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One of the most useful website analytics tools is a heat map.

A heat map measures your traffic and its actions by showing you a colorful representation of that traffic. For instance, the hottest part of your website – the part where most of your traffic is navigating toward – will appear in red. Still hot parts of your website, but less hot than the red, will appear in yellow. It gets cooler from there.

Let’s say you decide to use a heat map and discover that you have a page on your website that shows the hottest part of the page to be on the top right, but a link that you really want your visitors to click on is on the top left side of that page. Based on the information you see on the heat map, you should move that link over to the top right side of your page so that you can increase the number of visitors who click on it. More than likely, after you move the link, you’ll see that click-throughs have gone up.

Heat maps are an essential tool of metrics that any website owner can use for improving website development. You simply watch your visitors, see what they do, then tweak your website to match their expectations. Pretty simple.

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