Website analytics have been around… Most business owners and site-runners know how to use them and what to look for. Some people are downright wizards when it comes to understanding the numbers and charts that represent how people use a particular corner of the internet.
Nowadays, though, “heatmap” services are adding an entire layer of website analysis that provides invaluable information for any business. The idea is pretty simple – but the implications are massive.
The heatmap analysis essentially tracks cursor movement and on-page behavior. This lets you know not just how many clicks a link is getting or how long someone stays on a page, but where they hover a mouse, what parts of the page stay in focus longer, what links they almost clicked, and so on.
This window into site usage can lead to an entirely new understanding of how people are actually behaving when they visit your site… And you can use that understanding to double down on the things that are working best (and get rid of the stuff people ignore).
Services to explore
You’ll have to decide which option is right for your site and your needs. These are just a few of the leaders in this type of analysis…
One of the most commonly used heatmap services, HotJar is actually an entire suite of analytics and marketing tools. They have different pricing options, depending on your needs, and even a special rate for non-profits.
In addition to heatmaps, they also provide screen recordings of how people are using your sit, conversion funnel analysis, form analysis, and even built-in surveys so site users can offer feedback. The heatmaps monitor activity, clicks, mouse movement, and scrolling, and can be split by device type for even more insight.
It’s also worth noting that HotJar works right “out of the box” with most website platforms.
The most comparable service to HotJar, Crazy Egg offers many of the same heatmap features and activity recordings, but certainly has its differences. It doesn’t offer movement analysis, but has a tool for built-in A/B testing, and a quick editor to make small changes.
For smaller companies, it could be a factor that Crazy Egg is significantly less expensive.
A third popular option, MouseFlow offers many of the same features: heatmaps, form analysis, surveys, session replay, funnel analysis, etc. Like HotJar, MouseFlow also works easily out of the box with most of today’s most popular website platforms.
Pricing falls somewhere between HotJar and CrazyEgg, and also offers a customizable “Enterprise” option. MouseFlow also provides some training videos to get the most out of the service.
Now… These three options have their differences, but the best choice for you likely comes down to user interface and budget. Fortunately, all of them have free trial options so you can figure out which one you like best!
The point here isn’t to tell you which service to purchase. Instead, we mean to highlight how powerful ANY service like this can be for fine tuning your website – and understanding how your users behave.
A dense sheet of analytics data is certainly important, but visual representations of behavior make the whole thing easier to digest. Try them out for yourself, and let us know which heatmap service works best for you!