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What Are Heatmaps? And How to Use Them to Improve Your Marketing

Oct 08,2021
What Are Heatmaps? And How to Use Them to Improve Your Marketing

Consistently implementing more tools to track your marketing efforts will build outstanding marketing campaigns that successfully convert more visitors.

Enter heatmaps; one of the best ways to learn everything about the visitors’ behavior on your websites, landing pages and forms. All you have to do is implement the tool on your webpage, and it starts collecting all the relevant insights about your users’ activities.

Keep reading to discover what heatmaps are and how you can use them to improve your marketing.

What are heatmaps?

Heatmaps are graphical representations of users’ behavior on your website. They show where your visitors are clicking on your webpage. That’s very useful, as you can get a detailed insight into how your pages are performing and what you can do to improve them.

One of the most popular heatmap tools is Hotjar. However, you’ll find plenty of Hotjar alternatives available.

Generally speaking, the heatmap uses colors to present the users’ behavior. It goes from blue to green, yellow and red. The blue represents a low activity level (cold) while red stands for high activity on the page (hot).

The coloring makes it easy to recognize the activity levels across different sections of your website.

Types of heatmaps

You’ll find that all heatmaps use the coloring system we’ve mentioned. However, they can display their findings differently. When it comes to heatmap types, there are:

- Click maps

- Scroll maps

- Move maps

Before we get into more details, it’s important to mention that these map types are available on mobile and desktop. The mobile version presents where people are tapping, while the desktop version shows where people are clicking.

Click maps

Click maps are also known as confetti maps. They show which parts of the site receive clicks. For example, activity levels around a call to action such as a button on your website are often high. On the other hand, it might turn out that a third-party ad is getting all the attention.

Whatever the case, you’ll quickly see where the people are clicking on your website.

Scroll maps

As you might have guessed, these heatmaps show how far people scroll down on your content. That’s a great way to tell whether your visitors are reading your content and how you can improve it.

If you notice that people are only scrolling down your page to click on a call to action near the end, it might be better to place it near the top of the site so that it’s easier to find. Every optimization will depend on your business needs and current user behavior.

Move maps

Aside from monitoring clicks and scrolling your pages, you can also examine how people move their mouse on your website.

The user’s activity is essential as it might suggest where people are looking on your webpage. That’s because there’s a correlation between mouse activity and eye activity. With that in mind, you can optimize your website to navigate users on your webpage better.

Benefits of using heatmaps

Using analytics can significantly help you improve your marketing efforts. With different tools, you get to learn more about all the marketing channels you are running.

For instance, you can use website analytics to see how your website is ranking, how much traffic you’re getting, and its origin.

On the other hand, you can use detailed social media campaign monitoring to get the best results from your PPC marketing campaigns.

Heatmaps are perfect for making the most of that traffic that you’ve managed to drive to your website. From the moment users land on your web page, the heatmap shows how they’re navigating and where they are clicking.

That opens up a long list of benefits for your business, as you get to detect all the difficulties your visitors are having with your website. You can improve your conversion rates, bounce rate and profits.

How to use heatmaps to improve your marketing



Fine-tuning your marketing effectiveness is an ongoing process that’ll require you to take numerous creative steps. Let’s explore what you can do with heatmaps to make your marketing even better.

1. Design better landing pages

No matter how much traffic you drive to your landing pages, if they’re not well optimized, you can’t expect any good results. That’s where a heatmap can significantly help. Following the aggregated data will help spot the weak spots on your landing page.

Are your users clicking on images expecting to get results? Is the button not easily noticeable? Do you see them leave a page immediately after clicking on parts of the page that are not clickable?
You’ll recognize what is causing these problems and understand how you can create pages that convert better.

Make sure that you’re using the best landing page by performing A/B testing. Analyze the results and pick the landing page that converts best.

2. Reduce bounce rates

A bounce occurs when a user enters your webpage, doesn’t find what they are looking for and abruptly leaves. Bounce rates are a ranking factor when it comes to your website. It signals to the search engine that it’s not serving the best result for a particular search.

Therefore, your search engine ranking might drop over time if the issue persists.
Aside from ranking factors, high bounce rates are bad for landing pages as they negatively affect their conversion rates.

Whatever the case might be, using heatmaps is a great way to see what’s wrong with your landing page. Thoroughly analyzing the map will show you why people are leaving the page as soon as it loads.

3. Lower cart abandonment rates

High cart abandonment rates might be a sign that there’s something wrong with the layout of your cashout page. If you’re not sure what might be the problem, it’s time to try solving the issue with heatmaps.
Analyze what visitors are clicking and whether there’s a click on the page that’s unresponsive. Locate the last user’s click before they leave the cart. A simple look at the map will show you the potential cause of such an action.

Try different solutions until you find the one that works best for lowering your cart abandonment rates.

4. Optimize your internal and external links

Building an effective content strategy will require you to use internal and external links. Both have their roles, and carefully structuring your content hierarchy will positively impact your SEO ranking.

Internal links provide more helpful information that you can offer on your website. That method’s a great way to keep the user browsing through more of your pages.

However, if you don’t have the additional information on your website, you can point the reader to another source with an external link.

The important part is to help the reader learn more. That way, your website builds up a reputation as a quality resource that can help people solve problems.

Heatmaps can help you place the most relevant links in your articles. Observe how the users interact with existing ones and start adding more links throughout your content. Use this approach to help your visitors read the content that answers all their questions.

5. Add images that will navigate your visitors

One of the best ways to navigate your landing page visitors is to use imagery. In the past, marketers used arrows to show people where to click, but things are more subtle now.

For example, after you build an MVP, it’s time to start promoting it. Use the imagery to point out all the core features that make your product the best choice. Add a clear call to action that stands out from the rest of the page. Your visitors will immediately know what they need to do to proceed.

Furthermore, people are likely to click on images that create an emotional response. That’s why implementing photos that might cause an emotion is a great way to help navigate your visitors.
Try out different images on your landing page and make them clickable.

6. Get more ad revenue



Is your business relying on ad revenue from your website? Heatmaps are a great way to improve those click-through rates. Add your analytics tool on all the relevant pages and see how often people click on the ads.

There are two options for you to explore:

1. Ad locations

2. Ad partner

Try placing ads on various parts of your page. Remember, don’t let the ads on your webpage make it clunky and unappealing to your readers. They should be easily noticeable but not too pushy. You’ll get to see which locations get the most clicks.

On the other hand, if the results don’t change no matter where you put your ads, heatmaps might be revealing an entirely different issue. Maybe the ads that the visitors see are not relevant to them. You should try implementing ads from other advertising networks and check the results.

If you notice an improvement in pages where you’ve changed the ad provider, slowly start making the change on other parts of the website and monitor your progress.

Concluding thoughts

Perfecting your marketing effectiveness takes plenty of time and creativity. Various analytics simplify the process, making it easier to make the right decisions that bring outstanding results.

Heatmaps are a valuable tool that’ll not only help you optimize your website but affect other social media marketing approaches in your strategy. Implement them to get a new perspective on your visitors’ behavior.


Mohamed Sehwail is a pioneer investment and financial executive who capitalized strong entrepreneurial and financial skills through working in leading roles over the past decade.

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