Heat Map Analytics: User Tracking Made Easy

Nasrullah Patel
COO
Peerbits
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Heat map analytics provide valuable analyzed data on on-page customer behavior in a visually appealing way and are accessible and easy to understand.

A heat map is a color-coded graphical representation of data used in analytics to show user behavior on a webpage.  Developed by Cormac Kinney for the money markets in the 90's, today they are used to track the actions of users on a website. 

Heat map snippets trace your user's mouse clicks, and mouse movement then compiles that data into a heat map. It does sound a lot like some security agent’s covert activity on your webpage. Even more captivating is that the heat map really does a resemble one of those spy maps you see on TV. 

Types of heat maps

Click maps
These look cool and communicate a lot of valuable information based average click data on a page. Too blue and you have few clicks, warm reds and your rates are average, bright white and yellow, and your click rates are off the chart. They are very efficient tools for page optimization and heat map analytics more information here.

Scroll maps
Want to know just how far down your users scroll your page? Scroll maps are what you need. They pinpoint drop-offs easily and pinpoint areas where your design needs some tweaking.

Hover maps
These heat maps borrow heavily from traditional eye tracking, heavily depending on mouse movements. This, in essence, is their downside. The accuracy of tracking a mouse cursor is debatable. People often stare at the content they are not actually hovering over, and at times cursors do hover over the content we do not care for, according to these statistics by Google's own, Dr. Anne Aula.

What are the benefits of a heat map?

  • They give detailed information on the behavior of your users when online, which should give you pointers on improving their user experience.
  • They are really cool to look at and read making them more accessible to people who cannot understand complex data or do not like to interpret complex data.
  • More advanced heat mapping tools can assist you filter and segment your data as necessary.
  • They can direct you to the best areas for ad placement to optimize advertising and increase revenue.
  • A heat map can show which content is getting the most attention and help you place it in the best position for increased conversion rates.
  • If your pages are getting abandoned and you do not know why, heat maps can show you the flat bits of your websites, or those that cause a high drop off rate. This will assist you to revise and redesign those pages.

 Tips on using heatmap analytics

  • For heatmaps to deliver accurate results, you need enough visits and conversions to prevent anomalies. Rule of thumb is a page should have at least 2000-3000 page views to be view worthy.
  • The information gained from heat map analytics should be used carefully. Heat maps may clue you in on the events of a page, but may not answer the “why” to that behavior.

 When combined with other tools, heat map analytics can significantly assist in conversion research, by acting as good starting points for research, rather than end-all be-all analytical tools.

About Nasrullah Patel

Naseullah Patel

Patel Nasrullah is a co-founder at one of the best mobile app development agency, Peerbits. He devotes his time in inspiring young leaders to take the leap of faith. With the experience of 10 years in Web and App development, he now gives full attention to the enterprise by offering mobility solutions about the strategic planning and execution.

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