Visualization helps you put huge sums of data gathered from web analytics tools into a visual format that’s easier to understand. Spreadsheets and lists just can’t convey the meaning of data the way a chart can. It helps you gain insights, find trends and patterns, show large amounts of data at scale, and identify items for further analysis. One way to use visualization with web analytics is through “heatmaps” that reveal insights about user behavior.

Types of Visualization

Before we go into heatmaps, it’s important to know that there are other types of visualizations – which one(s) you chose typically depend on the type of data, your audience, and the purpose of the visualization. They range from common examples like pie, bar, and Gantt charts to advanced visualizations such as Sankey diagrams, sunburst diagrams, and, of course, heatmaps. 

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What is a Heatmap?

A heatmap is a two-dimensional visualization of data where values are shown with specific colors. Typically, intense colors (i.e. red) are used to display values that need attention. In the following heatmap example, which shows where users are clicking on a webpage, each value has its own colour. Higher values are displayed in green while medium and lower values are displayed in shades of yellow and red, respectively.



How can I use heatmaps to improve my websites?

Heatmaps are often chosen for displaying web analytics information because they reveal insights into user behavior, including:

  • Which links are clicked most often
  • How users scroll through a page
  • Reading patterns
  • Whether users are looking at and/or clicking ads
  • If the interface is being used as expected

As examples, these heatmaps show exactly where users spend the most time on a page and which links are most popular. You can use this information to improve your websites in ways that make your content more effective and increases click-through rates.                 



Heatmaps offer easy-to-follow insights into your website performance, allowing you to confirm the organization and content of your webpages and, if needed, adjust the position of popular links and content, improve ad placements, and fix interface issues. Visualization allows you to use the extensive information gathered through your web analytics platform to make better decisions about your websites.  


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