The heat maps, better known by the English term heatmaps, are a data reading tool that, through the colors and graphics similar to the thermographic images, provide an overview of the behavior of the navigators who have landed on our website. In simple terms, the heatmaps allow us to see the data related to the user experience of our site (or our e-commerce) in order to improve usability, decrease if there was a need for bounce rate and indirectly, adjust SEO optimization.
Optimization with Heatmaps – from specific functions to the recording of an entire browsing session
Having said that I want to dwell for a few lines on the specific functions that this service and in particular its toolbox, is able to offer. The basic functions are the scroll, hover and click maps functions, which are often combined with the ability to record an entire browsing session of a user or a group of users.
- The scroll function allows you to understand through a different use of colors to where a user is scrolling your page (or pages) internet. The term scroll is a clear reference – not even the only one you will read later – to the movement made with the mouse on the scrollbar. Personally I found this feature really useful especially for those who write content on the site because thanks to it you can see the degree of engagement [involvement – Ed.] And the methods according to which the navigator reads the contents.
- The hover function, on the other hand, is very interesting from various points of view. Thanks to it is possible to detect the movements of the mouse cursor made by the user on your website, comparing this pointer to the movements of the human being. It would seem a new application of the eye tracker but it is only apparently. In fact, according to industry experts, this similarity does not always work. In general, I can say that the basic idea is useful for those involved in graphic design and therefore wants to make the visual part of the website more efficient and effective.
- Finally we find the click maps function that analogously to Analytics indicates the clicks received on your internet pages. With an addition to the famous Google tool: click maps also indicates in which position of the site the clicks have been made. This function allows you to test, for example, if a banner or a section of your site have been appreciated in terms of navigability.
Useful heatmaps to improve the user experience, aesthetics and SEO optimization of your site
Summing up, from my point of view the heatmaps are very useful for the aesthetic part of a site, which is not detrimental given that in terms of positioning on search engines the user experience plays a fundamental role. The point is that this instrument of the most complex tasks – such as monitoring or engaging in an advertising campaign or the profiling of potential leads (lead) – is not enough. It is essential, for this purpose, to equip itself not only with a respectable dashboard but also with a certain amount of numeric data. This will be why the main software that offer this service are all equipped with a dashboard more or less complex and more or less similar to the better known one of Analytics.
For these reasons and for the sake of information, it is necessary that lists the main software on the market today that I have decided to group in my personal mini-standings, placing as selection criteria the quality of service, convenience economic and completeness of ‘offer.
Heatmaps, 4 software that you can use classified according to quality, convenience and completeness to improve your user experience
4 # Heatmap.me
At the moment I think it is the best tool for quality / price ratio especially for that category of users who still chew little the fabulous world of internet. The graphic interface of the site is very intuitive and the accessibility to its contents and service is tremendously simple considering that – unique in its kind – offers a free trial of six months after which it is possible to subscribe to a package. Super recommended for those who want to experiment without too much effort? A valid alternative could be the paid plugin for the WordPress CMS “UserTrack”, clearly more famous than the first but a less simple pinch for non-professionals. However very valid.
3 # Crazy Egg
It is one of the most popular and appreciated tools in the industry as well as the choice of some big names like Dell and Yahoo (FONTE: official website). It has a truly complete offer to which it adds an extra service of click maps called “Confetti”. Another advantage is the compatibility with various CMS like WordPress and Joomla to which he has reserved specific plugins. For the rest, instead, simply copy and paste the code or use Google Tag Manager. In my opinion, one point to its disadvantage is access to the free 30-day trial, as it obliges the user to release his bank details. This could be an obstacle given the distrust of many people to buy online.
A valid alternative can be Mouseflow which in addition to the usual features offers a funnel service and user monitoring during the compilation of a form (form). Apparently complicated but simple to use especially if you need statistical data to support or compare with those of Analytics. A point in favor: in addition to owning a specific plugin for WordPress, also has an extensive compatibility with many CMS such as Drupal, Prestashop, Weebly, Blogger, etc.
2 # HotJar
Surely unlike the previous ones is much more cumbersome but not inaccessible to an average user. In addition to the heat map service, it is also possible to submit online surveys to your site, other sites or email address. Its functionalities regarding conversion funnels and the tracking form are also good. Even though its subscription, for Business customers, can easily exceed $ 200/300 on the other for Personal customers, the basic version is always free (albeit with some limitations) and the upgrade costs only $ 29 a month. .
1 # ClickTale
Special partner for both Oracle and Adobe and commercial offices located in all the major cities of the globe. These are just some features of the top video animation company that provided this service that initially had not driven me crazy but I had to change my mind. The completeness of ClickTale lies in its versatility as it offers many services, including heatmaps and a “cockpit” on a par with that of Analytics. Very curious is the function according to which it is possible to obtain a psychological tracking of the navigators or the advanced ability to manage and analyze the data.
User experience and SEO optimization: when Google Analytics alone is not enough
In conclusion, it is reasonable to ask why a tool like Analytics, strong of its brand, has not integrated the function of heat maps so as to defeat the aforementioned competitors. The answer is there. There is in fact an extension for Google Chrome, called Google Analytics Heatmaps, which unfortunately has not yet given the expected results since it has been rejected repeatedly by users of the web. So you just have to try the tools described to improve your online activity, while the giants of the web, once again, are fighting.