Why do you need heatmaps when you have analytics?
While Google Analytics and it's sophisticated cousin Universal Analytics are great to reveal which are the most popular pages on your website, they don't actually tell you what visitors do on the page. Heatmap tools, such as CrazyEgg, ClickTale and EyeQuant are here to fill in the gap and enable you to increase conversion rates quicker.
There are several heatmap tools we recommend to increase conversion rates, aimed at both Conversion Rate Optimisation experts and small business owners. In this blog post, we’ll share five of our favourite brands of heatmap - and give our verdict on when to pull them out of your CRO toolbox to boost conversion.
Used by brands like eBay, Zappos and Amazon, Crazy Egg is a lightweight but powerful heatmapping tool.
You can have Crazy Egg set up in minutes because it uses really simple technology that runs behind the scenes on your website pages. Once the code is on your website, you can set up a snapshot by simply pasting the URL of the page you’re interested in tracking. The technology then records where your visitors are clicking and scrolling.
Crazy Egg offers five different types of heatmap including clickmaps, scrollmaps and overlay heatmaps. It also lets you look at a confetti map of your website that distinguishes all the clicks on your page segmenting them by information such as user referrer, search keyword and more. For more bespoke research, it also allows you to provide your own custom dimensions to compare on-page activity, such as those who did / didn’t convert or logged in vs. non-logged in users.
Crazy Egg does one thing. And it does one thing well. As an all-purpose heatmapping tool for CRO, we think it’s tough to find anything that matches Crazy Egg’s combination of simplicity, reliability and affordability.
ClickTale is a comprehensive analytics and CRO application used by Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch and The New York Times amongst others.
ClickTale offers a suite of four types of heatmap which includes clickmaps, scrollmaps, mouse movement maps and attention maps. In addition, ClickTale also includes session recording and playback which lets you view users interacting with your website. You can see where your users put their mouse, what they clik on and which page elements they pay the most attention to, as well as how they interact with your website as a whole.
ClickTale have recently joined forces with iPerceptions to provide visual context to voice of customer research – a combination guaranteed to provide additional insight into visitor behaviour.
ClickTale is an all-in-one clickmap and analytics tool and a great choice for serious CRO analysis. However, the cost and features are more than small businesses, starting to integrate heatmaps into their insight generation, would need.
EyeQuant isn’t your traditional heatmapping tool. Described as a "data-driven design and usability audit tool", it tells you which parts of a web page people look at the most. Well, probably.
It's not actually done with real people and real eye-tracking, but uses neuroscience research and patented artificial intelligence and an algorithm to mimic the sort of data you get from eye-tracking.
Sound complicated? Although the science behind EyeQuant is complex, the tool itself is incredibly easy to use. Type in the URL of the web page you’re researching and you’ll receive a report outlining the page’s visual clarity and ease of use generated by EyeQuant’s unique algorithm.
Although EyeQuant isn’t perfect – after all, it is generated by an AI –it does boast a 90% accuracy with physical eyetracking. That’s why it’s trusted by companies such as Google, Schuh and Groupon.
EyeQuant is best used to identify the elements on your page which are, and more importantly are not, attracting your visitors’ attention. It gives you instant, data-driven insights without the need to add code to your website. Although not quite as accurate as physical eyetracking, the insight it generates is proven to be valuable throughout the CRO process.
Feng-GUI is a human vision simulator – an application that algorithmically examines your website and calculates which page elements visitors will look at and the order in which they’ll look at them.
Like EyeQuant, Feng-GUI uses artificial intelligence to calculate which of your page elements attracts the attention of users first. It’s not perfect, but it does “closely resemble a 5 seconds eye tracking session of 40 subjects” and is used by companies such as UBM, Orange and Travelocity.
Feng-GUI reports are generated by typing in the URL of your web page and the dashboard shows four reports including an Attention report, a Gaze Plot and an Areas of Interest report.
Feng-GUI is ideal for getting immediate feedback on your website design that you can use to make optimisations and adjustments without having to add code to your website. It's a great, cost-effective alternative to EyeQuant although this cost saving comes with a small compromise on acuracy.
The newest tool on the conversion optimisation block, HotJar combines a number of key conversion optimisation tools, including heatmaps, into one platform. Officially launching in April 2015, it is currently in beta and we’ve been given a ‘sneak peek’ at the functionality.
Like Crazy Egg and ClickTale, HotJar needs nothing more to get it going than to add a small piece of code to your website. Setting up heatmaps in HotJar is as simple as copy and pasting your URL and three heatmaps are produced
- Click & Tap heatmap
- Move heatmap
- Scroll heatmap
Data within these reports is displayed and shown across four device types – large desktops, desktops, tablets and phones making it easy to deep-dive into behaviour across devices.
In addition, the tool offers visitor recording, conversion funnels and form analytics, competing with ClickTale at a fraction of the price.
But is there a compromise on results? Our initial tests haven’t shown any.
HotJar may well revolutionise the conversion tools industry with its easy to use, all-in-one solution. Still in it's early days, HotJar is developing at quite a pace as more beta users feed back on their experience. We continue to monitor and compare results between HotJar and other heatmap tools and will be reporting back on our findings in the coming months.
Comparison of heatmap tools:
PLUS: Session playback, Conversion funnels, Form analytics, Feedback polls, surveys and user testing recruitment
|Visitor data or artificial intelligence?||Visitor data||Visitor data||Artificial intelligence||Artificial intelligence||Visitor data|
|AI accuracy vs. eye-tracking||n/a||n/a||90%||85%||n/a|
|Trusted users||50,000+ small business and entrepreneurs worldwide||More than 100,000 businesses including many Fortune 500 companies||Hundreds of paid accounts||Over 1,500 happy customers||Over 53,000 users have joined the free HotJar beta programme|
|Requires code adding to your website?||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Payment||Packages are billed annually in advance starting from $9/month||Bespoke prices available on request only||Packages are billed annually in advance starting from £199/month||Pay-as-you-go credit based. Packages start from $25 USD for 25 credits||Prices start from $29 / month after the beta period|
|Free trial available?||Yes – free 30- day trial on all packages||Yes, subject to criteria||Yes – 2 designs||Yes, at a reduced accuracy||Yes, even after the beta period|
Learn more about using heatmaps for Conversion Rate OptimisationWould you like to learn more about how users interact with your website? Heatmap software can give you additional insight into user behaviour that your analytics app simply can’t provide.
If you’re looking to find out more about heatmaps and exactly how to interpret heatmap data and use the insight to inform your optimisation, download our free guide ‘How to Use Heatmaps to Increase Your Conversion Rate’. In this guide, you will also discover eight of the most popular types of heatmap used in CRO programmes and much more. To download your free copy simply follow the link below.