Digital marketing

Improve Website UX with Heatmaps

07 June, 2018

Any online product has some peculiar features which help it to gain the loyalty of users. Usually, developers design several basic functions used by 80% of customers. The rest of solutions are bonuses implemented to keep regular customers. Click heatmaps, as one of the key tools for UX/UI analysis, also have primary and secondary functions. The primary ones help to solve tasks, the others – create additional value. Communicating with marketers and SEO specialists, Plerdy’s team of developers have collected several frequently asked questions about click heatmaps and defined the key differences between Plerdy and other services.

1. Can I make a usability audit of a site without a click heatmap?

To clarify this question, it’s necessary to mention what is a website usability audit and why it is done. In most cases, a UX/UI analysis is one of the components of a comprehensive website audit. Such audit is mainly done to define the ease-of-use of a site and create a general picture of user experience. Since the vision of one designer can differ from the perception of thousands of website users, usability audit helps to see whether new visitors have any problems understanding the site.
The example of an element with a unique design which doesn’t get clicks:
сайта с уникальным дизайном
To rely on facts instead of assumptions, you need a special tool that collects the necessary information. A click heatmap is such basic tool for a UX/UI audit. Using the data on website clicks, you will be able to define whether to make some changes to the design of your web resource.
Without click heatmaps, your audit will be based solely on your intuition and hypotheses.

2. How often do I need to analyze the usability of my site?

Everything depends on the size and the pace of development of a project. Websites with low traffic are difficult to assess. A monthly number of visits should preferably exceed 5 thousand. After you reach this rate, you may install the script of Plerdy. Further actions depend on the complexity of the project. We recommend to carry out the first audit several months after installing the script. During the first UX/UI analysis, you will get a better understanding of what works your site and what is skipped by users.
If after this you made some changes to the design (including the ones based on the previous audit), you should do another UX/UI analysis in 4-5 months. In case nothing changed and your site has low traffic, we recommend to carry out the next planned audit in 10-12 months. During this time, the click heatmap will collect the necessary amount of clicks on all elements of your web resource.
For sites with substantial growth of visitors, usability audits should be completed once in six months. Especially if these sites are constantly updated with new information (for instance, online stores or information resources).

3. When is it better to install the click heatmap?

We recommend installing the click heatmap when your site is approaching 5 thousand visits per month. During the following 2-3 months, the script will collect data on clicks made on the main elements of the web resource. In case you need to analyze separate buttons or forms, you should set individual tags for click collection. Based on the received data you will be able to decide whether any changes to the design are necessary. If it’s an old site and monthly traffic exceeds 5 thousand visits, for the first analysis it would be enough to collect data on clicks for 1 month.

4. Why do I need to install a separate service if I can check clickability by setting goals in Google Analytics?

Goals set in Google Analytics and Plerdy heatmaps have different tasks. Google Analytics allows you to build a sales funnel based on certain actions made on the pages of a website. In this case, the goals are mainly supposed to define the level of conversion and estimate income. The key feature of goals in Google Analytics is individual customization (based on the model of a sales funnel). Usually online marketers track goals that directly lead visitors to purchasing a product. The other actions on site are less frequently tracked.
The primary task of Plerdy heatmaps is the display of the most clicked elements on every page of a web resource. They help to define unnecessary or optional elements which don’t lead users to completing key actions. Also, using Plerdy, you can see elements that lose clicks because of their bad location.
The main feature of Plerdy is its easy setup. You don’t have to customize anything – just install the script and start collecting clicks.

5. Why doesn’t Plerdy offer video recording of users’ browsers?

With Plerdy click heatmap, you can analyze group behavior and make decisions based on the collected statistics.
Using a webvisor (a videorecording with the actions of a certain user) you cannot make any conclusions about the UX/UI of a site.
For a site that gets several thousands of visits, you will need a few days to watch each video (even if it lasts for 1 minute). Even if you filter these videos based on a certain characteristic (for example, watch only visits on smartphones), it will be difficult to define a single model of behavior out of them.
Thus, screen recording doesn’t allow you to make the right conclusions promptly and accurately.

6. Why do I need to install Plerdy if there is a free heatmap in Yandex.Metrica?

In Yandex.Metrica, a heatmap is rather a secondary function that adds some extra value to this tool for website analysis. Since this solution is free, you shouldn’t expect some significant advances here. Whereas Plerdy heatmap is a specialized SaaS solution. Its team of developers has paid close attention to several technical nuances that allowed to increase the accuracy of metrics up to 99%. In particular, Plerdy heatmap:

  • Shows clicks on dynamic objects (menus, pop-ups, etc).
  • By default filters important clicks from “noise”. Noise is all clicks outside of working elements (buttons, forms, banners, etc.).
  • Shows click results on a live site, not on a screenshot. A user can navigate between pages in a normal mode viewing the location and number of clicks.

Yet there are more features that distinguish Plerdy heatmap from the additional tool of Yandex.Metrica. Here it’s worth mentioning how the maps are formed. Yandex.Metrica records clicks based on the coordinates of pixels on a page whereas Plerdy relies on the elements of a layout and clicks on dynamic objects. Take a look at the heatmap with noise (click data which has no practical use) below. Plerdy doesn`t display such clicks by default.
Пример карты кликов з "шумом"
In addition, the script of Plerdy doesn’t affect the website speed.

7. What is the main difference between Plerdy and HotJar?

Comparing two multi-tools, Plerdy and HotJar, some experts try to clarify their key differences. As it was mentioned above, each product has the main and additional features oriented towards its potential customers. Later, when people become loyal customers, they continue to take invisible but active part in the improvement of the product.
So the first difference between Plerdy and Hotjar is related to the peculiar features of both click heatmaps. As we have already mentioned, Plerdy shows click results directly on a page whereas HotJar and other similar services generate maps based on screenshots. These are two absolutely different approaches. For example, if visitors have different screen resolutions (from 1280 pixels and more), a click heatmap based on coordinates will display all the collected data with a slight shift. When Plerdy records clicks on the elements of a layout, so the results are accurate in 99% of cases.
The shift of clicks in the screenshot based tool:
Смещение кликов на сайте
Plerdy collects statistics on all interactive windows (such as popup banners, navigation menus with tabs). Taking into account the growing popularity of dynamic elements, such insights can be crucial for a UX/UI analysis.
The example of a callback form opened with Plerdy heatmap:
Пример работы
Since a responsive layout is particularly important for website promotion, the developers of Plerdy paid special attention to collecting clicks on responsive website versions.
Plerdy immediately records all clicks and also takes into account changes in a design. For example, if a block was deleted, the clicks in this area aren’t shown as they are no longer useful. The other services continue to display such clicks for some time even when the element is removed.
Another criterion that distinguishes Plerdy from Hotjar is a great technical support. This may be extremely useful when you face some issues.

8. Can Google Analytics and Plerdy be really comparable?

No, such comparison isn’t relevant, as Google Analytics is an absolutely different service for analytics. It’s mainly used to define traffic channels and record certain metrics (including time spent on a site, user segmentation on pages, achievement of goals). Whereas Plerdy collects statistics on clicks and scrollings. The only common thing is the use of filtering by traffic source and device type (desktop, tablet, or smartphone). Such filters help to segment users. In GA, they allow you to find out the quality of a sales funnel and in Plerdy – show the differences in the perception of the web resource.
Moreover, there is a set of other tasks you cannot complete without Plerdy click heatmaps.
This is the first overview of Plerdy and it will be updated as we get new questions about the service. If you are interested in using heatmaps on your site or want to learn more details about Plerdy, don’t hesitate to contact us. It well may be that other users also need this information, so we will add it to this material.