map just sitting there with you hoping it is serving its purpose. Your map should be driving value for your business or service, is it?

With Maptiks, map analytics are getting much easier too.