Working with Google Analytics Heatmaps Simplified

By: Published: July 7, 2021

The graphical depiction of information and data is known as Data Visualization. Data Visualization tools make it easy to examine and comprehend trends, outliers, and patterns in data by employing visual elements like Charts, Graphs, and Maps. Heatmaps are one such type of Data Visualization technique. 

On a complete walkthrough of this article, you will gain a decent understanding of Google Analytics, Heatmaps, and Google Analytics Heatmaps. You will be able to set up Google Analytics Reports and create Custom Dashboards for them.   

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics Heatmap - logo
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Google Analytics is a free Website Analytics service provided by the search engine giant. It enables website and app owners (both businesses and individuals) to track and report on a variety of user data. In 2005, Google bought the Web Data Analysis startup Urchin, and soon after, Google Analytics was born. It has grown to become the most extensively used Web Analytics software on the giant, Google, since its inception.

Since its introduction, Google has been improving the platform, introducing new features, refining its strategy, and making the tool indispensable for almost any online business. Google Analytics, at its core, allows businesses to better understand their customers by analyzing the data they generate.

The service offers a variety of options for gaining insight into how users interact with websites. Users can get a comprehensive and easy-to-understand view of a range of essential parameters with a relatively minimal technical understanding.

Key Features of Google Analytics  

The features given below are a few of the many features of Google Analytics:

1) Traffic Reporting

Google Analytics is a Traffic Reporter at its most basic level. The service will inform you of the daily number of visitors to your website. You may also look at patterns over time to see how they affect your Internet Marketing decisions.

2) Conversion Tracking

You may measure conversion points on your website using Google Analytics once you’ve identified them (for example, a contact form submission, an E-Commerce sale, or a phone call). You’ll be able to observe when someone converted, as well as what Traffic source referred them.

3) Keyword Referrals

You can see what terms users leveraged to reach you with Google Analytics, which can have a big impact on your SEO strategy. 

4) Third-Party Referrals

You’ll be able to observe which third-party websites drove visitors to your website. This is beneficial since you’ll be able to discover which websites are worth spending more time on, as well as whether any new websites have linked to yours.

5) Custom Dashboards

You can construct Semi-Custom Dashboards for your Metrics using Google Analytics. You can add Web Traffic, Conversions, and Keyword Referrals to your Dashboard if they’re essential to you. When you log in to your website’s profile, the first screen you see is your Dashboard, which can be saved to PDF and CSV format for easy sharing of your Reports.

For further information on Google Analytics, visit the official website here.

Introduction to Heatmaps

Google Analytics Heatmap - heatmap 1
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A Heatmap is a two-dimensional Data Visualization tool that displays the magnitude of a phenomenon as color. The color fluctuation might be via hue or intensity, giving the reader clear visual indications about how the occurrence is clustered or evolves over time. Heatmaps make it simple to visualize and understand complex data at a glance.

Key Features of Heatmaps

  • Heatmaps allow you to see how people engage with your website pages, helping you answer business-critical questions like “Why aren’t my users converting?” or “How can I get more visitors to take action?” You can use Heatmaps to see if users are:
    • Reaching critical information or failing to notice it.
    • The major links, buttons, opt-ins, and CTAs on a page can be found and used.
    • Non-clickable components are causing you to become distracted.
    • Having problems with many devices.
  • As a visual tool, Heatmaps help you make informed, data-based decisions for A/B testing, updating, or (re)designing your website. And they are also useful on a wider business scale: Heatmaps let you show team members and stakeholders what’s happening and get their buy-in more easily when changes are needed.

Understanding Google Analytics Heatmaps

Google has developed a Chrome addon called Page Analytics that allows you to construct a Heatmap using Google Analytics data. Google Analytics Heatmap is a visual representation of measured individual values.

A Google Analytics Heatmap is a graphical depiction of the data on your website. It helps you to see how visitors interact with your website, such as which links they click and which sections of your page they like. If you want an engaged audience and a greater discussion rate, you must first analyze user behavior for your website and then use it to your advantage.

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Steps to Set up Google Analytics Heatmaps

To set up Google Analytics Heatmap you have to follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Adding Page Analytics Extension to Chrome

Google Analytics’ Page Analytics extension needs only a Google Analytics account set up. In a Google Analytics account, you add your website/URL where you wish to study different Metrics and utilize Page Analytics plug-in.

Google Analytics Heatmap - page analytics
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Step 2: Integrating Google Analytics with Page Analytics

Once you’ve created an account, you can install the Page Analytics extension, and your Google Analytics account will help load all the data you’ve recorded and specified, such as Segment, Geography, and a lot more.

Google Analytics Heatmap - integration
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Step 3: Segmenting Website Traffic

The next step is to segment Website Traffic data for Google Analytics Heatmap. Google Analytics has built-in Segments, but you may also construct new Segments based on the audience you’re trying to reach. These Segments are then immediately supplied into the extension’s Segment drop-down, allowing you to quickly switch between them while viewing the page.

Google Analytics Heatmap - segmenting wen traffic
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Page Analytics allows you to create up to four Segments, each with its own Reporting Tab.

Step 4: Setting up Configurations

The final step in the Google Analytics Heatmap setup is to manage minor configurations. Heatmap The extension’s Reporting Dashboard offers data on Metrics such as Page Views, Unique Page Views, Average Time on Page, Bounce Rate, and so on. You can select the measure you wish to track from a drop-down menu for each of these.

Google Analytics Heatmap - configure 1
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You’ll be able to see some figures reflected against each of these elements once you’ve configured them. The best thing about this extension is how versatile it is and how much room it offers you to customize the settings right on the page. You may choose whether to display statistics for all visitors or real-time visitors, change the date range, add a date range to compare the data with, configure the clicks threshold, and more.

Google Analytics Heatmap - configure 2
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The Page Analytics addon generates a Google Analytics Heatmap that visualizes Click Data on Web Pages in real-time with the configurations in place. You have the option of viewing the data solely through colors, a little bubble displaying percentages, or both.

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You have now successfully set up a Google Analytics Heatmap for checking your website/URL performance.

Google Analytics Heatmap - heatmap 2
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Steps to Build Custom Google Analytics Heatmaps Reports 

To better understand Google Analytics Heatmap, you need to build Custom Reports by exporting data to Microsoft Excel from Google Analytics Here are the steps for creating a Google Analytics Heatmap in Custom Reports:

Step 1: Creating New Custom Reports

To begin customizing Google Analytics Heatmap is to navigate to the Custom Menu. In the custom menu which is situated at the left side in Google Analytics, select Customization. Now, click on Custom Reports and then add New Custom Report. Then, under New Report, type in a title for your Report, such as Heatmap.

Google Analytics Heatmap - custom report
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Step 2: Selecting Report Type, Dimensions, and Metrics

The next step in customizing Google Analytics Heatmap is to provide the Metrics. In the Dimensions section, enter the Metrics you wish to track, as well as the days of the week and hours. You can also specify a specific optional data section that you wish to keep an eye on. After you’ve completed this, you’ll be able to see your Report and select a date range from the upper right side.

You can now specify the period that your Heatmap should cover. If you have a limited amount of data, choosing a high date range is recommended.

Google Analytics Heatmap - report content
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Step 3: Exporting Data from Google Analytics 

The final step in customizing Google Analytics Heatmap is to import your data into Microsoft Excel and create a pivot table. Place the days of the week in columns, the hours of the day in rows, and the sessions, transactions, or anything you want to look at in the value section.

In the value area, select the color you wish to use for the Heatmap. You can now instantly see the good and bad times, which are represented by color tones.

Google Analytics Heatmap - heatmap 3
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By clicking on the table, de-selecting the previous Metric, selecting the new one, and reapplying the Heatmap, you may simply alter the Metrics.

The total rows and columns can then be used to gain a deeper understanding. You may also use the calculator to divide the two Metrics to obtain more detailed information, such as Conversation Rate.

You have now successfully set up Google Analytics Heatmap for building Custom Reports. 


This article teaches you how to set up Google Analytics Heatmaps and build Custom Dashboards for these Heatmaps. It provides in-depth knowledge about the concepts behind every step to help you understand and implement them efficiently. You can integrate many such platforms using Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline, which helps you transfer data from a source of your choice such as Google Analytics for free in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code repeatedly. Hevo, with its strong integration with 100+ sources & BI tools, allows you to not only export & load data but also transform & enrich your data & make it analysis-ready in a jiff.

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Share your experience of learning about Google Analytics Heatmaps! Let us know in the comments section below!

Former Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Harsh comes with experience in performing research analysis who has a passion for data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He has written more than 100 articles on data integration and infrastructure.

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