How do you start acquaintance with an unfamiliar online tool? First of all, you find out how the product will help solve your current tasks and problems. After that, you assess its ease of use and price. If you work with website efficiency and performance, you have probably faced similar issues choosing a click heatmap. To understand which online heatmap can help you most effectively, it’s necessary to analyze its strengths and weaknesses, considering your primary tasks.
Here are the fundamentals you need to know about online heatmaps:
What is a Heatmap Online Tool?
Heatmap is analytics software that collects data on user behavior, including mouse clicks, scrolls, and hovers. Once the data is recorded, the online tool uses the color-coding model to display the statistics. For example, the areas with the highest activity are highlighted on the heatmap with yellow or red, and the less popular places are blue or green.
This format makes online heatmaps very convenient since website owners can track user activity visually and quickly assess the situation. Some online heatmaps also support graphs and tables with statistics for more detailed analysis.
Main Types of Online Heatmap Tools
Professional heatmaps unite several types of online tools. This enables online marketers, UX and SEO specialists to cover different aspects of website analysis and get a deeper insight into user behavior. The most common types of online heatmaps include:
- Click heatmap. This online software shows precisely where users have interacted with your website. You can view which elements they clicked to detect what design solutions confuse online visitors (e.g., unclickable objects), need a redesign, etc.
- Hot segments. The hotter the area, the higher CTR. Such segments are useful to understand where online visitors focus their attention and place the most crucial elements in this area.
- Scroll map. The online tool displays the depth of user scroll on website pages. The data can be collected on any device (desktop, mobile, tablet) to clarify what portion of the online content website visitors read and when they stop scrolling.
- Mouse hover map. See which website elements users hover with their mouse. Since many experts believe that cursor movement repeats the eye movement, hover maps may help you peek into how people view your website.
- Click path analysis. The feature shows in what order website visitors interact with the website and switch between its pages. This reflects the main steps in the typical website journey your customers take.
- Event tracking. Collect data only on the elements you are interested in. With this tool, you can track an event both on a specific page or the whole website. For example, the online heatmap can record how users interacted with the Order button on all the pages.
- Selected text tracking. Use this online tool to understand what website content visitors select with their mouse while navigating the page. It’s a great way to clarify what online information people find the most relevant.
- Cursor position map. This online tool combines data on cursor position and scroll depth. Hence, you can understand whether users carefully study the content or glance at it.
The combination of these online heatmap features allows business owners to get a detailed picture of user activity. They can research the behavioral patterns to improve usability and, thus, boost conversion rates.
Plerdy heatmap has every right to be considered a multitool since it includes all of the listed services. In addition, this online heatmap records user interactions, segments them, aggregates data in different formats, and supports extensive tracking capabilities.
Generally, Plerdy is designed for online marketers and usability specialists. More precisely, it’s a perfect website analytics software for PPC and SEO experts. Plerdy is easy to configure and doesn’t require a team of developers to install or integrate. Thus, a person without programming expertise can instantly start using it.
How to Configure Plerdy Heatmap Online?
Online heatmaps are the simplest way to monitor the performance of your website and detect any issues to solve them proactively. The best thing about the Plerdy heatmap tool is that configuration requires just three steps:
- Create a Plerdy account. To access the online tool, you will need to provide an email address and come up with a reliable password. You can use Google sign-in as an alternative option. Plerdy heatmap tool offers a free trial with unlimited reports to anyone interested in testing its features and 14-day trials for paid subscriptions. This time is more than enough to find out whether the tool meets your expectations and understand what volume of page views and other metrics you plan to record.
- Install the script of the online heatmap. Once you create the account, make sure to connect the tool to your website by installing the script of Plerdy on the web resource. There are several ways to complete the installation. You can either do it yourself by copying the tracking script and pasting it after the tags of the section in your website code or use third-party apps. Plerdy can be installed through popular CMS tools if you use them. Get detailed instructions on how to configure Plerdy with Shopify, Magento, FTP, WordPress on the linked pages.
- Start testing the features of Plerdy online tool. Thanks to the intuitive interface of the heatmap, you will instantly clarify how it works. For additional tips, visit Plerdy’s YouTube channels with useful tutorials.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the features and benefits of the online heatmap powered by Plerdy. This time, we will focus on click tracking capabilities. Other Plerdy’s products (smart pop-up forms and SEO alerts) are described in separate articles.
Benefits of Using Online Heatmaps
1. Automatic recording of all clicks on website pages
The script of the Plerdy tool starts collecting statistics immediately after the installation. You can check the information in the online personal dashboard or view it right on the website.
The configuration of the heatmap is really simple. Actually, you don’t have to do anything – install the script of the Plerdy tool once. Many other products only collect data on the configured pages, whereas Plerdy immediately starts recording clicks, hovers, and scroll depth on all pages.
2. Segmentation of clicks by several parameters
To analyze the collected data, usability specialists need to segment the results by a set of parameters. Plerdy allows you to filter statistics using several parameters at once:
Obviously, online user behavior differs depending on the website version they see – main or responsive. However, segmentation by one or several parameters allows you to study different groups of users and make more accurate conclusions on website usability.
3. Upload all clicks to one page
Displaying all interactions on one page, you can view the CTR of the element repeated on all website pages. Other online heatmaps don’t do this.
The opportunity to upload all interactions to one page is necessary if you need to analyze many pages. For example, product cards in an online store. Usually, their design is identical, so uploading all interactions to one report shows which of the repeated elements has the lowest and highest CTR. This way, the Plerdy heatmap will save you a lot of time.
4. Segmentation by traffic source
A separate section of Plerdy’s dashboard is dedicated to traffic data segmentation. This feature helps to define the most popular pages for each type of traffic. All information is presented in the graph and tabular formats:
From this section, you can go to a specific page and select to display clicks solely from one of the traffic channels: direct, organic, referral, social, AdWords, UTM, etc.
Additionally, in the heatmap dashboard, you can choose a certain period of time (starting from one day and more) to view time-limited data segmented by traffic source.
Segmentation of heatmap data enables marketers to monitor how user behavior varies across traffic channels. For example, you can also track visitors’ clicks from an advertising campaign (with the UTM tag).
5. Collection of data on mobile devices
The growing volume of mobile traffic nudges usability specialists into studying the behavior of this category of users. The key subtlety is that user interactions with a responsive layout differ from a desktop device’s actions. With Plerdy heatmap, you can focus solely on analyzing mobile users’ behavior and combine this data with other types of reports (based on time periods and traffic types).
The analysis of mobile traffic with the heatmap allows you to make changes to the responsive version of the website promptly.
6. Recording clicks on pop-ups
It’s hard to imagine a modern website without dynamic elements. Today, most online resources attract and engage users with their interactivity. Collecting data on interactive website elements can be really helpful to assess the effectiveness of such solutions:
You can view interactions with pop-up windows and drop-down menus on the online heatmap. The CTR demonstrates the interest of your target audience in your offer.
7. Recording clicks on sliders
Many websites have huge sliders on the main pages. Usually, they contain promotions or special offers. Some online sliders are configured to be displayed at a specific time; others are shown randomly. Yet regardless of the display settings, users can scroll sliders manually since a scroll is also considered a click; Plerdy records and displays such interactions on a page.
Two indicators help assess the effectiveness of a slider: the number of clicks to view a specific offer and the number of clicks to switch to the next offer. This information is helpful to make changes to the design and calls-to-action on your website.
8. Scroll map
Plerdy heatmap is the only online tool with two solutions to measure user interest in the content of a page. The first one is page scroll depth, and the second tool is a scroll map. The scroll map tool combines data on user clicks and scrolls. In such an online report, the page is divided into 5 equal segments. Each of them has its CTR that shows the depth to which users have interacted with the online content.
With the scroll map tool, you can quickly determine which segments of the page (usually, blogs) get most interactions. It is also useful to evaluate the most and least popular links in long reads.
9. Recording and displaying clicks in real time
All information about clicks, mouse hovers, and scrolls instantly gets to your dashboard. The heatmap records data in real-time and makes it available for analysis in a few seconds.
You receive online heatmap data unbelievably quickly. There is no need to wait for several hours or till the end of the day to see what users do.
10. Table reports in the dashboard
Plerdy heatmap users can choose from several formats of reports. One of them is a table report available on the dashboard. Each column of the table can be sorted from the smallest to the largest number:
The table shows clicks of the main elements of every page. It’s a convenient and fast way to find the least popular elements on the website.
11. Recording mouse hovers
Usability specialists often need to find out which website elements people focus on most. Usually, when visitors get interested in something, they hover it with a mouse. Sometimes, the hover isn’t followed with an interaction (the element is unclickable), or the action happens automatically after the hovering (for example, an online menu opens). To track such cases, Plerdy heatmap records all hovers that last for over two seconds.
You get a chance to analyze website elements that attract user attention or are activated without an interaction (for example, zooming a fragment of an image).
12. Recording scroll depth
Plerdy heatmap records the scroll depth of every website page on all types of devices. For example, website visitors may scroll with a mouse, use a touchpad, or scroll content on a smartphone with their finger – all these actions will be recorded and properly categorized by device type.
The users of the Plerdy heatmap can be sure that reports include all the data on website visits. This is especially important for information sites and blogs where it’s necessary to evaluate the quality of content.
13. Recording click sequences
Use Plerdy heatmap to record the user path on your website. This feature is an optimum alternative to online video recordings of website visits. It helps to process data on user behavior more efficiently. By the way, during a website visit, an average user makes from 3 to 7 clicks. The map of online interactions will show which website elements are selected first, second, etc.
Such heatmap functionality saves the time of usability specialists and UI/UX designers. The thing is that the analysis of video recordings is extremely time-consuming. For example, to view 100 one-minute recordings, you will spend over 1.5 hours. And if a website has thousands of visitors, monitoring their behavior through videos becomes a real burden. Therefore, it’s much easier to analyze which element on a page was clicked first.
14. Click sequence graph in the dashboard
This graph makes the analysis of user paths very convenient. It shows all the information about the number of first, second, third, etc. interactions made during a day:
There is a belief that users should get to any website page in three clicks. Hence, the data on the number of interactions is a great way to evaluate the usability of the web resource.
15. Segmentation of click order data
You can segment the results of the click sequence report while viewing the website. To do that, switch on the Sequence mode on the right side after the heatmap is activated:
Sequencing sequences help track possible anomalies in user behavior and determine some common online navigation patterns.
16. Click sequence table
An online table with color gradients is one of the visual solutions used for click sequence reports in Plerdy heatmap:
This format simplifies the comparison of interaction sequences on different pages and helps to find similarities and unusual patterns.
17. Recording meaningful clicks
Plerdy heatmap displays data in a unique way. It shows only meaningful online interactions that have practical value. Plerdy heatmap doesn’t include empty clicks – single random interactions with pages that don’t lead to the target action and cannot be analyzed:
The quality of information saves the time of specialists who conduct a website usability audit. Thanks to Plerdy, empty interactions will no longer distract you.
18. Plerdy’s toolbar can be displayed on the analyzed website
You can open and close the online toolbar on any website with the installed Plerdy’s script using the Ctrl-Alt-H shortcut. There you can turn on filters, select a time period, enable a certain type of report, and configure event tracking to record data on specific website elements.
The key advantage is the opportunity to analyze a website in real-time. In addition, Plerdy heatmap allows you to see how visitors interact with the content directly on the website pages, unlike other heatmap tools that use screenshots.
19. Tracking separate elements
Heatmaps, by default, collect data on all the main website elements. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to track a specific element. In Plerdy, you can customize tracking.
You can track specific website elements (e.g., Order or Registration buttons). Moreover, data recording starts immediately after the script of the heatmap is installed. Hence, if you didn’t need to track the element before, but now this information is crucial, you can create a separate event to receive the data from the previous period.
For example, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager record events only after you instruct them to.
20. Changes in website design are reflected in click reports
If you change something in your website design (e.g., delete an online element), the data on this element will no longer be displayed in reports:
Almost all online heatmaps continue showing data on the removed website elements for some time. Plerdy heatmap ensures that all the related interactions won’t be displayed as soon as an object is deleted.
21. Recording clicks on unique sessions
Plerdy heatmap records all website clicks. However, to understand the online behavior of new users, the data on unique sessions is essential. That’s why Plerdy also displays the number of online interactions during unique visits:
Such information allows you to find out the number of unique sessions users have interacted with your page. Besides, you will determine whether the clicks have been made by one or several visitors.
22. Plerdy heatmap supports the Angular framework
Many websites with dynamic content are based on the Angular framework. Plerdy perfectly operates on such web resources, recording and displaying all data.
There are a bunch of websites on Angular. Most of them have complex and dynamic designs.
Whereas you may face problems using other online heatmaps, Plerdy heatmap will be correctly displayed and work seamlessly.
23. Plerdy’s script doesn’t overload a website
The script of the Plerdy heatmap includes the Defer attribute. Thanks to this, even a 700-megabyte file will not affect the loading speed. Users won’t notice that there is an additional script installed on the online resource.
The advantage is obvious: the smaller load a script has, the faster a website works. Thus, unlike some other heatmaps, Plerdy’s script doesn’t slow down a website.
24. Plerdy’s script works faster and has fewer components than the scripts of other services
Website load speed is one of the most important criteria for its market success. Many specialists don’t integrate third-party solutions into the code since this can decrease the speed of a website. The loading speed may also be affected by the number of third-party components in the script:
If you choose to install Plerdy, you won’t have to worry about the loading speed of your website. This is because this script has no third-party components. Therefore, Plerdy heatmap works much faster than other similar services.
25. Filtering by URL
Plerdy allows you to additionally filter the results by URL to narrow down the data. You can both enter a full URL or a part of the address:
By choosing one or several URLs, you can display click reports for a separate page or a group of pages (a category).
26. Filtering by device type
The dashboard of Plerdy heatmap also allows you to filter the results by several types of devices: smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
The website version displayed to users often depends on their device type. As a result, the statistics on interactions with the responsive version may differ from the main one. Therefore, it’s better to analyze them separately. Plerdy heatmap has great functionality to do that.
27. 99% click accuracy
Most heatmaps have their custom algorithm for recording user behavior that processes data with a certain error percentage. In the case of Plerdy heatmap, the error percentage of click records is only 1% (taking into account the use of outdated browsers and the disabled script in a browser).
Data accuracy means that a usability specialist or online marketer can fully rely on the collected information. Unfortunately, there is no sampling of data collection when a project has huge traffic.
28. Graphs of clicks on the website
Plerdy’s dashboard includes graphs of user activity which allow you to compare the results for the selected period:
Such graphs show the overall activity of users on a website. The peaks mean that users were particularly interested in the content.
29. One script for the domain and subdomains
You don’t need to install several scripts to track user behavior on the domain and its subdomains. With Plerdy heatmap, you can collect and display results in one place. For example, if there is a site.com domain, it’s also possible to add 2 subdomains (de.site.com and pl.site.com) to collect heatmap data.
No need to create several accounts for complex projects.
30. Special account for web agencies
Plerdy heatmap is open for cooperation with web agencies that specialize in usability audits. If there is a need to combine data provided by several scripts in one dashboard, contact the support team to help with the configuration.
You can simultaneously work with several websites without switching between accounts.
31. Customized development services
We are ready to have a constructive dialogue and hear your suggestions. If you would like to add some new functionality or a type of report to the Plerdy heatmap, just let us know, and we will consider your offer. Plerdy encourages any solution that can enhance the user experience.
There is no need to look for alternative solutions. On the contrary, we strive to make our product as useful to our customers as possible.
32. Custom events for mouse hovers
If you need to track mouse hovers on separate elements (for example, an element that opens a menu after hovering it), configure them in the heatmap dashboard.
The opportunity to separately set tracking for each mouse hover allows you to track only the necessary website elements. Nevertheless, Plerdy stores the information on all the previous mouse hovers on all objects. So if you need data on the element that wasn’t previously tracked, just set an event. You will find out how users have hovered this object since the script installation.
33. Can be used on smartphones
Plerdy heatmap is supported on smartphones:
Thanks to the responsiveness, it’s much more convenient to view heatmap reports online and on smartphones.
34. Recording clicks on all available screens and display resolutions
There are many screens and display resolutions (according to our estimates, over 1.3 thousand). As a result, some users may see your content differently. Since the responsive versions of websites vary, Plerdy records data on all resolutions.
The accuracy of data.
35. One dashboard to access data on several websites
Web studios working on several websites and complex projects can create one dashboard for all the online resources. For example, you can generate and process the reports on site.com and site.co.uk domains in one account.
The dashboard generates heatmaps for every project separately, but they can be accessed from one account, for example, by someone responsible for all projects.
36. Simultaneous use of several filters
In the dashboard, you can apply several filters at once (e.g., to see a report on the sequence of clicks and traffic sources):
Such filters help to understand how the source of traffic impacts user behavior.
To promote your website or online store, you need to know where you currently stand. Heatmap software enables specialists to analyze user behavior dynamics that directly impact the success of a web resource. So even if you are sure that your web design is brilliant, the target audience may think differently. And since any website is customer-centric and serves users’ needs, their opinion is what matters most.
Heatmap software helps to monitor user behavior and collect valuable statistics on how it changes. This allows you to notice any problematic spots on the online resource and remove them to make the user journey a breeze.