Leverage Heatmaps to inform your marketing strategy

If you’re in the Marketing, Design, or Product space, you have probably heard of Heatmaps. But what is a heatmap? And how can you leverage heatmaps to make data-based decisions? In today’s competitive marketplace, user behavior data and user needs must inform your marketing strategy.

In this article, I’ll overview the four primary heatmaps typically used when analyzing user behavior.

  1. Click
  2. Scroll
  3. Engagement
  4. Movement

What are heatmaps?

Heatmaps are visual representations of behavioral data.

Heatmaps offer visual representations that reflect levels of user activity on your website, product page, or advertisement. They are extremely beneficial in conducting usability testing, updating web design, and understanding user behavior. The primary use case for heatmaps is to measure how site visitors or customers engage with the products, site pages, and information on a website or advertisement.

The use cases for heatmaps are broad, because heatmaps can be used to develop a deeper understanding of user behavior across multiple channels.

Click (or tap) heatmaps

As the name suggests, click heat maps show:

  • Where users are clicking on your website.
  • How individual calls-to-action (CTA) and other clickable content converts.

Click heatmaps help you measure the effectiveness of links, site design (are site visitors immediately clicking on the search bar, or do they parse through your menu?) and product pages.

Other use cases for click maps include:

  • Improving your conversion rate by identifying issues that keep users from converting
  • Tracking the usability of both old and new website features

Click maps are effective at measuring where site visitors gravitate, which can be applied to many business objectives.

Click or Tap Map Sample

Scroll heatmaps

Scroll maps compile data points about how far down a webpage average users scroll, and visually display the drop-off. Those data points are then averaged, to reflect the average user interaction with your digital content. Essentially, the Scroll maps how much of a page’s content site visitors view and interact with.

Use cases for Scroll Maps:

  • Measuring engagement with your content
  • Determining the optimal location and placement for important content
  • Measuring the percentage of site users viewing content.
  • Evaluating why a piece of content or Call To Action (CTA) is not effectively converting

For example: Users land on the page from a social media ad, but aren’t buying products or aren’t buying ‘enough’ products

Scroll Map Example
Scroll Map

Engagement heatmaps

Engagement maps show the duration spent on a webpage, or advertisement.  Engagement maps are very similar to scroll maps, but display user behavior data from a numerical perspective. These maps help you in assessing the core elements on a page that really resonate with your site viewers. For example, an engagement map would inform the placement for calls to action in order to increase conversions.

Use cases for engagement maps:

  • See what items and elements of your content hold attention the longest
  • Determine where to place calls to action (CTA) to get as many views and conversions as possible
  • Monitor the kinds of content site users look for
Engagement Map Sample

Movement heatmaps

Movement maps show where users focus their attention and whether they discover the important elements on your site, such as your calls to action (CTA). The movement map is similar to the attention heatmap, but provides additional data points on how users move their mouse, and navigate your website or purchase flow. Research has shown people place their mouse where they hold their attention or read content on a site.

Use Cases for Movement Maps:

  • Determine where the best real estate on your site is
  • Find issues that stop conversions
  • See if people fill out your form, hover an element, or watch your video

Typically, insights from movement maps are applied to usability; or when optimizing the customer journey/ use cases on a website. Warmer spots are typically the most ideal location to have value driving elements.


Movement Heatmap Sample

Final thoughts

Heatmaps are extremely beneficial when conducting usability testing, updating web design, and in understanding user behavior.  For a competitive edge, you too can leverage heatmaps to make data-based decisions and inform your marketing strategy. If you’d like to see features of Heatmaps in action, please check out these resources from the heat mapping tool Mouseflow! 

If you’d like to speak with us regarding the value of heat mapping tools for your business, please reach out to start a conversation. We’re here to help.

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