What is a heat map?
A heatmap is a data visualization tool that displays user data captured on a website in the form of color density maps to convey user behavior and traffic patterns. The more intense the color values of certain areas, the more traffic that location of a page has received.
Benefits of using a heat map for your website
When it comes to optimizing your website for conversions, using a heatmap tool is the best possible way to identify how users navigate and interact with your UI. While website analytics, like Google Analytics, show you where users enter a site from and links they click-through to next, this sort of tool gives you a more detailed analysis of a page with greater insights.
Heat mapping shows you which buttons stand out and are often-clicked and what area users drag their mouse across most often. Using it to test a landing page, for example, will show you which elements and content users most interact with or click.
A heatmap’s true power, however, is its ability to diagnose problems on a webpage. With this tool, you can identify what areas of the page are neglected, how far down users are scrolling (if at all), rage clicks of frustration, and even analyze set conversion paths to see where site visitors are dropping off. All of this is relevant to your marketing efforts.
Different types of heat maps
Scroll heat maps show you which sections of the page your users linger on most, and which sections they scroll by quickly. Those sections with the most coloration are where your reader eyes are while the mostly uncolored sections are what users tend to skip without examining. This type of heatmap is critical to content analysis. Gathering quantitative data from scroll maps will show you what content on a page is most important to the user, the average time spent reading it, and when the user starts losing interest. Allowing marketers to visualize their content this way lets them further test both placement of content on the page and the copy itself.
Click maps, also known as confetti maps, are clean, dot-heat maps showing the precise places that users have clicked on each analyzed web page. This type of heatmap is especially insightful as marketers typically discover a large number of users clicking on content, such as an image or even a CTA, that aren’t actually links. However, with enough data proving similar user interactions, marketers can make changes based off user behavior and improve their experience.
Session-recording tools are exactly that, individual recorded sessions of each user’s experience on a tracked page. Watching visitor sessions allows marketers to experience a website just as the user would and identify errors that occur and opportunities to optimize a page for a better experience in navigating a site.
Heatmapping tools to try
In the broad industry of website analysis, there are several different tools and providers that can connect your website with a very useful array of heat maps. If you’re ready to start experimenting with heat maps or investigating the options available, the current best heatmap tools include:
Keep on testing
If testing copy and designs on your website isn’t already something you do, you should begin and do it often. The best marketers are always looking to improve the user experience of their site and lead visitors naturally to the path of conversion. It’s important to track and analyze your high traffic and revenue earning pages to truly gather enough data from heatmap software and understand not only patterns that occur, but anomalies from a small number of individuals. With the help of analytics services, you can soon gain an incredible amount of insight into the user experience of your website and how to optimize based on that data.