What are Heatmaps?

Heatmaps are a visual representation report, whereby values are represented by colours. Heatmaps can be used for webpages to help highlight the users activity by tracking the cursor around the webpage, highlighting clicks, monitoring scrolling behaviour etc.

They are extremely easy to read and understand and have therefore always been a common reporting method even outside of digital Marketing. Heatmaps used to be referred to as shading matrices back in the 19th century.

How do Heatmaps work?

Typically, the more attention an area of a webpage gets (typically the navigation or a CTA) the heatmap will show a red colour, with areas on a webpage which don’t get as much attention displaying a cooler shade, such as blue, and everything else a sliding scale in between.

What can you learn from Heatmaps?

Heatmaps can be used to display all types of behaviour and characteristics on a website or webpage. Some examples are below:

Scrolling heatmaps

These are able to record how far down a webpage customers scroll. This helps to visually see if users are scrolling to the bottom of your page. If not, then you may decide to change the layout of your content so that CTA’s and links are placed higher up the page and compelling content is short, concise and easy to view.

Hovering heatmap

These can show you a visual representation of where customers hover their mouse on your webpage, indicating what is sparking the user’s interest.

Click monitoring

This enables you to see what users are clicking on. If they are clicking on an area of content that has no link behind it (which means they assume there should be) this will help you to add CTA’s and links where previously they have not been placed.

Attention mapping

This will visually show what areas of your webpage customers are viewing the most, again indicating the most important areas of the page.

Why use Heatmaps?

Heatmaps help to show large volumes of data in an easy to view report. Heatmaps aren’t only used for webpage analysis but are used in many industries and sectors that have a large volume of data which needs to be represented in a graphical view; for example demographic trends and weather forecasting.

Heatmaps and AB Testing

Like session recording, heatmaps on their own give great insight and understanding but without the ability to react to the information you acquire. Combining heatmaps with an AB testing strategy allows you to create hypotheses based on the combinations of data and then test various solutions to ensure you fix the problems and areas for improvement that you uncover.

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