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Heat Map

A heat map or heat map is an analytical representation form used to visualize data. In online marketing, heat maps are used to review user behavior and the structure of websites. The analysis usually provides important information for the OnPage optimization of a website.


The heat map has been used as a data or information visualization method since the 19th century, when Paris city planners used different colors to mark the city map in order to illustrate statistical data more clearly.

Today, heat maps are used in many different fields. These include weather maps, energy inquiries, sports game analysis and, in particular, online marketing for web analysis.

File: 600 ├Ś 400-Heatmap-en-01.png


A heatmap uses different colors that are typically associated with temperatures. Thus, the classic heatmap contains the colors red (for very hot), orange (for moderately hot), yellow (for hot), green (for cold), blue (for very cold).

For example, in the context of an eye tracking analysis, dark red fields could be used to signify that subjects focused their gaze on that particular part of the web for quite some time. Dark blue areas could indicate areas that were not seen by people during testing. In most cases, a so-called is provided f-shaped pattern, which is considered a standard model in the field of eye tracking.

The [ next page] uses keyboard inputs to provide a clear illustration of how heat maps are created.

Uses in online marketing

Heat maps are interesting analysis tools for SEOs and marketing experts. For example, SEOs can use heat maps to locate important areas of a website in order to place relevant content there and thus achieve a higher CTR. At the same time, the heat map also helps to improve the usability of a website. It can also provide web designers with tips for designing a web portal. Similarly, SEOs can use heat maps to plan better placement of certain items on the page.

Among the things that can be visualized using heat maps are:

  • User clicks on the web offer.
  • Mouse movements on the web.
  • Eye tracking (here, the heat map is usually the result of eye tracking studies).

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