The complete guide to heatmaps

What is a heat map?

A heat map (or heatmap) is a graphical representation of data where values ​​are represented by color.

They are essential to detect what works or doesn’t work on a website or product page.

By experimenting with the position of certain buttons and elements on your website, heatmaps allow you to evaluate the performance of your product and increase user engagement and retention as you prioritize jobs that need to be done. that increase customer value.

Heatmaps make it easy to visualize complex data and understand it at a glance:

The practice we now call heatmaps is believed to originated in the 19th century, where manual grayscale shading was used to represent data patterns in matrices and tables.

The term heat map was first recorded in the early 1990s. 1990, when software designer Cormac Kinney created a tool to graphically display financial information in real time. market information.

Today, heat maps can still be created by hand, using Excel spreadsheets, or with product experience reporting tools like Hotjar.

What is a website heatmap and how can you use it to inform your product?

Website and product heatmaps visualize the most popular (hot) and unpopular (cold) content of your site’s web page using colors on a scale from red to blue.

But who uses color maps? heat and how do they work?

Heatmaps provide product teams, marketers, digital and data analysts, UX designers, social media specialists, and anyone who sell anything online – deep insights into people’s behavior on your site, helping them figure out why users aren’t adopting your product, using call-to-action (CTA) buttons, or making conversions.

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By aggregating user behavior, heat maps make it easy to analyze data (by combining quantitative and qualitative data) and provide instantaneous understanding of how your target audience interacts with a website or an individual product page: what clicks, scrolls or ignores, helping you identify trends and optimize your product and site to increase user engagement and sales.

Heatmaps also often show the average fold, which is the part of the page that people see on their screen without scrolling as soon as they land on it.

The Benefits about using heat maps on your website

Heat maps help product managers and website owners understand how people interact with the pages of your website to find answers to critical business goals and questions like ‘why aren’t my users converting?’ or ‘how do I get more visitors to take action?’ Using heat maps, you can determine whether users are:

  • Reaching important content or missing it

  • Finding and use a page’s main links, buttons, enablers, and CTAs

  • Be distracted by non-clickable elements

  • Experiencing cross-device issues

As a visual tool, Heat Maps help you make informed, data-driven decisions for A/B testing, updating or (re)designing your website . They’re also useful on a broader business scale: Heatmaps allow you to show team members and stakeholders what’s happening and get their buy-in more easily when changes are needed; it’s hard to argue with a heatmap !

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Hotjar’s continuous heatmaps allow you to filter data and create special heatmaps based on user attributes, such as function or the user’s title, the date you created your account, whether you’re in a trial version of your product, and more, so you can quickly find specific information.

For example, product teams can use heatmaps to test how users interact with a new feature or prioritize bug fixes, while UX and UI designers will. use heat maps to measure the popularity or dislike of a page layout and implement changes that will make it easier for customers to navigate your website.

With Hotjar’s Featured feature, you can ‘bookmark’ and quickly share specific information from a heat map with other departments or people in your business, enabling successful cross-functional collaboration.

You can also create a ‘collection’ of heat maps to highlight specific items you want your business or team to prioritize.

For example, a digital marketer might create a collection of heat maps to test a landing page, and then decide to move a CTA button above the average fold, reducing churn and increasing subscriptions for your website or product.


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