Introduction to Heatmaps

What is a Heatmap?

A heatmap is a visual representation of quantitative or qualitative data in which values are represented by colors. It provides an immediate visual summary of information. Heatmaps use color to show the relationship and interaction between data in order to understand them in an easier way. A heatmap specifically shows you how and where the visitors engage with on-page elements. It can also helpful to predict the future behavior of those visitors.

Two of the most common examples of heatmaps used in everyday life are weather representations in a geographical region and showing the results of an election of a country or state. 

Types of Heatmaps

There are many kinds of heatmaps used on websites to understand the consumer experience and behavior.  The most common types of heatmaps are:

  • Click-tracking heatmaps
  • Eye-tracking heatmaps
  • Mobile heatmaps
  • Scroll heatmaps
  • Mouse-tracking heatmaps

Why are Heatmaps Important? 

Heatmaps are a great way to uncover conversion blockers for users on your website. A conversion blocker is an element on your webpage that hinders or prevents users from completing a call-to-action. As heatmaps show data in aggregate, as in many user interactions at once, they can be a great way to see if a large amount of users are experiencing a similar problem.

Combined with user segments, heatmaps allow for a focused analysis of group behavior that differs from session replay because you can view data from many sessions at once without having to go through them individually. This allows for a more streamlined approach to gathering data that can be used to create hypotheses for conducting A/B tests. Furthermore, when A/B testing your hypothesis, you can use heatmaps to see if users behave differently based on the alternate web element variable you've chosen to test.  

When streamlining conversion strategies, heatmaps are integral tools in any strategy to uncover and verify conversion blockers on your webpages.