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Heat Maps Provide Vital Data for Webpage Owners

In today’s post, I analyse the impact of heat maps and what they show website and social media page owners. Good times!

Webpage owners (This includes all pages online) will be pleased to hear that heat maps can unravel the mystery of what visitors are looking at on their websites and social media page. Whilst not a recent phenomenon, the knowledge of social media heat maps has brought this topic to the fore once again.


What are heat maps?

Heat maps are visual imprints of what our eyes look at on a web page. They measure the depth of penetration via a ‘heat’ colour spectrum. In this example – you can see the varient in colour from red to purple. Red represents extensive eye-ball activity and purple extremely low eye-ball activity. The colours inbetween move between these two extremes.

The power of heat map insights

The real power behind heat maps is studying these colour concentrations and looking for trends. Once you have an idea of what your visitors are looking at, you can switch the layout, design and content of your pages to match these patterns.

Now for the ‘juicy’ bit – the heat map insights:

The ‘Magic Triangle’ Most studies have revealed that the ‘Magic Triangle’ is used by many website users. This means that our eyes first look at the top left-hand corner, move across to the right-hand corner, look down, and then look back at the left-hand corner.

Red hot!

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Text that stands out is looked at – bold, links or underline
  • Blog posts (especially homepage feeds with thumbnail images and bold titles)


  • Captions
  • Icons


  • Blocks of text are scanned (skim-read)

Social Media heat map insights

Red hot!

  • Profile pictures – make them snappy and interesting
  • Job titles – Really sell your skills here
  • Position of content – Important content, move to the top


  • Who you are friends with – A well-connected individual is a networker’s dream


  • Lower down content


This ties in with my previous post ‘This Message Will Self-Destruct In 24 hours‘ – As we are inundated with content, we tend to read only fresh content and dismiss the rest. It’s a reason why timing of updates and posts are so important. You need to capture as many of your fans’eyes as you can in a short time-frame.

Next steps

  • Take on board all the info you can and list the elements that visitors interact with.
  • Work with a consultant, or team members to critically evaluate your own web pages and note areas where changes can be made.
  • Draw up a new template/plan which draws on your new-found knowledge. You may need to assess your activity and make room for videos or blog writing to support your new plan/template.
  • Work with your consultant and developer to assess how to go about making these changes.
  • Find a means of monitoring (a tip is to add an annotation to your analytics graph for the implementation of these changes).

Has the heat map insights caused you to analyse your web pages? What would you change?

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing ( in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing

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  • Hi Christina, Thanks for bringing heat maps to my attention, it looks like a really useful tool particulary when it comes to explaining the need fo good web design to clients. This is definitely something I will be using in the new year. Thanks for all your insights, help and support during the year! Happy Xmas and Best Wishes for 2012. – Niall

  • Hi Niall, Heat maps are quite exciting as they give us all the data we need to build a website that interests our audience from a visibility perspective. What they don’t cover can be accessed via analytics to fill in gaps like – are my videos being watched? Or, do people use the footer links to navigate?

    You’re absolutely right – this is a great tool for translating the need for a particular site layout and design. Good design is critical and affects bounce rate, time on site and total clicks.

    Happy Christmas to you and all the Bloggertone team. It’s such a pleasure to be part of Bloggertone in 2011 and I can’t wait to see what 2012 holds for us….bring it on!!

  • This is really useful information. I especially like the ‘Magic Triangle’. Thanks!

  • Heat maps are indeed useful and I’m sure will be updated continually so that we can track changes in user behaviour over time. Watch this space as they say!

    Thanks for commenting Aileen and Merry Christmas

  • I first time seen this type of post.Really amazing and interesting.You can easily switch the layout, design and content of your pages to match these patterns.I really like the magic triangle.Thanks for sharing your idea.

  • jonbyrum

    Thanks Sian! I think cloud accounting is really going to make many small businesses lives easier. As a small business owner, it’s much easier for me to share my books with my accountant — in fact, I give her a log in — because my books are online.

  • Personally I find it much better – cuts down on travelling time which can be a waste plus often an accountant will work silly hours (I know only too well) so if it’s online it’s easy to nip in and sort stuff out.

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