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Google Analytics Heat Map: Easy Tips To Create & Read!

Google Analytics Heat map

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Posted on: Monday June 1, 2020

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Google Analytics is a service offered by Google to help you track a website’s performance by collecting and analyzing metrics of your web page visitors; average session duration, conversion rate, bounce rate, page views, and so on. Rather tracking all the data that marketers require for their webpage performance, Google Analytics lacks a crucial element – collected data visualization, especially, heatmaps.

This was also a primitive concern for its users since they require investing in alternate visualization tools. A prompt SERP research of ‘Google Analytics Heat Map’ query on Google clearly indicates that there are two contrasting resolute behind raising this query – first is that readers looking to study the ways for building a website clickmap using their GA data (along with a Chrome extension called Page Analytics), and second one is data analyzing using different heatmaps. Here we resolve both these queries so readers can have a look at every aspect of Google Analytics heatmap.

To fill the gap between data visualization and numerical data, Google bought in-page analytics feature that now works via Chrome extension named page analytics. This feature bridged the gap between quantitative and qualitative data in Google Analytics considerably.

Chrome Extension for Google Analytics Heat Map

When GA got introduced, the In-Page Analytics feature heat map generated using this feature displayed links clicked by users in percentages. However being logged into your website’s GA account is mandatory here. You can also configure GA setting and view data for navigated web pages. But GA removed this In-Page Analytics and introduced a chrome extension which helps you view click data in the form of clickmaps. The Page Analytics extension after being turned on gives a overview of metrics like page views, unique page views, average time on page, bounce rate, exit percentage, and real-time page visitors. These are default metrics but you can always change it to your desired ones.

It also gives you a choice of shifting the segment whose data you want to see on the page itself.  Follow the below steps to configure the data displayed in the reporting tab:

1. GA Account Setup: The only perquisite needed to be met for using Page Analytics extension is having a GA account set up for webpage/URL where you require to use plug-in. After having account set up done, download the Page Analytics extension which your GA account will supply with all the captured and configured data like segment, geography, and so on.

2. Segment Visitors: Google Analytics is equipped with built-in segments where you can create customized segments based on targeted audience. These segments automatically get fed into extension’s segment drop down for easily changing them on the page while you are browsing it. You can add up to 4 segments, and for each segment, Page Analytics displays individual reporting tab.

3. Modify Configurations: While having a look at the extension’s reporting dashboard, one can easily see displayed data on metrics like page views, unique page views, average time on page, bounce rate, and so on. Also there is a drop-down where you can select the metric you prefer want.

After configuring these elements, you can visualize numbers getting reflected against each. Here, this particular extension has versatility and freedom to configuring the page settings. One can easily pick what data you want to see – all visitors or real-time visitors, modify date range, add a date range for comparing data, customize clicks threshold, and more. As configurations being taken care, Page Analytics extension develops Google Analytics heat map in real-time to visualize click data. One can select to see the data in colors or a small bubble displaying percentages or both.

4. Plotted Heatmap Analysis: Using above mentioned visualization types, and diving deep into GA data, one can easily discover trends in user behavior on a website, link click pattern, and come up with data-backed solutions to fix experience compromising elements. Moreover, being such helpful, Page Analytics extension has a major flaw of only creating clickmaps and that too for links on web page alone. So, if you are planning to use a website heatmap like primary method for data visualization and analysis, you require investing a full-blown heatmap tool.

The second query for ways to create the heatmaps using  collected data through Google Analytics has been answered by Seer Interactive. Here analytics team built a Google sheet which acts like a dashboard which lets you heatmap certain metrics and enables you to identify major trends over time. Initially you can easily refer Seer Interactive’s Google Analytics heat map sheet and figure out how they help clients by leveraging the power of GA.

Since all the queries relating to GA heat map have been mentioned, put on your analytics glasses on and see for yourself how it can help you collect and visualize data in a way that was not possible before when GA offered only numerical information on how visitors interacted with your website.

Do you wish to become a google partner? Have a look at guidelines here.


What is Google Analytics in-page feature?

The Google Analytics in-page feature shows user clicks on links on a particular page in percentages, i.e, a click map. It is no longer a feature of Google Analytics, however you can still create the clickmap through GA, using the Page Analytics Chrome extension.

Why is heatmap for GA data useful?

The heatmaps created on the data extracted from Google Analytics can help you easily identify and visualize trends within your important GA metrics such as the number of new visitors, pages/session etc. We have shared a template where you can easily setup GA powered heatmaps. Get the template in the post.