Session replay is an add-on feature for paying customers only. You may try the feature for free for 14 days or 10,000 sessions (whichever comes first), after which you must contact Sales to continue use.
Session replay is for Web only. Native mobile (Android, iOS) session replay is not currently supported but is on our roadmap.
Heatmaps give you a visual representation of what users are doing on your site, such as what they clicked on, what caught their attention, and how far down the page they scrolled.
You must have session replay turned on in your Heap account to view heatmaps. To learn more about session replay, see What is session replay in Heap, and how do I get it?.
When to use a heatmap
Heatmaps are great for directional or visual questions, typically the types of questions you might ask at the start of an investigation or when you’re just coming up with hypotheses.
Great use cases for heatmaps include:
- What do users see? Do users tend to scroll down to a particular point of the page, or spend time reading a certain block of copy?
- What parts of the page do users interact with most?
- What interaction patterns are most common on a given page?
- Identifying the UI elements that users interact with most, so you can define an event involving those elements.
If you’re looking to understand the eventual conversion impact of a page, or what journey a customer follows after they visit a page, try using funnels or journeys to track your customers’ flows throughout your app.
If you’re looking to define events based on common customer patterns so you can analyze them further, try using Explore events. Explore events will automatically surface the specific pages that users visit most, or what elements users click on the most. This can be a great jumping-off point for further analysis.
Building a heatmap
Navigate to Analyze > Heatmaps (it may be behind the More overflow icon).
First, choose which page or pages you’d like to analyze. You’ll have two options for selecting the URL(s) you’d like to analyze:
- URL is lets you match URLs precisely. For example, if you want to analyze your homepage
example.com, enter URL is
- URL contains lets you match on URLs that contain any part of a page. For example, if you wanted to analyze every Use Case page you could search for URL contains
In both cases, you can use asterisk wildcards (*) to expand or narrow your search results.
For example, let’s say you have two getting started guides, `example.com/enterprise/getting-started` and `example.com/startup/getting-started`, and you wanted to analyze a heatmap of behavior on both pages at once. You can enter URL is `example.com/*/getting-started` which would match on both getting started pages. Or, you can enter URL contains `getting-started`.
Date range and Screen size
Next, you’ll select your date range and screen size.
Screen size will select the page dimensions you want to analyze. This is important because web pages may render differently on wide (computer) vs. narrow (mobile) screens.
Date range will select the sessions to include in heatmap analysis.
Heatmaps are only available for sessions that were captured with session replay. You will not be able to generate a heatmap from a date range before you set up session replay capture.
Additional filters (Optional)
You can further filter your heatmap results for more targeted analysis. You can choose which sessions to include or not include in your heatmap based on:
- User-level properties (ex: User Initial Marketing Channel)
- Account-level properties (ex: Account Name or Segment)
- User-level behavioral data (ex: Users have who done X in the Past 30 days)
Filtering heatmaps to a more targeted level is an excellent way to dig in to specific user trends and behaviors. For example, you could analyze how users navigate your help center based on whether they are brand new users vs. returning users. Another example is filtering for users who have submitted a support ticket vs. users who haven’t.
Interpreting heatmap results
Heatmap results are generated from a sample of session replays that match the query parameters you set out.
Each heatmap has three key elements:
- The user behavior overlay: This is an overlay of user behavior, based on their cursor’s x-y position on the page. This is aggregated across the sessions that match your query.
- The background image: This is a randomly selected representation of one of the pages that match your query, as a user saw it.
- The details panel: This shows you the legend, and how many sessions were analyzed to generate the heatmap.
You’ll see three different types of heatmaps available to you: Clicks, Scrolling, and Attention heatmaps.
Clicks heatmaps track the x-y position of clicks on a page.
This is useful to learn what users generally click on most. This is useful for figuring out if users are clicking on dead, or non-reactive parts of your website, or what elements you might want to define and analyze further.
Scrolling heatmaps track the typical page height and how far down the page users scrolled (scrolling depth).
This is useful to learn what elements of the page users are most likely to see, and what rough percentage of your users made it to a given part of the page. For example, you might learn that a certain call to action button is below the fold for most users, meaning that users would need to scroll to see it.
Attention heatmaps aggregate the x-y position of users’ cursors, including clicks.
This likely looks very similar to your heatmap of clicks, but has a few additional use cases:
- Understanding user mouse movement patterns. For example, do users tend to drag their cursor from one part of the page to another?
- Understanding what parts of the page users perused or searched. Many users will drag their mouse along blocks of text they read, hovering over particular lines, words, or paragraphs. Attention maps can show you which blocks of text, if any, caught users’ attention most.
Watching replays of users visiting the page
Click Watch session replays to see session replays that match your Heatmap filters.
Sharing & saving heatmaps
Download as a PNG: Click the download button in the upper right corner of the heatmap visualization to download the entire page as a PNG. This will show you the full length of the page with clicks, scrolls, etc. mapped on top of it.
Saving and sharing in Heap: Like any chart type, you can save a heatmap to refer back to it later. Click the Unsaved changes menu to save your heatmap for the first time. Once the heatmap is saved, you will be able to share it with teammates from the Chart actions menu.