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What Are Heat Maps And How Can They Help You?

Brett Tadlock

VP of Customer Engagement

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  • The world has become extremely competitive and if you do not leverage data which is your biggest asset, the business will not be able to compete in the market. In order to utilize data, the business has to use Data Science, Data Analytics, Business Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Visualization, Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence. Technology has made it possible to gain actionable insights about customers.

    However, it might be possible that deterministic data is unavailable. It could be due to various reasons such as the customer visiting the online store for the first time or not being a loyal customer. But, there is only one shot at making a good first impression. This is why you have to design a store experience which automatically attracts new customers. This can be done through a compelling introductory offer or campaign. In order to do so, both Heat Maps and probabilistic insights are required.

    What is a heat map?

    Visual representation is provided by Heat Map of the data. Ever since Heat Maps were developed in the 1990s by Cormac Kinney, their importance has grown significantly due to their ability to provide actionable insights. Heat Maps allow businesses to quantify and record what users do with the track pad and mouse. This is visualized in a compelling manner. The term Heat Maps includes hover maps which track mouse movement, click maps, scroll maps, and attention maps. 

    Hover Maps

    Usually people refer to a Heat Map and think of a hover map which shows the areas that people hover over on a page using their mouse. The idea behind a hover map is that people tend to look at where they hover. They are based on eye technique which is a classic testing technique. 

    However, the effectiveness of a hover map is debatable as people do not always look at things that they hover over. It is possible for people to hover over something that they do not want. Thus, the accuracy of Heat Map such as a hover map is not always reliable. There have been various studies on the effectiveness of eye tracking and it has been found that there is no useful correlation between mouse movement and eye movement. It can even be argued that Heat Maps provide a vague impression of where the user is looking or what he/ she might be interested in. There have been a few studies which indicate that there is a higher correlation between cursor position and gaze. Some of the issues that need to be considered are confirmation bias and misleading data in the analysis.

    Algorithm Generated Heat Maps

    A visual is generated for Heat Maps that use an algorithm for analyzing the user interface. Such an algorithm considers various attributes such as size, visual hierarchy, contrast, colors, and the like. When it comes to visual attention algorithms, the visibility of different attributes is calculated by the software of the attributes within the image. However, keep in mind that algorithms are not as sensitive and are unable to detect the difference in design, and cannot effectively predict the visibility levels. This means that one cannot trust these maps. 

    Click Maps

    Heat Maps which comprise aggregated click data are known as click maps. In a click map, the warmer the red color, the more the clicks, and if the color is blue, it means there are fewer clicks. Most of the clicks will be shown through bright yellow and white spots. These maps offer great communicative value as they are able to demonstrate the need for optimization. For instance, it is possible for a big photo to get the most clicks, but it might not be a link. In such a case, you should either turn it into a link or change the way it looks. Google Analytics allows you to see where most people click. Enhanced link attribution should be set up for the best results. 

    Attention Maps

    The attention map is another great Heat Map which shows the areas of a page that are most viewed by the customer’s browser. Both vertical and horizontal scrolling activity is considered. Thus, you can determine which areas of the page get most viewed and also let you know how long users spend on that page and how far a user scrolls. This is why many marketers consider attention maps to be far more useful as compared to its click-based or mouse-movement counterparts. It allows you to see which visuals and texts are most visible to users. Therefore, pages can be better designed by considering the user. 

    Scroll Maps

    Scroll Maps allow you to see how far users scroll down on the page. They enable you to know where users stop. When designing a long-form sale page, scroll maps are crucial. As a rule of thumb, the longer the page, the fewer the amount of users that would make their way to the end. This is why content should be prioritized according to importance. The more important the content, the higher it should be placed.   

    We at NextBee are a company that offers the best services related to technology and Big Data. Our company has been operating for more than 10 years and has the expertise to help your business implement Heat Maps and Probabilistic Insights so that you can make better decisions and grow. Let’s connect today!!