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Glossary entry: Heatmaps

Heatmaps in SEO are necessary for understanding usability.

What is a heatmap?

Every one of us has seen a heat map, or thermal image, at one time or another, and that's when it comes to weather forecasting. A heat map is used in many different industries, and even though they say different things, they are based on the same principle. 

Heatmaps are visual representations created using colors and compression of data. A look at the heatmap shows which spots are "hotter" than others - In online marketing, it means that a lot of data is collected there or increased traffic is seen as a "hot" spot. The color scheme is known, the red spots are hot, the yellow spots are medium and the blue spots are cold. The gradations of the colors orange (medium hot) and green (cooler) can be placed between each level.

 

Possible applications of a heatmap in online marketing & SEO

In online marketing, heat maps are mainly used to analyze the behavior of the user of a website and represent with colors the attention, the engagement and the interaction of the user on the website. These provide information about which content is interesting for the user and which is not. Heatmaps help to understand the user signals.

The goal of every website is to achieve conversions - but the exact definition of a conversion is different for every website and its owner. It is important not to lose users along the way. One can recognize with the help of heat maps as an analysis tool, how users move on the websites and where there are starting points for an improvement of the content or marketing.

 

Types of measurement of a heat map

There are different types of analysis to measure the user's behavior: 

Click tracking

Here, the data of the clicks that are made on your website are measured. This serves to understand which content is interesting for the users. It can be assumed that the more often visitors to a website click on a button, the more often they want to see the content behind it.

Scroll tracking

Scroll tracking actually refers to scroll depth, how far a user scrolls down the website before you lose them. This may be due to internal links or the visitor returning back to Google's results page. You can clearly see here what content may not be seen by users at all. 

Mouse tracking

Many users move their computer mouse to where their attention is. Therefore, this is also a very good way for the marketing of a website to recognize and guide the user's behavior.

Eye tracking

Eye tracking, or gaze capture, records eye movement and lets us see what content catches our eye. However, this is mainly used in the medical industry or in market research, because it requires special equipment. 

 

Info icon comma99 This analysis is a good tool to identify the user's behavior and thus improve the user signals. However, the most important thing of a heatmap is the correct interpretation of the collected data. 

 

Heatmap tools and their functions

A corresponding heatmap software, whose tracking code is simply built into the website, is best suited to analyze the user's behavior. Hotjar is one of the most popular tools and covers all classic heatmaps. Mouseflow has the advantage of also being able to create an interactive LIVE heatmap and adapts to the evolution, towards the interactive and dynamic website.

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