May 27th, 2011 / Web Analytics

Do You Use Heat Maps?

Heat maps are useful web analytics tools. If you are into metrics – and you should be – then you might consider using a heat map to help you plan and develop your website beyond its current incarnation.

So what can a heat map tell you? A lot, actually.

One of the most useful bits of information you’ll get from a heat map is knowing which parts of your web pages are the hottest. That is, where do visitors’ eyes go?

The heat map gives you a graphical representation, in colors, regarding the behavior of your website visitors. For instance, your heat map will display the hottest parts of your website in red, the next hottest parts in yellow, then the lesser hot parts in green and blue, and so on. When you see red splotches on the heat map, you know those are the parts of your web pages where visitor eyeballs travel. That’s where you want your most important links.

Another thing a heat map will tell you is which links are clicked on the most. If you have a part of your web page that is the hottest yet your hottest link is in another section of the web page, then that should tell you something. Maybe that hot link would be even hotter if you moved it.

I am sold on heat maps. You should be too. They tell a real story where your website is concerned, and you can take that story and use it to improve your website for your visitors.

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