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Turn Up the Heat: How Heat Map Analysis Can Improve Your Marketing

By Snap Agency May 15, 2019

Less than a century ago, the marketing industry looked drastically different than it does today. Catalogs, newspaper ads, and radio bits were the primary way to communicate new offers, products, and services, and increases in sales were the only way to gauge the success of these efforts. In today’s digital age, tech-savvy marketers can measure almost every aspect of our work and have the ability to measure the engagement and performance of our marketing campaigns, ads, and posts.

That being said, it’s all too easy to get caught up in metrics that seem to indicate a higher ROI, like clicks, views, and shares. Although these measurements are great indicators of the success of a given piece or campaign, they don’t offer a complete view of how visitors come across your content, where they are finding you, and how they interact with your site. Luckily, there are other tools that can show exactly that. Let’s talk about heat mapping.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

With the evolution of technology and marketing techniques, many charts, graphs, and tools have been created to help digital marketers visualize which types of content generate the most organic engagement, and which areas of their marketing strategy or implementation need work. Called heat mapping analysis throughout the marketing world, these visuals offer valuable insight to help marketers better connect with their consumers and ultimately improve their ROI.

Looking very similar to a weather map outlining the wingspan of an upcoming storm, heat maps generally use a rainbow of color to determine sections of content or areas of your pages where consumers spend both the most—and least—amount of time. High engagement or “hot” sections show up in warmer colors (reds, oranges, and yellows), and low engagement sections are represented by cooler tones.

Types of Heat Maps

Although a majority of heat maps utilize colors in a similar way to sort data, they can present this data in different ways. Here are the three most popular types of heat maps.

Scrolling Heat Maps

Scrolling maps show how many visitors scroll through each section of your page or content. The “hotter” the section, the more clicks or visits it has received. Many companies use this type of heat map to determine the strongest potential color scheme, or how to visually lay out their webpages, and where the best places to put offers and CTAs might be.

Hover Heat Maps

Hover maps indicate areas on your page where visitors hover their cursor while perusing your content. The “hotter” the area, the lengthier the hover. Information like this is very helpful in determining how consumers actually navigate through your content, showing you the best places to add buttons, references to your social media accounts, or internal links.

Click Heat Maps

Click maps do exactly what they sound like they do: show what sections of content visitors click on the most. The more clicks a section of content gets, the “hotter” it is. This information is helpful in showing if your buttons, links, and CTAs are getting the kind of clicks you hope for. It can also show if consumers are getting confused and trying to click on non-actionable aspects of your pages.

Utilizing Heat Maps

Heat mapping sounds great, doesn’t it? We totally understand the desire to use this valuable analytic tool on every single webpage and piece of content you publish to make sure the best version of your work is out there. Unfortunately, that’s not a very efficient way to do things. The best way to leverage heat maps is to analyze the pages that you consider to be the most important in your conversion process and those that contribute the most to your ROI.

At Snap, we look at your website’s home and landing pages as the most valuable. Since your homepage often provides visitors with their first impression of your offer, product, or brand, it needs to pack a big punch in order to gain consumers’ attention. Similarly, landing pages serve as a way to turn interested visitors into customers or clients. Since all three types of heat maps we mentioned focus on a different key stat, you may find it helpful to utilize multiple types of heat maps to ensure that your home and landing pages are as comprehensive as possible.

Stoke the Fire With Snap

Although there are many online tools available to help businesses learn to run and read these analyses, working with a digital marketing company who specializes in heat map analysis can increase your results and ensure you’re making the most of this valuable tool. If you’re looking to make a beautiful website that works well and maximizes your conversion rate, contact Snap today.