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What Are Heatmaps and How Do They Work?


Heatmaps help marketing teams and web designers understand how visitors interact with their web pages. They provide information on clicks, scrolling, page focus, and the elements that don’t get much attention at all. Heatmaps are valuable analytics tools and can provide you with helpful insights.

What Is a Heatmap?

A heatmap is a visual representation of engagement with a web page over time. Information about the page is communicated using colors.

These maps help you understand what is working on a page and what isn’t. When designers experiment with the placement of various elements, a heatmap will tell them how those changes have worked.

How Does a Heatmap Work?

Each heatmap takes an aggregation of user behavior on a website and converts it into a graphical representation of that behavior. It’s called a heatmap because warmer colors like red and orange represent areas of high activity or engagement. Cooler colors like blue represent areas of low engagement.

Scroll Maps

A scroll map is a variation of a heatmap that shows how far users are scrolling when they visit a web page. Generally, the top of the page will show as red on a heatmap, with the colors growing cooler further down the page. What can vary is where those color changes happen.

Information that is shown in cooler colors probably isn’t receiving much interaction. However, that isn’t always a bad thing. If you’ve intentionally placed the most important content and buttons at the top of the page, your heatmap activity should be focused there. If users are scrolling to the bottom of the page, that could be a sign of confusion.

Move Maps

Move maps are heatmaps that show the movement of the cursor over the page. People generally rest their mouse pointer where they are looking on a website.

Click Maps

A click map shows where users click or where they tap. This type of map indicates which links and buttons are getting the most attention.

Device-Specific Heatmaps

It’s important to view heatmaps for various devices when analyzing a web page. This analysis will help you to learn how device type might be impacting engagement.

How to Add a Heatmap to Your Website

Heat Mapping tools are part of many analytics toolsets. They may also be coded as part of website design. Once installed and configured, these tools will collect data over time. This information will then be aggregated and displayed on-demand as a colorful heatmap.

Will a Heatmap Degrade Website Performance?

Some people express concern that running a heatmap utility behind the scenes could cause web pages to run slowly. This worry is a valid concern, as running extra scripting can impact performance. However, as long as the website is generally well-designed, users should not be able to discern any slowdown.

Net Profit Marketing Fixes Website Performance Issues

Our web design team has a full set of tools to analyze the performance of your website. More importantly, we can fix any issues you have and increase engagement on your site. Contact Net Profit Marketing today for more information on our web design services.

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