What is a heat map?
Last modified: 2018/08/27 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
If you’re a business owner, you may have heard of heat maps already. Heat maps might seem complex at first glance, but when you get down into the nitty-gritty of things, they become easy to understand. Essentially, a heat map will show you how users are interacting with your site. But, it is important to understand what a heat map does aside from its basic functions.
If you’re interested in how heat maps can impact your business and help in the pursuit of high conversion rates, then look no further. We’re here to explain all of the basic functions as well as the reasons why heat maps can benefit your business and improve your marketing strategies.
What is a heat map?
Heat maps: the basics
Heatmaps allow businesses and marketers to record how people use their websites, tracking how visitors and customers use their mouse, including where they click on pages, how they scroll and how much time they spend on your site. Heat maps were developed in the mid-90’s to aid traders in beating financial markets, using colour to communicate their data values.
As this data would normally be translated as a sheet of numerical values, their interface makes for a user-friendly data representation that can be understood by even the novice business owner or marketer.
Heat maps make visualizing data easy, comparing major marketing factors at a glance. You can easily spot trends and performance levels through various visual cues including colour intensity and visual markers. You can think of heat maps as a form of visual storytelling to understand analytical data.
What data can I collect from heat maps?
There are two common types of heat maps, and these are heat maps that measure clicks on a web page and heat maps that measure the attention people give to areas of a page. More recently, these two types have been combined and most offer both forms of data collection. As mentioned, this information can show you which headlines or titles draw in visitors and what they click on, which images are attractive to users and what distractions exist on the page.
Further, you can determine if your navigation is working, if people can locate your search options or forms easily as well as how much of your content they are reading.
This valuable information can provide you with insight into what aspects of your content and website draw in new visitors and make them click, as well as which images attract attention. Also, heat maps inform you of what aspects of your site may distract visitors from the beneficial information or places you want them to be directed.
This can help you to reformat your site and place content that’s most important to the goals of your site in the line of the visitor. Heat maps offer an abundance of worthwhile information to a growing company that they shouldn’t be overlooked!
How to get started with heat maps
Setting up a heat map isn’t overly complicated, and will generally involve adding a few lines of code into the back end of your site, or grabbing a plug-in from one of the many online apps. Once you’ve chosen a heat map service and installed the plug-in, play around with the assorted interface options.
To use a heat map efficiently, it is recommended that you be clear about what you want to achieve on specific pages of your website as you can, therefore, determine if your strategies are effective. Heatmaps can be used in tandem with other analytical tools, providing a complete overview of your content and how it’s viewed by users.
Interested? Try your hand at several types of heat maps as well as complementary applications, and see which one works best for your business!
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