Heat maps: what they are and how they will improve your website

Heatmaps are a key tool that you need to know and start applying in order to offer the best user experience within the digital environment. Want to know more about heatmaps and the benefits they can bring to your website? We’ll tell you about it!

Heat maps: what they are and how they will improve your website

The website speaks of the brand by itself, it is a reflection of what the brand is and what the user perceives of it. Throughout the day the website is filled with hundreds or thousands of visits, a traffic quite complicated to control and to bring to our own field. For this, it is necessary to have tools such as heat maps, a resource that allows us to know more about the user, to know what he likes and what he spends more time on, without forgetting that the user experience within the online environment is primordial.

What is a web heat map?

It is a graphical representation in which different colors are used to indicate the different parts of the web page where users make more interactions, the sites where the surfer clicks, the parts that are read and those that are passed over… It is a way to monitor user activity with the aim of offering a better experience in the digital environment since in this way statistical data is obtained that allows to improve the website by making it more easily navigable.

The different types of heat maps depending on the need

There are different types of heat maps or heatmaps depending on the specific needs to be met. Each map is different and the choice between one or the other depends on the information to be obtained. Among the most commonly used are:

  1. Click map: it becomes known in which parts of the website users click the most, which allows to pay more attention to the parts that generate more traffic in order to avoid possible leakage of conversions. This type of map is quite reliable since it collects voluntary user actions.  
  2. Mouse movement map: detects the user’s mouse movement within the website, although this type of maps are more difficult to analyze and have certain limitations, to obtain reliable data should be countered with other sources, such as web analytics tools like Google Analytics or other heat maps.  
  3. Scroll map or vertical scrolling: it allows you to know how far the user reads, which parts he stops at and which parts he skims over. This gives you the possibility to adapt the text according to the visitor’s activity, identify areas of low interest and consider a change in the structure of the website.

Main objectives of a heat map

These are some of the objectives and benefits of using heat maps for your website:

  1. Detects faults in our website: it can guide us when framing the structure of the page, the way of arranging graphics, images, if the image-text combination works correctly…  
  2. Measure the ideal places to include advertising: it guides us to see where we should include ads due to the traffic they generate. But we must be careful not to include advertising in the places that attract the most attention, as this would detract from the content of the website itself.   
  3. Knowing the most visible areas of our website: they offer us all the information we need to know to know what content and what elements we should include, in which places they should appear to have more visibility… In this way we come to understand user interaction and know where the user’s attention is focused.   
  4. Measuring the distance users travel: specifically, motion maps allow you to observe how far users view the page and can help you determine the optimal page length and the level of interest in the website. These maps can provide information on the extent to which users browse the content and leave the site.  
  5. Optimize conversion rate: Heat maps help to understand how users interact with the website so that they can solve critical business questions. One solution to increase the conversion rate could be to redesign the page so that the content is more organized and structured, allowing users to continue browsing the page.  You could also choose to move the CTAs above the fold and facilitate interaction with the interface.  

Tools to make a heat map

These maps use a standardized color scheme. The areas with the fewest visits (the so-called cold ones) are marked with green or blue, while the hottest ones can be represented with red, orange or yellow.

The most important thing about these maps is to apply them for a certain period of time, since in this way relevant data can be obtained to create statistics that provide value and improve the user’s experience on the website.  Among the tools used to generate them are:

  1. Crazy Egg: one of the most widely used tools for creating heat maps, it also allows A/B testing and provides information on search terms, browsers and operating systems used.
  2. Hotjar: freemium tool that works with the main platforms for creating websites and ecommerce. Being responsive, you can create heat maps regardless of the device used by visitors.
  3. Mouseflow: tracks user behavior and sends the data to the platform. When installing it, a code snippet needs to be added to the web page.
  4. Clicktale: another of the most popular tools, is in charge of providing different analyses of your website’s traffic in real time. It is focused on websites with high traffic volume.
  5. Microsoft Clarity:  It is a free tool launched by Microsoft in 2021. It is equipped with a wide range of features such as integration with Google Analytics, real-time data processing through a control panel.

Heat maps are very useful to detect those points of improvement on your website, they provide relevant information, especially for ecommerce, they play a fundamental role in the continuous improvement of a website in terms of increasing conversion rates, usability and a better user experience.

However, heat maps should be analyzed in conjunction with other analytical data. In this way, it will be possible to get an overall view of the interaction on the page and to find out whether the content being produced really attracts users or needs to be modified.

Would you like to apply heat maps and make improvements for the user? Our Digital Analytics and Web Development teams will be happy to help you, do not hesitate to contact us 🙂

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