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What Heat Maps Tell Us About Web Design

What Heat Maps Tell Us About Web Design

Heat maps are a great tool to use when you want to learn more about your website visitors. They will help you see where people click on the page, where they scroll, and how long they stay on the site.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the different types of heat maps out there and what they can tell us about our web design.


What are Heat Maps?

Heat maps are visual representations of data. With web analytics, the data is collected when visitors interact with your website. Heat map services will track clicks or mouse movements and display them in color on a grid over an image of the site you want to examine.

The darker areas represent where more people have interacted with content on your page, while lighter sections show where fewer people clicked (or even looked).

Let’s say you have a website and want to know where the majority of your visitors click. You could run A/B tests, but that takes time and money.

A heat map will give you all this information in one quick overview – without having to do any extra work! This is especially helpful for websites with plenty of content on each page as it can be hard to see patterns when there are too many variables.

Heat maps help by giving us specific numbers and visualizations so we can draw conclusions more easily about what works best online.

Heat Map on WebCitz Website

How Heat Maps Help in the Web Design Process

Heat maps are a great tool to use when you want to learn more about your website visitors. They will help you see where people click on the page, where they scroll, and how long they stay on the site.

1.) Learn what your visitors want

Heat maps help us to know what visitors want. We may discover that a lot of people click an image or button we never thought about before – and it turns out to be one of your most important calls-to-action!

The word Want written on a white board

2.) Learn which type of images work best

Heat maps can show us what images are grabbing people’s attention. We may discover that a photo of the Eiffel Tower inspires more clicks than an image with a business logo!

a mouse

3.) Learn which web design elements create confusion

Heat maps can also reveal elements that people don’t understand. We might find out that the majority of our visitors are looking for a certain button or piece of content, but they’re overlooking it because it doesn’t stand out enough!

squiggly light streaks

4.) Better understand what is most important in the design

When you have more than one element on a page, heat maps can help us decide the best thing to focus our time and energy on. We may find out that people are spending half of their time looking at an image in the bottom right-hand corner, which means it might be worth adding some extra information or moving things around!

With all this insight into your website’s visitor behavior, we can make better decisions about how they want to navigate pages online. It will save you money by minimizing A/B testing efforts while maximizing engagement through web design changes.

A light bulb drawn on a sticky note

5.) Assist web designers in creating effective web layouts

When you have your website redesigned, having a heat map will make the job a lot easier for the designer. Not only will you get a better product, but the designer shouldn’t take as long to do the job, which will save you some money.

two people shaking hands

What are the Different Types of Heat Maps?

There are many different heat maps out there. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common ones:

1.) Click maps

This is probably what you first think about when someone mentions heat maps. A click map shows all the places where people have clicked on your page, helping you to see which elements they thought were interesting or important.

There are three main types of data points with this type of analytics: clicks within an area (like a group), clicks outside an area but still on the same page, and clicks from another page!

2.) Scroll maps

A scroll map tells us how far down a certain webpage the visitors are scrolling before leaving it – and whether their scrolling was intentional or unintentional. Knowing a user’s average time on a page and their average scroll length can tell us how engaging they find our content!

3.) Mouse maps

A mouse map shows where people have moved their cursor on the screen. We might discover that most of your visitors place it in different areas, but leave it there for very little time, which could indicate you need to add more relevant text or images so they stick around for longer!


FAQs

How long do I have access to a heat map?

You can use them as many times as you like! Most services offer unlimited views and data retention. Some even let you download your results so that you don’t lose anything in case something happens to their servers or online platform. This is not very common though (and takes time).

Do heat maps work on mobile phones?

Yes! Heat maps are designed to be used with tablets and smartphones, so you won’t lose any valuable insights. Plus, some services let you sync your data across devices – so if someone visits a page from their computer while at home, the heat map will pick that up when they visit it again while out-and-about on their phone.

They also work well with responsive websites, which is a form-fitting website design that allows your site to work well on any device or screen size. Check out our blog article on 6 effective tips on how to make a website responsive so you only have to worry about one heatmap instead of many!

How do I use them in my business?

Asking questions is key here! Some things to think about: what content would benefit most from more clicks or engagement/what gets clicked least often? How far down do people scroll before leaving our webpage?

What images or elements grab visitors’ attention immediately upon landing on our site (or immediately make them leave)? What is the average time a visitor spends on our site? Do they scroll down to read more or do they stay put and not go any further from that point?

Do I need special software to use heat maps in my business?

You don’t have to buy anything! Some services offer free options, but you may find yourself limited. Most paid plans will give you unlimited views as well as advanced features like being able to download your results for personal records.

Which service should I choose if I want a heat map for my website?

There are many different platforms out there so it’s important to think about what type of insights you’re looking for first—and then compare those needs with each platform’s capabilities. If your goal is to find out where visitors are clicking on your site, you’ll want a service that lets you see individual clicks and not just areas of interest.

If advanced features like heat map analytics or scroll maps aren’t important, but the ability to get unlimited views for all data points sounds promising, weigh those things against each other when looking at different platforms so you can decide which one fits your needs best!


Final Thoughts on Heat Map Usage within Web Design

In conclusion, heat maps are a great way to see how visitors interact with your website, whether it’s by clicking on certain elements or scrolling down the page. Each type of heat map has its own purpose and can help you find out what content is most engaging for users, which areas they’re drawn to the most (and least), and more!

Related: The Differences Between a Mobile Site and a Responsive Site.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Timothy A in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.