What is a heatmap? Knowing where your visitors go

The whole point of having a website is for people to visit it. It is your storefront that never closes, your employee that does not take a coffee break much less a day off. Part of having an effective website (and marketing strategy that accompanies it) is knowing where your website viewers are going on your site. Analytics plugins like Google Analytics can tell you where your visitors are coming from and what your bounce rate is but to be truly in the know you need a heatmap.

A heatmap is a 2D representation used to display the areas of a webpage that are most frequently visited. There are several different types available and most are placed graphically right overtop of the page itself so there is no confusion as to where people are going and where their attention is on your site. Heatmaps track the mouse cursor and are typically a clear color on the display where the mouse did not go and a bright red where the cursors are spending a lot of time. It looks kind of like the weather radar that we are all familiar with.

Heatmaps are easy to install plugins to WordPress, HTTPS compatible and does not display any user information other than where they went on your site. It works in the background and does not affect your site’s performance at all since the plugin runs on another server. The data is available only to you and is available in real time! Want to update your information, just refresh the page. Most heatmaps also hide your own clicks so the data you are getting is genuine. Many heatmaps offer a free limited version and a much more powerful pay version or offer it for free for a limited amount of time. With that price you have nothing to lose to try it out.

When combined with analytics software you now know where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying on your site and where they are spending their time on your site. This will tell you what products or services they are looking at and which ones they are not. This information can help you begin or continue a successful marketing campaign. After all getting your customers to your website is only half the battle. Keeping them there is what it is all about.

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