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What is the difference between heatmap and link map?

yWhile observing your users’ behaviors you can spot their movements and frustrations via heatmaps. There are 4 different events that can be detected:

What is a link map?

A link map (or a linkmap) is a visual representation of your users’ interactions with links on your website (mouse clicks on a desktop and taps on mobile). Link maps come in handy when you need to track on-page user engagement like clicks on links, form fields, CTA buttons, and images with links across a website, which in turn helps you optimize user experience for better conversion.

CUX link map

CUX will highlight only those links that were clicked at least once.

Why use link maps?

With link maps, you can:

  • track users’ activity, 
  • see links on which visitors click or tap (mobile users), 
  • identify underperforming links, CTAs, and images that are getting ignored,
  • identify content that is the most popular/ generates the most traffic, 
  • showcase engagement data visually,
  • iterate better website design by finding bugs and areas for improvement.

How to read a link map?

To display a link map for your website page:

  1. Log into CUX.
  2. Go to Heatmaps.
  3. Select “Link” from the Events section. 
    1. Choose the type of device for which you’d like to see a link map: desktop, mobile, tablet, smart TV, gaming console, wearable devices, embedded browsers. Note: we may not be ready to show you views for all types of devices if there’s not enough data.
    2. Select a date range from which you’d like to see a link map. 
List of heatmap events

You can track moves, clicks, rage clicks, and clicks on links with CUX’s heatmaps.

Remember that CUX will only highlight those links on the page that are clickable and that someone clicked at least once. If a given link is not highlighted, it means that no user has clicked on it.

Note: the percentage of clicks is calculated in the context of all clicks on a given page. If the website was visited by only one user who clicked on two of the links, the click-through rate for each of them will be described as 50%.

How is a link map different from a heatmap?

The heatmap graphically shows ALL user actions on your site, such as rage clicks, click on clickable and non-clickable elements or mouse movements. The link map shows ONLY clicks on clickable elements such as links, buttons, linking images, etc.

heatmap vs link map in CUX

A heatmap and a link map display for the same page content.

By using both heatmaps and link maps, you can spot missed opportunities for conversion

  • Spot places where users click but didn’t find a clickable element.
  • Track users’ clicking on broken links.
  • Identify places on the website which should have links (dead clicks).

Why can’t I see clicks on my links?

If there are links on your site that are not highlighted and do not show the clicks’ percentage, check:

  • if the link is not damaged,
  • that the link is anchored in the right place.
Links diplayed on a CUX link map

Even though an element (e.g., blog post) is clickable, it may not be highlighted. CUX is only highlighting elements that received at least one click from visitors.

If you still don’t see any clicks, it means that none of the users visiting the sub/page clicked on that particular link.

Why can I see clicks on heatmap but not on link map?

Do you see user activity on the heatmap that does not resonate with clicks on the map link? Jackpot! You have found places on your website that need optimization.

Users, by clicking on non-clickable elements (such as text, photos, contact etc.) are giving you bop on the head, that you may be letting conversion slip through your fingers! 

Perhaps a blog post’s title that looks like a CTA should be a clickable button? Or the transition to the next subpage should start after clicking the photo, not after hovering over the arrow? Or an e-mail to your support should have a “mailto:” clickable command? After all, who is not losing it when forced to copy-paste an e-mail address from a contact page!?


Comparison of heatmap’s and link map’s results is a real treat for fans of optimization. Enjoy the ride!

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