Services like Google Analytics can give you some good data on how many people are visiting your site, how they found it, and what they are doing during their visits. However, if you want to really gain an insight into how your site and its content is being used by your visitors, then a heatmap analytics service can be a great way to do so.
While Google Analytics has its overlay feature which can give you an idea of what links on a page are being clicked, a heatmap will show you any clicks that users make on your site, whether they are links or not. More advanced heatmaps can also show you how far down your pages visitors are scrolling, and some can even allow you to playback a video of a user’s entire journey on your site.
Benefits of Heatmap Analytics
The more information you have about how your readers interact with your site, the better chance you have of improving the user experience. This can be beneficial to your readers as you can remove any obstacles that are preventing them from fully accessing your site, such as unclear navigation elements, or distracting adverts. As a site owner, you can benefit by increasing the chances of your readers completing certain actions, such as signing up to a newsletter or clicking on certain links.
If a heatmap report reveals that users are clicking on an image which they think is a link, but is actually not a link, you can quickly remedy this by making the image a link, or make it clear to your readers that the image is not a link.
In short, heatmaps are one of the best ways to test the design of your site, see how readable your content is, and improve conversions.
Thankfully services that include heatmap analytics amongst their features are very affordable today with some great free trials available. Most of services also have free WordPress plugins available that make integrating a WordPress heatmap with your site very easy.
Heatmap Analytics Price Comparison
Some of these services offer price plans that do not include access to their heatmaps. For the price comparison below I have listed the lowest priced plans which do include access to the heatmap feature, including free trials which enable use of the heatmap tracking:
- Clicky: $14.99 p/m for Pro Plus plan (free account gets 21-day free access to all features)
- Reinvigorate: $10 p/m for Starter plan (free 14-day trial with access to heatmap analytics)
- Crazy Egg: $9 p/m for Basic (billed annually, 10 pages only, free 30-day trial of heatmap)
- SessionCam: free access to all features for one site ($10 per month for three sites)
As you can see, there are some great free trials available for adding heatmap analytics to your website, and the on-going monthly costs are very affordable. Keep reading for full details or the above services to help you decide which is the best heatmap service for your WordPress site.
Clicky Web Analytics
Clicky Web Analytics might be familiar to you under its previous name Get Clicky. Despite the name change, its core functionality remains the same and that is to give you real time analytics of how users are interacting site, with the main attraction being its heatmap feature.
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It’s safe to say that Clicky is one of the major players amongst the heatmap analytics service providers. According to their promotional material 695,182 websites currently use the service.
When it comes to their heatmaps, they can be viewed not only on a per-page basis but also for individual user sessions. This means you can drill down to a particular user who has visited your site and see what they clicked on and which pages they’ve visited. You can also expand this to view the heatmap data for a segment of users, such as those who have landed on a certain page on your site or completed one of your pre-defined goals such as filling in a form or downloading a file.
While the real time user activity heatmaps is one of the main draws of Clicky, there are of course other features. Here are some highlights:
- Alerts providing a notification of when a certain action is completed by a user on your website
- Analytics sidebar widget visible only to logged in users for quick access to real time stats
- Site uptime monitoring from five geographic locations
- Twitter analytics to monitor mentions you are interested in
- Limited search ranking data for your site
- Advanced bounce rate calculation
- Email reports and alerts
- Goal monitoring for specific user activities
- Referral link monitoring to see who is lining to your site based on visitor referrals
- Share read-only access to your analytics with other non-account holders
- API for enabling video tracking using a third party service
One particularly impressive feature is the big screen dashboard which has been optimised for those viewing their real time user stats on a larger screen. Here is a photo of it in action from yoast.com:
The Yoast guys have also created a free Clicky WordPress plugin for simplifying the integration of this service with your website.
Clicky does have a free price plan but it does not include access to the heatmaps. As this post is covering heatmap options for WordPress, the price plan we are interested in is the Pro Plus option which is available for $14.99 a month or $119.99 (save $59) for a year. The Pro Plus plan allows you to track up to 10 sites and it can handle 30,000 daily pages views in total.
However, all new accounts automatically get a free 21-day trial of the premium service, with access to all premium features including the heatmap, making Clicky a great option for someone who wants to try heatmap analytics on their site.
Reinvigorate is another web analytics service that includes a heatmap feature to track where users are clicking on your site. The service tracks all the clicks that visitors to your site make when viewing your posts and pages and then displays them using an overlay map. All the tracking is done in real time so you can watch the heatmap generate as your visitors are clicking on your site.
As this is a fully fledged analytics tool, there is more to Reinvigorate than just the click tracking data from the heatmaps. Other useful features include:
- Real time tracking
- Desktop notifications on certain actions and access to your stats for instant insights
- Create name tags for your visitors to help them stand out from the crowd
- Page-level analytics and user data
- Visitor-level reporting
- Globally distributed tracking code via a CDN to prevent site slowdown
- Free WordPress plugin for easy integration
The Reinvigorate analytics service has all the standard features you would expect from a tracking and reporting tool of this type. The desktop notifications via their Snoop tool is something that isn’t seen with many other analytics services.
The starter plan for Reinvigorate, which is their lowest price plan, includes access to the real time heatmaps for just $10 a month. The plan can be used on up to three websites and includes a 14-day free trial. There are no contracts either so you can are not tied into any particular plan should you decide to give Reinvigorate a try.
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Crazy Egg was founded by well-known analytics expert and entrepreneur Neil Patel and is used by some of the biggest brands to track their online user data, such as eBay, Skype, Dell and Toyota. It was one of the first services to offer this kind of user data, although now it has many competitors competing for the same business.
Crazy Egg offers a few different kinds of heatmaps, beyond the standard click data, such as how far users scroll down your pages. This can give you an idea of how readable your content is and at what point visitors stop reading.
- Scrollmap which shows you how far down your pages users are scrolling before moving on
- Segment visitors based on traffic source (referral, search engine, etc.)
- Track multiple domains within one account
- Free WordPress plugin for integration
Crazy Egg Pricing
All the pricing plans at Crazy Egg are billed annually, but they do include a 30-day cancellation period before you are tied in. The lowest cost plan is the Basic option which is just $9 per month (billed annually) but only allows you to track 10 pages, although these pages can be split across multiple domains.
Crazy Egg has the least generous feature list and lowest limit on the number of pages that can be tracked on their basic plan. There is also no mention of real time tracking either. However, the service does have some additional features not found everywhere else, such as the scrollmap. Annual billing might put some off but there is a 30-day cancellation period.
SessionCam not only gives you the ability to see which parts of your pages your visitors are clicking on with a heatmap, but it also provides something that could be even more useful. With SessionCam you can actually track the actions of a user on your site, including where they moved their mouse cursor, which forms they filled in (even if they didn’t submit them), and any errors they generated, or pretty much anything else they did on your site.
With the Session Replay feature, you can select a user from the tracking reports and watch a playback of their journey on your site. This can give you even more information than a regular heatmap, as you can see where a user moved their mouse, but then didn’t click on a button on link.
If you do any work with customer or user support then the Session Replay feature will be invaluable. With SessionCam you can pull up a user record and see what problems they experienced on your site; whether they clicked the wrong button or experienced an error, saving you from having to rely on their feedback after the event.
- Replay individual user interactions on your site
- Track mouse movements
- Use scroll reach to see an aggregated heatmap of user scrolling activities
- Combine the different heatmaps filters to show an attention heatmap
- Create funnels to track user journeys
- Form analytics to track interaction with web forms that span multiple pages
- Free WordPress plugin for easy integration
You can try SessionCam for free with no credit card required. This gives you unlimited access to all the features, for tracking a single website. The lowest priced plan is the Small plan which is $10 per month and can be used on three websites.
Other Heatmap Options
There are more options for adding heatmap user analytics to your WordPress site that just the above services. Here is a quick roundup of some other services you might want to try:
- ClickHeat: OpenSource software, released under the GPL license with free plugin for WordPress integration
- Clickdensity: free one month trial, with no credit card required, $100 a month thereafter
- Heatmap.ca: A/B testing and visitor playback
- Inspectlet: free trial available and counts WordPress.com as one of its clients
- ClickTale: heatmap analytics and video recording of user interactions
- Heat Map Tracker: free plugin for WordPress
- Hotspots Analytics: another free WordPress plugin with no sign up required
- Heat Map Tracker: budget WordPress plugin for click tracking
- Extra Watch Pro: another free WordPress heatmap plugin
WordPress Heatmap Plugins
There are also a few free plugins for WordPress that add these reporting abilities directly to your site, as opposed to integrating it with an external service. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be many that are regularly updated and there are issues related to site slowdown to be considered with taking this approach instead of letting an external service handle the tracking. As the data is stored in your site’s database, its size will grow considerably if you are getting regular visitors to your each day.
Using heatmap analytics on your WordPress site is a great way to see how visitors interact with your content and the design of your site. With many free trials available, it’s definitely worth using one of these services to help you improve your conversions and iron out any problems with the user experience that you might not be aware of.
Have you tried heatmap analytics on your site and did it reveal any surprises?