Website usability

Free Website Heatmap Tool

06 August, 2020

Free and subscription-based heatmap tools are crucial to launching an online resource, which is convenient and easy to navigate.

If you have ever tested website usability on your own, you know how many assumptions arise in the process of interface assessment. Very often we rely on our personal experience and mistakenly believe that other users perceive information in the same way.

As a result, it becomes extremely difficult to clarify the real reasons behind users’ behavior online. Why do the majority of visitors ignore the largest banner with a free offer? Why does a part of potential customers leave the online page despite a tempting CTA to proceed?

To understand the behavioral patterns of visitors, you need a free website heatmap. It gives you a chance to step into your users’ shoes and see how they feel on the web resource.

Now, let’s clarify what a free heatmap tool can do for your website and how to use it. Here’re the main points to cover:

  • What is a free website heatmap tool?
  • Why do you need a website heatmap tool?
  • How to use free heatmap tools to improve your website
  • Plerdy: Practical benefits of free heatmap tools

What is a Free Website Heatmap Tool?

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Website heatmap tool is a visual representation of user activity on a website or another online resource. The heatmap tool collects data on clicks, moves, scrolls, and hovers to convert it into an image. The information is presented with the help of the color-coding scheme where hotter colors (like red, orange, and yellow) mean higher user activity and colder colors (blue, green) signify that users were less active. Such a format helps you to quickly analyze data without spending hours on reading statistics. You instantly see where people interacted with the website and how often.

Online heatmap tools usually include both free and paid plans. The free plan allows users to test the free functionality of the heatmap to make sure it meets their expectations and provides the necessary data. This version includes the core free features of the heatmap but has some limitations. To access more advanced capabilities of the tool, users can switch from the free plan to one of the paid subscriptions.

Why Do You Need a Website Heatmap Tool?

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Free and subscription-based heatmap tools can optimize the work of marketers, SEO experts, UX/UI specialists, content managers, and anyone else related to online business. Such tools provide instant insight into the overall situation on a website enabling you to:

  • Monitor online user behavior to understand which online elements (buttons, CTAs, banners, etc.) attract the attention of website visitors and which are counterproductive
  • Redesign a website based on real-time free testing of any changes
  • Improve the quality of content with the help of scroll depth data that shows when users stop reading an online page
  • Detect non-clickable elements to make them clickable

Without free heatmap tools, you risk wasting a lot of time and resources on online marketing solutions that don’t work. The heatmap software provides you with accurate data and testing capabilities that help you hit the target at the first attempt.

How to Use Free Heatmap Tools to Improve Your Website

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The Internet is governed by one simple principle – Users must instantly get what they want. It starts with Google Search that ranks the most relevant online results at the top based on keywords, links, and a range of other factors. It goes on with every website that needs to have the right location of menus, buttons, CTAs, links, contact details, etc.

Whereas Google Search relies on complex algorithms, an average website owner or marketer can use free heatmap tools. This software shows the realistic picture of user behavior on website pages to help you understand what can be improved. For example, with a free heatmap tool, you can notice that people click an inactive element expecting to complete the target action. Since the element doesn’t work, they may leave frustrated with their experience. To reduce the bounce rate caused by such design issues, you can make the element clickable by turning it into a button. Later, the free heatmap tool will show if the implemented changes have improved the situation.

The same relates to other objects placed on the website. Free heatmap tools enable designers to test the pages and make sure the chosen color, size, font, or position don’t irritate or confuse online visitors. This way, free heatmap tools allow you to create a web resource that satisfies the key needs of the target audience.

Besides, you will be able to enhance the quality of the online content. Most free heatmap tools include a scroll map tool that records how far users scroll pages. This metric reflects the real interest in the published content. For example, if the majority of users don’t reach the CTA placed at the end of a long article, it’s worth moving it up. You should also consider splitting the article, adding a content plan for better navigation, or changing its structure.

Finally, by improving your website design, free heatmap tools help you increase conversion rates and sales. Decent usability and ease-of-use encourage customers to place an order, start a subscription, read an article, or complete another necessary action.

Plerdy: Practical Benefits of Free Heatmap Tools

We always appreciate feedback and comments from our users. This is what allows us to collect valuable information for further improvement of our subscription-based and free heatmap tools.

Success stories of our customers are among the key indicators of Plerdy’s efficiency.  By staying in touch with our partners, we get a chance to learn what practical benefits our free website heatmap tools give.

So based on the experience of Plerdy’s users, we have singled out 5 main reasons why free heatmaps can power e-commerce projects.

1. PLERDY FREE HEATMAP TOOL HELPS TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT INTERFACE

Website design must have maximum efficiency and look right. What does “right” mean when it comes to the interface of an online store? First of all, it means that all the components of a website are properly positioned and perform the assigned functions. If some elements (buttons, fields, banners) are not clickable, the chosen design or its specific components should be reviewed.

The effective design of an online store must take into account existing standards. It is much easier for website visitors to interact with a web resource that has standard navigation and location of buttons. Moreover, all new (even brilliant) ideas should always be additionally tested. During such free tests, some elements of the design may turn out to be unnecessary.

For example, there was an error detected in the design of our customer. The admins of the site just didn’t notice this flaw for more than a year.

This design had a small hamburger button with no function. Probably, it remained there from a responsive version:

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Visitors, hoping to open the hidden menu, clicked on it 13 times during one month only:

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In modern design, such a new psychological phenomenon as “banner blindness” also plays a crucial role. It’s a learned ability of users to ignore or skip advertising banners. This reaction is caused by the defensive mechanism of a body. Every day we see hundreds of offers to buy something, and, as a result, we get used to ignoring them.

Here is the example of a banner that nobody clicked for half a year:

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Plerdy’s online website heatmap shows how users perceive a specific banner and helps to make it more effective.

2. PLERDY FREE HEATMAP TOOL SHOWS WHAT CONTENT IS POPULAR ON THE WEBSITE

The free click heatmap helps to understand what type of content is the most popular with website visitors.

It’s commonly known that the quality of content impacts users’ interest in a website. Whereas the popularity of a web resource or some of its pages you can assess using analytical systems (such as Google Analytics), an interface and page content can be evaluated only with click heatmaps.

By the way, many studies of user behavior have proven the practical benefits of F-shaped content.

A major part of the planet reads text from left to right and from top to bottom, hence important information should always be positioned top left:

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Scroll depth data shows what portion of text users read. Based on this information, you can determine the best spots to locate banners or calls-to-action. For example, the blog of an online store has some pages that are read down to the end (scroll rate is 60-80%):

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However, other pages are less than 20% scrolled. So we have recommended this store to rewrite the articles that have visitors but fail to catch their interest.

3. PLERDY FREE HEATMAP TOOL SEGMENTS AN AUDIENCE BY DEVICE TYPE

Do you know the difference between the behavior of users that open a website on a laptop and smartphone users? If no, then you don’t have the full picture to perform a usability audit.

Although Google Analytics ties page visits to device type, Plerdy shows how people interact with the visited site:

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The red curve shows clicks on smartphones, the green one – on tablets, and the blue stands for desktops. Plerdy can collect click data from over 15 different screen resolutions with 99% accuracy.

The data segmented by device type shows the number of clicks on page elements and the ratio between different segments:

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4. PLERDY FREE HEATMAP TOOL SHOWS WHAT IMAGES ATTRACT THE MOST ATTENTION

With the heatmap, you will see which images on your website are a good choice and which should be replaced. This is especially applicable to online stores with lots of vibrant product images.

All images on a website must either attract attention or sell. Therefore, you should always add quality and relevant pictures.

On category pages, the website heatmap can show the elements that get the most and the least clicks:

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5. PLERDY FREE HEATMAP TOOL HELPS TO REDUCE A BOUNCE RATE

Do all calls-to-action on your web resource work? If you aren’t sure, use heatmaps to find out whether a link or a button with the offer to buy goods are conveniently positioned, have an appropriate color and size. Low user activity can indicate that something is wrong.

The research of TechWyse has proven the impact of colors, sizes, and location of elements on a bounce rate. Another study, carried out by CareLogger, has shown that properly chosen colors of buttons can increase CTR by 34%.

Using Plerdy heatmap to analyze a third-party website, we have found the button with an extremely low CTR:

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Online visitors more often go to a product by clicking on its name instead of selecting the button.

Therefore, we have offered to conduct an A/B test to choose the best product name font and color of the button.

In the same project, there was also a page with too many sections that looked confusing:

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A site menu is a key element of navigation. Its analysis can provide you with many useful findings. For example, by analyzing 3-month heatmap data, you can find out which sections of the desktop version users visit the most often.

The general click data distributed between pages and their most popular components is collected separately:

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Conclusion

A real result is the best way to conclude. In the picture below, you can see the changes that happened on the pages of an online store after the “More” button had been added to all categories (two different category pages are used for illustrative purposes):

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As you see, the bounce rate significantly changed. Some small corrections helped to make general changes to the behavioral factors on the whole website. This demonstrates the benefits of the click heatmap as a marketing tool. Whereas analytics software records interactions, the website heatmap shows why they act like this. So, here are 5 reasons to try Plerdy for your project:

  1. This free tool helps to choose the right interface.
  2. You can determine what content is popular on the website.
  3. Free Plerdy tool segments an audience by device type.
  4. You can clearly see what images attract the most attention.
  5. You can significantly improve the CTR free of charge.

Start testing the free version of Plerdy now, to get acquainted with your website visitors and potential customers. No coding skills needed to install it.