What is Heatmap Visualization? When & How to Use it?

Hearing the term ‘Heat map visualization’ for the first time might have brought multiple assumptions to your mind. You might have related it to geographical maps, global warming, weather forecasting, or even with creative visualizations, but in actual it is something else.

In general terms, Heat map visualization is a method of graphically representing numerical data by using color-coded systems. The purpose of Heat Maps is to view data almost instantly, in a better way.

When to use Heatmap Visualization?

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners, i.e. they process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This could be a reason why heat map visualization is very popular in use today.

Website Heat Map

Similarly, online marketers and web developers use heat maps to analyze and visualize customer behavior to improve check-outs. They also base their business strategies on visitor interactions. Such a type of heat map is called a website heat map.

Components of Heat Map Visualization

In a heat map visualization:

  • The size of each block provides its relative weight (the maximum and minimum values.
  • The color represents its relative value (the darker the color, the higher the value).
  • The information given in the grouping area of the editor panel ( in any heat-map tool) is used as data.

The 5 types of Heat maps

Here we are going to discuss the types of Heat maps used for ecommerce sites, their methods, and their purpose of use.

Clicks & Tap Heatmaps

Clicks & tap heatmaps are maps that indicate where visitors are tapping or clicking on your page. The dark (red) color shows areas of the page getting the most clicks. The intensity of the color fades away on the areas getting fewer clicks. In short, the lesser the color intensity, the lower the clicks & taps.

Scroll maps

A scroll map is another type of website heat map that demonstrates how far users scroll down a page. Scroll maps can be collected on mobile, desktops, and tablets. Just like the previous type, the darkest color is used to show the most viewed, and the lightest is used to show the least viewed parts of the page.
Scroll maps are a great way to accurately locate the areas you need a Call-to-Action (CTA) button to attract users on mobile and desktop.

Movement heatmap

A movement heat map or movement map shows those areas of your page where users navigate with their mouse. According to a study, it is found that most people tend to navigate their mouse where they are more interested.

Movement Heat Maps are used to:

  • Get an idea of if customers use some important elements like CTA.
  • Analyze issues that stop conversions
  • Locate the best real-estate on your WooCommerce site
  • Determine if people watch your videos, click on ads, fill out your forms, etc.
  • Determine issues that stop conversion rates.
  • Determine the areas where users navigate their cursors for a longer duration.

Eye-tracking Heat maps

An Eye-tracking heatmap shows a visualized data about the most and least attracting elements of a web page. The data collected is based on the frequency of elements that attract the visitors and on visitors’ fixation length. Such data is then converted in the form of an eye-tracking heatmap.
Eye-tracking heatmaps are used by marketers, Conversion rate optimization (CRO) practitioners, and User Experience (UX) designers to determine:

  • The content/image visitors desire
  • The length of time visitors gaze on each content
  • The cause of visitors being triggered by call-to-action performance
  • The optimum placement of elements by comparing attention span and frequency, etc.

Geographical heatmap

Also called geo heatmaps, geographical heat maps visually indicate the number of users from a particular geographical location. The denser the color, the higher number of visitors from that area.

Digital marketers use Geographical heat-maps when:

  • They want to set up their business in a particular city or country
  • Gather specific information related to the local users of that city
  • Compare the level of buying among localities of different locations.

How to use Heat Maps correctly

Many companies don’t know the correct use of heatmaps and they add their own biases or assumptions while analyzing them. To avoid such biased assumptions, there is a simple strategy you can follow:

Analyzing digital analytics software

Web analytics software like Google Analytics allows you to deeply analyze visitors on your WooCommerce site. You can locate problematic pages, codes, links, traffic, etc, needed for optimization. This helps you to choose what data should fit your heat map.

Asking relevant questions

After optimizing the data, you should ask yourself all the questions related to optimization. For example: are customers provided with all the necessary information required for shopping on the site’s page? What call-to-action buttons are causing problems? etc.

Heat Map Analysiss

By keeping in mind the relevant questions you had prepared, analyze your heat map accordingly.


Compare and correlate your heat map with your researched data in other surveys, analytics, forums, papers, etc.


You must now have understood the importance of using heat maps while analyzing data for your website. Once you are polished with the basics and strategies involved to use heat maps for your business, data visualization, and website update will not be that boring and tricky. You will understand your visitors really well.

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