Using Heatmaps to Optimize Your Web Site’s User Experience

May 9, 2022

Are you wondering how to become successful in the online marketplace? To be successful, your product or Web site needs to stand out from its competitors. UX optimization is the ideal way of accomplishing this goal. But how can you make your user experience better? In this article, I’ll show you how data visualization can help you optimize your Web site’s user experience and make your business a success.

User Experience Is Key

When your goals are boosting your conversion rates and making your Web site successful, your site’s user experience is key. A user-friendly Web site can help your business stand out from its competitors. Furthermore, when it comes to gaining a competitive advantage, the optimization of your Web site’s user experience can be a critical factor to consider.

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Just think about it: would users rather visit a transparent, well-designed Web site than one on which they can’t even find the products they want to buy? Users would probably choose the better-designed Web site even if another site offers better products. So, if you want to have a successful Web site, its user experience really is a key factor. But what if you find that your user experience is inadequate?

What can you do to determine how well your Web site’s user experience is performing? The answer lies in the measurement and analysis of the following elements:

  • transparency
  • subpages
  • calls to action (CTAs)
  • graphic elements

The good news is that with heatmaps, you can examine and analyze all of these elements and discover any deficiencies. Let’s see how.


Heatmaps are an analytical tool that you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your Web site. They enable you to monitor the effectiveness of your buttons, links, and CTAs, as well as the number of visitors for each subpage. Heatmaps provide a comprehensive perspective on how visitors interact with your Web site. That’s why they’re so useful during UX optimization.

You can use three different types of heatmaps:

  1. Click heatmaps
  2. Segment heatmaps
  3. Scroll heatmaps

These three tools monitor different metrics. Click heatmaps and segment heatmaps are most useful in the field of User Experience. You can combine them to get a more complete view of your Web site. Let’s take a look at some strategies for using these heatmaps.

Click Heatmaps

This tool records the number of times visitors click each button, link, or CTA. It highlights the areas with the most clicks in warm colors, while the areas with the fewest clicks are in cold colors, as shown in Figure 1. With this information, you can determine what buttons, links, or CTAs on your Web site are most effective. What types of buttons or CTAs attract your visitors’ attention? This information is essential if you want to make your Web site more user friendly.

Figure 1—A click heatmap
A click heatmap

Let’s look at an example: Suppose that your analysis of a click heatmap reveals that blue buttons and the CTA text Try it now are most effective on your Web site. In this case, you should consistently use these elements because they would greatly contribute to theĀ  optimization of your Web site’s user experience and increase your conversions.

If you use CTAs and text that heatmaps show to be effective, your Web site will be much more transparent and easy to use. Your visitors won’t have to look for a long time to figure out how to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product. This also reduces the dropout rates that can result from a poorly designed user experience.

Segment Heatmaps

Segment heatmaps are a newer tool, but they offer a more advanced version of the click heatmap. They don’t just show you which areas were the most popular with visitors, they also tell you what generated that particular click. This technology keeps track of where a visitor came from and lets you evaluate the data accordingly.

For example, a visitor might have found your page through a link in one of your social-media advertisements, or they might have gotten to your Web site via a link in Google search results. You can obtain this information with segment heatmaps.

What is the benefit of knowing this from a UX optimization perspective? You can see both what platforms are driving the most traffic to your Web site and how your visitors are using your Web site. This lets you optimize your Web site for each specific audience segment.

For example, if you see that traffic is coming to your Web site from social media, you can tailor your user interface to that audience’s specific needs. The same is true for traffic coming from search engines. If the visitors from search engines are more likely to buy your products, you can tailor the subpage for the product they were seeking to meet their needs.

While using heatmaps can be very helpful in improving the user experience of your Web site, you also need to use other analytics tools when optimizing your user experience.

UX Optimization Mistakes

There are plenty of mistakes you could make during UX optimization. Let’s look at two common mistakes relating to measurement, as follows:

  1. Not using other analytics tools besides heatmaps
  2. Not collecting large amounts of data

Heatmaps are very useful tools and can provide excellent data that can help you to enhance the user experience of your Web site. However, you should never use just one tool. This is important because, if you use only one method of analysis, you could easily make errors in judgment.

To get the most complete data, always use A/B testing along with heatmaps—or possibly session replays. This minimizes the possibility of error and can save you time and money.

Also, don’t forget about Big Data. On the basis of a large amount of data, you can examine trends. For example, you can see how the traffic to each of your subpages has developed over time. Plus, you can trace that data back to changes in the quality of your Web site’s user experience.


As you can see, having a means of data visualization is important in understanding how you can enhance your Web site or application’s user experience. I strongly recommend that you use heatmaps during UX optimization. Repeat your analyses at regular intervals so you can notice correlations and changes in your data over time. This information is key in making your Web site user friendly. 

Content Marketing Manager at

Szeged, Hungary

Adam KissI am currently working in the field of search-engine optimization (SEO). I am an Online Marketing Coordinator for Capturly, the developer of a full-scale Web-site analytics tool. I also analyze social media.  Read More

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