Use heat map tools to learn how visitors interact with your website

Use heat map tools to learn how visitors interact with your website

It’s not enough for your business to have a website and expect all visitors to become paying customers. You should also look into your website's functionality to learn if your site is making it easy for visitors to buy your products or services.

While it pays to make sure your site's pages load fast and are compatible with mobile devices, it's customer interaction data that determines whether your website optimization efforts are effective. This is where heat maps can help.

What are heat maps?

A heat map is a graphical representation of a user’s habits displayed as individual color-coded values in a matrix. Compared to data sets presented as a confusing series of numbers, a heat map shows data in a clear and visually appealing format.

Heat maps can also help you gain valuable insights into how your visitors interact with your website. They determine which section of a webpage gets the highest visitor engagement, which pages get the most clicks, and which call-to-action (CTA) buttons are getting clicked.

Getting these insights allows you to improve your website’s user experience, and ensure engagement and conversion.

How to use a heat map

Heat maps use a warm-to-cold color scheme to show the parts of a webpage that users interact with the most. Warm hues, such as red, orange, and yellow, indicate high visitor engagement, while cold colors like blue, violet, and green show low engagement.

Types of heat maps

There’s an appropriate heat map tool for every data you want to discover. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Clickmaps

Clickmaps indicate the parts of a webpage that get the highest and lowest number of clicks, including:

  • Images
    For instance, visitors on an eCommerce website will typically click on product images to see more details. If the images are not hyperlinked, visitors won’t be able to learn more about the product. Clickmaps can help you identify such visitor behavior, which then tells you what you need to update in your website.

  • Links
    Clickmaps can help you identify parts of your website where visitors expect to find links. For instance, your visitors may expect your company logo at the topmost part of the page to take them to the homepage. If your website leads them somewhere else, you may need to update your website’s hyperlinks.

  • CTAs
    Clickmaps can determine if your visitors are clicking on your CTAs. For CTA buttons that are not getting clicked, you can make improvements by putting them on the most prominent part of the page and removing any unnecessary elements within the page.

2. Mouse tracking heat maps

Mouse tracking heat maps can identify areas on your website that visitors find interesting or engaging. They also reveal how visitors navigate your page. Use the data to add important information, advertisements, and CTAs to your page to drive website engagement.

3. Scrollmaps

Scrollmaps are a visual representation of your visitors’ scrolling behavior. This feature shows how far visitors scroll down a certain page and which sections they are most interested in.

Scrollmaps can tell you how long it takes visitors to access the content they’re looking for on your website. If they have to scroll to the very bottom of a page, consider adjusting the length of your webpages or splitting them into sections for faster navigation.

Scrollmaps can also show how interested your visitors are in your website’s content. If only a small portion of them scrolled all the way through most of your blog posts, for instance, you may need to improve your content.

The challenges to using heat maps

While heat maps can help you understand the needs of your customers better, some problems may still arise.

For example, you may use a heat map tool without establishing a goal. After seeing a report, you may impulsively make decisions based on raw data without looking into other factors that affect these data.

Some businesses may also use heat maps for the wrong goal, such as to increase website traffic, for example. If you want to enhance your website's overall engagement, you’ll be better off developing a sound SEO and social media marketing strategy.

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