You’ve probably heard the term “heat map” if you’ve been online long enough. They seem to be everywhere these days. And it’s not just websites that use heat-making. Doctors, marketers, engineers, sociologists, and researchers of all kinds use heat maps to convert complex data into something they can use for actionable results.
See, a heat map tool works best if you have a large amount of data that you need to decompose so that it can be more easily understood. There are all kinds of analytics out there. So much so that analytics itself has become very complex, even for a professional.
Each analytical tool seems to have hundreds of reports that break down many different ways. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. It gives marketers and small business owners a way to put together an online marketing plan.
That said, most of the data is so complex that many of us don’t understand it. This is where a heat map online tool can come in handy.
Let us look at heat making, what it is, and talk a bit about the tools you can use to get a heat map for your site.
What is a heat map?
A heat map is simply a type of data analysis tool that uses color (what looks like heat) the way a bar graph would use height and width. Basically, it uses the heat color as an imaging tool.
If you’re looking at the heat maps of a website, then you’re looking at which part of the page gets the most attention. Heat mapping will show you visually which parts of the page are more attractive.
You can use this data to make decisions for your website on the structure and how you want the page to be viewed by your audience.
With that said, let us go a little deeper into the explanation.
Heat mapping will show you data on where users have not only spent the most time on a page, but where they have clicked the most. You can even see scrolling heat mapping happening. This is basically data that shows you how far down someone is scrolling on a particular page.
Using a warm color scale to cool, the heat map provides you with all the data you need to successfully build a web page. This is based on analytics when using heating.
How Do Heat Maps Work?
Now that you have a better understanding of what a heat map is, let’s take a look at how it works. Heat mapping really works by taking the data collected from the web page and displaying that data over the page itself.
Heat maps are used in everyday life for all sorts of things. A common heat map that you see every day is the one that is displayed when you watch the weather report on your local news station.
This is exactly the same thing that happens when heatmap is used on a web page.
Heatmaps work by showing you the value of the content that a web page provides based on how users interact with it. As noted above, this data is valuable not from a site traffic perspective, but in terms of enabling you to see how you can better build a web page based on interactions.
When you perform heat making on a web page, you are presented with very complex data that can be broken down and used much more easily.
When parts of the site appear in a darker red color, it means that more people have interacted with that section. Blue, or sometimes white, denotes an area that people do not relate to within the content.
Types of Heat Maps
There are actually a few different types of heatmaps that are used for a web page. Here are three of the most popular and how they work.
Click Heatmaps: This type of heat making will give you data on where your website users click most on the relevant webpage. The darker the color, the heavier the area clicked.
Scroll heat maps: This type of heat map is basic and easy to understand. It shows you how far down users are scrolling on your web page. The color scale goes from dark to light as the page scroll gets smaller and less likely. So if the color remains fairly dark down the page, you’ll be able to see users scrolling further.
Confetti Heat Maps: Finally, the Confetti heat map will show you all the data on clicks made by different segments of site visitors. It basically tells you what referral source clicks are coming from. You can then see which referral source works best and tailor your page more to it. The heating data is presented using different colored confetti dots. For example, different countries can be dots of different colors.
When should heat mapping be used?
The short answer? Everytime. However, let’s go a little further with the answer and look into it a bit. If you are looking for analytics that is complex, but can be easily understood and broken down, then heating on your website should be done all the time.
The information is simply too valuable to pass up.
That said, if you are looking at very specific cases where you should use heat mapping, here are some to consider.
Website redesign can be time consuming and expensive. It is very necessary to do from time to time because time, design and standards change. When you redesign your business website, the last thing you want is to have it come out too close like the original.
For this reason alone, it is a good idea for you or your web developer to use a heatmap to understand what current behavior on your site looks like. That information can then be taken and used to build new page layouts that are more engaging and interactive for your audience.
A good example of this is when a web developer uses heat mapping to find out how things like color, contrast, location, and elements affect web page behavior.
It’s not ideal to not run heat maps and spend all the time and money to come out with a new design that doesn’t convert. At that point, you have simply wasted a lot of time and money. Sure, your website looks updated and different, but is it going to convert better?
A / B testing.
At one point or another, all websites should be doing A / B Tests for different elements. These type of tests achieve results that can tell you the difference in conversion lumps. And it can often make or break something a business is trying to do.
Using heat maps during the A / B Testing process can give you instant and usable insights into what your visitors are doing differently based on the different versions of your landing pages, blog posts, and ‘ your homepage.
A heat map will also show you different types of conversion rates when testing CTA (call to action) buttons and forms. Furthermore, as noted above, making heat shows the extent to which a user scrolls down a page.
This can be especially important for landing pages. Build too long of a landing page and adjustments will leak. You can use the results that the heating operation provides to determine how long a solid landing page should be.
Content Marketing. You hear this term being thrown around a lot in the online media world. Creating excellent online content is very important. Then, when you feel you have some solid content in place, you need to mark it.
There are several ways to do this. One of the easiest ways to see and understand what type of content works best for your business is to use heat-making. You can write and develop certain types of content (posts, graphics, photos, videos) and then display it how you feel is best.
You can then take all the data the heatmaps provide and use it to effectively market your content in a way where it will have the most conversions and interactions.
Here are three of the most popular things that you should use for making heat. That said, you may also want to consider using it for UX Testing and Usability and Conversion Tunnels.
Things to Learn From a Heat Map
As I said above, there are many different types of heat maps and many different things you can learn from them. Here are some of the most important things you can learn:
- Which headlines are the most clickable
- Images attract the most attention
- What items attract visitors to the site
- Best conversion rates for different CTA buttons
- Does opt-in email newsletter or buttons work better
- Does a certain type of navigation work
- Have visitors read content or scroll through
- Where to best place different types of content
- Where most users interact on a page
- Audience discrimination (men, women, old, young)
- Which locations and referral areas get the most action
Basically, if you can learn to use heat-making equipment to perfection, then you will have all the data you need and more to make your website convert at the highest possible rates.
Heat Map Tools
At this point, you should have a pretty good understanding of heat maps, what they are, how they work, and how you can benefit from them. So, if you’re wondering what heating appliances to use, I’ve put together some for you to look at.
Feng-GUI actually works much differently than most other heating appliances.
See, most tools take weeks to collect visitor behavior data and get that data back to you so you can use it for better conversion rates. However, Feng-GUI uses an algorithmic model that has tens of thousands of live eye tracking results.
The kicker? They achieve these results immediately. This saves you valuable time. They are fairly priced, so give them a look.
Crazy egg is a heat map tracking plugin that you can use to see where visitors to your WordPress site click the most. The plugin is lightweight and very easy to install and activate. You will need to sign up for a Crazy Egg account, but this is also free. A pro version of the plugin is also available.
Note: This plugin will only work on WordPress websites.
The EyeQuant Another excellent heat mapping tool is a heat map tool that utilizes leading neuroscience research and combines it with AI to accurately predict how people will react to your site. It uses the data it collects from large-scale real-life eye tracking studies conducted with thousands of different subjects.
If you want to quickly and effectively analyze current web designs and understand defects, the EyeQuant is a heat-making tool you must pay desk.
RealEye is a simple tool to make heat, yet it is very effective. The tool uses three simple steps to test your design concepts. The solution allows you to plug in your design, invite users to see it on the spot, and get instant feedback on what users see and how they interact.
It’s a great tool to use so give it a go.
Lucky Orange is another WordPress specific heatmap plugin that acts as a complete conversion rate optimization and customer feedback tool. It gives you a quick one-click installation and allows you to grab heat-making data on how visitors click, move and scroll on your website.
Note: This plugin will only work on WordPress websites.
Using heat maps to find out how to grow your business and conversions is one of the smartest things you can do. Not only will heat mapping provide you with a ton of complex data that you can use, but it will also allow you to disaggregate this data into a much easier to understand format.
If you haven’t been using heat making, now is a good time to get started. You should have a pretty good grasp of what it is. Check out the tools above to see if any of them work well for you.