What are heatmaps?

 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM
Views: 6,807
2 Minutes, 38 Second
 Written By John Marx

What are heatmaps?


Heatmaps are dynamic and interactive reports to visually show you what users are doing not only on your website but in great detail on a given page. A heat map will overlay colors on your website to show where users are clicking, where mouse movements are (e.g. this is considered eye tracking as well!), how far down on a page someone scrolls, percentage of clicks on a given area, and many will even allow you to export the information for deeper dives in analytics software or spreadsheets.

As you get into heatmaps you will notice that there are two types you can use. The first is real-time where you can actually watch a single user session move on your website to see what they are doing. This could be called a creeper or stalked mode of heatmaps as you can see exactly what they are doing. The other version of heatmaps is where you can look at what a user did after they have left your site to get some valuable insights. I am going to cover the core heatmaps that we look at constantly to look for areas of improvement and functionality within a website.

  • Clicks – This will show you where someone has clicked on your page. The clicks will show based on the type of device they were using as well. The screen you look at will be based on the desktop, tablet, or mobile view the user connected to. We love the click information as it allows us to do solid A/B testing and see which landing pages perform better for our clients.
  • Moves – Scrolls show where the mouse moved on the screen. As many of you know when you move your mouse your eyes follow. When you look at the analytics of mouse movement you can be assured that the eye of your viewer is also very close to where the mouse cursor is.
  • Scroll Depth – This tells you how far down on a page a user goes. Over time you will notice that the longer the page the fewer users go down. This is one reason for creating many shorter pages rather than fewer long pages within your website.
  • Segmentation - Segmentation allows you to separate and view your information by browser type, device type, and for a selected date range. This allows you to view trends your users do over time.
  • Recordings – A unique feature is the recording feature. Here you can actually watch the entire user session from start to finish of your viewer. You can see as they navigate to different pages, scroll down, click, and see what interests the visitor.

Heatmaps don't stop there. When you are working with heatmaps they can also delve into your forms on your website and show you how long a user is in a given field. This information can help you learn if a question or field is too hard, or maybe they were talking to someone else and just got distracted for a while. Analytics can give you insights into what is happening and when.

By utilizing heatmaps you can increase your lead generation on your website, the overall user experience, and ultimately increase the revenue to your bottom line.