Website development

How to Create a Heatmap Online?

06 July, 2020

How do you start acquaintance with an unfamiliar online tool? First of all, you find out how the product will help to 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 keeping in mind your primary tasks.

Here are the fundamentals you need to know about online heatmaps:

What is a Heatmap Online Tool?

39 преимуществ карты кликов Plerdy

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. 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

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 many times users interacted with the Order button on all the pages.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 just 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.

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Plerdy heatmap has every right to be considered a multitool since it includes all of the listed services. This online heatmap records different kinds of 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?

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Online heatmaps are the simplest way to monitor the performance of your website and detect any issues to proactively solve them. The best thing about the Plerdy heatmap tool is that configuration requires just three steps:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The configuration of the heatmap is really simple. Actually, you don’t have to do anything – just install the script of 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Obviously, online user behavior differs depending on the website version they see – main or responsive. Thanks to segmentation by one or several parameters, you can 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The opportunity to upload all interactions to one page is necessary if you need to analyze a bunch of 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 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:

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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 dashboard of the heatmap, you can choose a certain period of time (starting from one day and more) to view time-limited data segmented by traffic source.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Segmentation of heatmap data enables marketers to monitor how user behavior varies across traffic channels. You can also track the clicks of visitors who came 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 interactions on the pages with a responsive layout differ from the same actions made on a desktop device. With Plerdy heatmap, you can focus solely on the analysis of mobile users’ behavior and combine this data with other types of reports (based on time periods and traffic types).

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The analysis of mobile traffic with the heatmap allows you to promptly make changes to the responsive version of the website.

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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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 as a click, Plerdy records and displays such interactions on a page.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

There are two indicators that help to 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 that has 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 on which users have interacted with the online content.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

You receive online heatmap data unbelievably quickly. 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT? The table shows clicks of the main elements of every page. It’s a very convenient and fast way to find the least popular groups of 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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. 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The users of 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, and so on.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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. 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The segmentation of sequences helps to 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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 reports, and configure event tracking to record data on specific website elements.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The key advantage is the opportunity to analyze a website in real-time. 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

By configuring separate events, 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Almost all online heatmaps continue showing data on the removed website elements for some time. Plerdy heatmap ensures that as soon as an object is deleted, all the related interactions won’t be displayed.

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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Such information allows you to find out the number of unique sessions during which 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.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

There are a bunch of websites on Angular. Most of them have a complex and dynamic design.

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 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

If you choose to install Plerdy, you won’t have to worry about the loading speed of your website. 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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 percentage of error. 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).

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The accuracy of data means that a usability specialist or online marketer can fully rely on the collected information. 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:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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 both 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.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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, just contact the support team to get help with the configuration.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

You can simultaneously work with several websites without switching between accounts.

31. Intuitive English interface

The Plerdy team is committed to making its heatmap available to many users. Therefore, the interface and user guides are localized in English and very easy to understand.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Plerdy heatmap is suitable for a broad audience of users and really convenient. Anyone with basic English knowledge will be able to master Plerdy heatmap and use it with maximum efficiency. Moreover, all the steps are so logical and intuitive that the tool practically guides you to what to do next.

32. 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 reports to Plerdy heatmap, just let us know, and we will consider your offer. Plerdy encourages any solution that can enhance the user experience.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

There is no need to look for alternative solutions. We strive to make our product as useful to our customers as possible.

33. Different options for viewing mouse hovers

You can either open the report on mouse hovers for the whole page (to see the hovers on all elements) or choose to display hovers on separate page elements. In the second case, you need to select the percentage to see the exact number of hovers on the element.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

If the website has lots of traffic, the report on mouse hovers on all website elements is going to be huge. To decrease the load time, it’s better to use the Groups mode. In this case, the report is formed gradually and includes only the necessary elements.

34. Custom events for mouse hovers

In case you need to track mouse hovers on separate elements (for example, an element that opens a menu after you hover it), configure them in the dashboard of the heatmap.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

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.

35. Can be used on smartphones

Plerdy heatmap is supported on smartphones:

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT? Thanks to the responsiveness, it’s much more convenient to view heatmap reports online and on smartphones.

36. Export of heatmap reports

Heatmap reports can be downloaded in the .xlsx format.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

You can process the collected data using spreadsheet tools.

37. Recording clicks on all available screen and display resolutions

There is a sheer number of screen 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.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The accuracy of data.

38. One dashboard to access data on several websites

Web studios that are simultaneously 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.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

The dashboard generates heatmaps for every project separately, but they can be accessed from one account, for example, by someone responsible for all projects.

39. 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):

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?

Such filters help to understand how the source of traffic impacts user behavior.

Conclusion

To promote your website or online store, you need to know where you currently stand. Heatmap software enables specialists to analyze the dynamics of user behavior that directly impacts the success of a web resource. 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 the needs of users, 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.