What is a heatmap?

A website heatmap shows the performance of a website page using a warm-to–cold color scheme. The warmest color indicates the highest visitor engagement, while the coolest indicates the lowest visitor engagement.

Website heatmap can be used to determine which section of a webpage is most popular, where visitors click the most, what CTAs visitors are clicking, and other visitor behavior insights.

Website heatmaps collect all data about how visitors interact with your website and assist you in making informed optimization decisions. They remove the complexity of numbers and present data in an easily-understandable manner.

Five types of heatmaps for websites

There are five main types of website heatmaps: Heatmap (clickmap), Scrollmap, Mouse Tracking Heatmap and Eye-Tracking Heatmap.


Heatmaps allow you to gather visitor behavior insights, so you can use this data to tailor your website to meet visitors’ expectations. This visual representation shows how different pages of your website perform in terms of providing a great user experience and answering visitors’ questions.


Clickmaps show which pages are being clicked the most and least. Clickmaps not only visually represent which elements are most popular on your website, but also identify any navigational gaps.

You can track clicks using clickmaps:

  • Images – Track clicks to images on your website to determine which images are most clicked on, then add the relevant links and place them according to visitors’ expectations. Imagine that visitors clicked on non-hyperlinked images while browsing your eCommerce store. They expected to be redirected directly to a page with product descriptions. Instead, they were taken to the image and sent nowhere. This could cause confusion and lead to friction. Clickmaps can help you identify these patterns and make data-backed improvements.
  • Links – Use clickmaps for visitors to determine where they expect certain links to appear and then place them according to their expectations. For example, let’s say that your visitors click on an element or section without links to the homepage after clicking on the linkmaps you have set up on one of your pages. This means that the structure of your page is not meeting your visitors’ expectations and it is time for you to make changes.
  • CTA – Clickmaps are used to determine if users are clicking on the main CTA, or getting distracted by other elements. Find distractions that are distracting your visitors and place your CTA in the most visited area of your website.
  • Navigation – Improve user experience (UX) by checking your website’s navigationability with clickmaps. Your visitors might expect that clicking the “continue” button on the cart page will take them back to the product page where they added the product to their cart. Contrary to what your visitors expect, the continue button takes them to the next stage of the checkout process. Your website’s navigation is not up to par with your visitors’ expectations. It needs to be changed.


The Scrollmap displays your visitors’ scrolling behaviour. It shows how far users scroll down pages and which sections they spend most time in. It shows you how many people scrolled down a page to the bottom, the percentage of people who scrolled through half of a page and not all of it, or the areas where most people abandon a page.

Tip – Based on the scrollmap report, place the most important elements of the webpage in the sections where people spend most time.

Scrollmaps are not only used to indicate data in different colors, but also show percentages. This is useful for keeping track of how many users moved down from your website and which ones didn’t. They can help you identify important content being overlooked.

Use scrollmaps to:

  • Find the optimal length of a webpage that visitors won’t scroll past, determine if visitors reach the bottom of the page, and identify false floors or false bottoms.
  • Find out where your visitors spend the most time and what is losing their interest.
  • Find the best place to put key information, such as CTAs.

Heatmap of mouse tracking

Mouse Tracking Heatmap, also known as Hover Maps (attention maps), Move Maps (move maps) shows where visitors hover their cursor most often.

Use mouse tracking heatmaps to:

  • Identify which sections are most visited. This gives you an idea where to place important content, such as primary CTAs and advertisements.
  • Analyze where the visitor hovers while scrolling through your website. This will give you insight into where they are looking.

It is interesting to note that visitors tend to hover over areas they find interesting and engaging, or take longer to understand because the message may be unclear or confusing. Mouse tracking heatmaps are a great way to identify the areas where visitors spend most time and what they don’t understand.

It is important to keep in mind that this may not always hold true for online news sites. This is due to something called “parkers”. Parkers are visitors who keep their cursor in one place, regardless of whether they are reading in a section or not. Data pollution can often be increased by overlooking the possibility that parkers could affect your mouse tracking heatmap data. Segmenting based on time spent is one way to get around this.

Let’s say, for example, that the most popular article on your news website has a 6 minute read time. You can give visitors an additional buffer of 4 minutes so that you can segment visitors to exclude users who spend less time on the page. This allows you to include only the visitors and users that actually read the article in the analysis. It also eliminates the possibility of data pollution from the presence of parkers.

Heatmap for eye-tracking

Eye-tracking heatmap and mouse tracking heatmap are often misunderstood. Eye-tracking heatmaps are based on fixation length and how often visitors look at an image. They represent the most appealing elements of a page to visitors in the form “hot” or “cold” spots. This is done by tracking the movements of a visitor’s eyes.

The human tendency to prefer sight over all other senses is a benefit for many businesses. An eCommerce store could benefit a lot if it can identify what their visitors are most interested in when they visit their site. Businesses can make data-backed improvements to their websites that meet visitor expectations by identifying what sections are most appealing and which elements can be placed where there is the most eye interaction. To determine how engaging certain images are on a website’s site, eye-tracking heatmaps can be very useful.

Use Eye-tracking heatmaps to:

  • Find out what information your visitors are most interested in by identifying the areas on your pages.
  • Determine if the visitors’ eyes are being distracted by any visual or text element on the page.
  • To place important content and images at the most eye-catching sections of the page, track visitors’ gaze patterns.

Get in touch with us and learn how to create your heatmap for your website.

Photo by Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash



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