8th September '17
People are visiting your website – great. You know which pages they are going to – even better. But do you know what they are doing once they arrive there? Say hello to your Heatmap.
What are heatmaps?
In a nutshell, heatmaps provide you with a visual representation of engagement on a particular page. The “hotter” the engagement, the “hotter” the visual. True to their name, heatmaps display those areas which generate the most attention with warmer red, orange and yellow colours. On the other hand, those areas with less engagement are a cooler blue in colour.
The data is often compiled by monitoring a combination of clicks, mouse movements and hovers. Together with analytics data, heatmaps are a great way to discover what people are doing on your website and detail whether users are focusing on your most important areas.
It’s worth noting that, whilst eye-tracking heatmap software is available – which reports on what people are physically looking at on a website, without having to move a mouse – this is usually much harder to apply and more expensive.
A heatmap can help you decide whether any changes are required to a page. For instance, if your call-to-action button isn’t getting as much attention as you’d like, heatmaps can show you why; is there an advert nearby which is absorbing attention? If so, maybe the call-to-action should be moved to a more prominent position.
What is the best heatmap software?
There are numerous heatmap software providers out there. We tested several to find the best ones but two, in particular, stood out from the crowd:
If you’re new to heatmaps and their functionality, Hotjar is a good place to start.
- It offers a 15 day free business trial to give you a good understanding of how the whole process works.
- Use one email address to set up an account and then, if required, it allows you to produce sub-accounts under the same address.
- You can add multiple users to view accounts, enabling others in your organisation to view the data.
- The set-up is simple; just add the tracking code (or ask your web developer to do this for you).
- Decide which pages you want to focus on and create heatmaps using their simple step-by-step process. Filter the data to view by device and/or type (click, move or scroll). Heatmaps are downloadable and display how many clicks you received per section as well as how many pageviews.
- A really interesting feature is their recordings section. When people visit the site, Hotjar literally records their movements for you to watch back later in video form. These provide a huge amount of information including the user’s location, details of what and how many pages were viewed, how long the recording is, what device, browser and operating system were used, and the date. You can even bookmark the most telling ones to save for later.
- Use the funnels section to track conversions. As well as listing sessions and conversion rates, the funnels will also allow you to view a recording of those people that converted into a lead or sale.
- Other features include; asking visitors for their opinions on your website with polls, surveys and recruiters, which invites them to a live user test screen sharing.
- There’s a 14 day free business trial
- We definitely recommend taking the time to watch the thorough demonstration which provides a great walk-through of the software and its features
- Set-up is minimal. You don’t have to create any heatmaps or recordings – instead they will automatically produce these for you as soon as the tracking code is in place and people start visiting your site
- The recordings feature details where a person was referred from
- It also skips long periods of inactivity, so when you’re watching the videos, you don’t have to wait until a person moves the mouse before seeing their next movements
Other heatmap software
- Crazy Egg
- Lucky Orange
- Simple Heatmaps