Whether you’ve used heatmaps in the past or you’re a first-timer, finding the best heatmap available will have a significant impact on the success of your website.
If you run a quick Google search to see what’s out there, you’ll come across plenty of heatmaps that look pretty. But you need to find a heatmap tool that will truly improve your site.
You might be able to narrow down a few options initially, but how can you decide which heatmap is the best?
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Not every heatmap tool is created equally. I wrote this guide to help you narrow down the top choice for your website.
How to Evaluate Heatmap Tools
There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration when you’re evaluating a prospective heatmap tool. As you’re comparing different options, this criteria will help you determine which tool is the best.
I’ll explain each factor in greater detail below. You can use this methodology to find a heatmap tool that will deliver real results.
Setup and Ease of Use
One of the most challenging parts of any new website tool is getting started. This is especially true for people who aren’t so technically inclined.
Not everyone who runs a website has development skills. So it’s essential to look for a heatmap tool that’s easy for anyone to use while delivering high-quality results across the board.
Signing up and creating your first heatmap should take less than 15 minutes. The solutions shouldn’t require complex sign-up forms asking for your mother’s maiden name and your blood type. An email address, password, and billing information are all you need to set up an account.
All heatmap tools must have a line of code installed on your website. That’s how they can ultimately track visitor data and behavior.
The heatmap tool you choose should make this step as easy as possible. If you’re comfortable editing the HTML code of your site, this will be as simple as a quick copy and paste.
But editing code isn’t for everyone. The best heatmap tools offer a codeless script installation. Look for a tool that can easily integrate with your site using an app, depending on the platform you’re using.
Is there a WordPress plugin for the heatmap tool you’re considering? Or if you’re using Shopify, can that tool be found on the Shopify App Marketplace? These are questions you need to ask yourself if you want to set up your heatmap without touching any code.
Once the heatmap script has been installed on your website, creating new heatmaps and managing everything should be seamless as well.
The best heatmap tools have user-friendly dashboards. Creating heatmaps, viewing reports, and accessing valuable website data should be easy for anyone to do, regardless of their technical skill level.
Any time you’re evaluating software or website tools, the price is always going to be a significant factor in your decision-making process.
You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune on your heatmap tool. There some solutions out there that range upwards of $10k per year. For most of you, that’s beyond overkill and unreasonable to consider.
Don’t assume that the most expensive option is the best. Some of the top heatmap tools on the market today start for less than $25 per month.
This is a marginal investment considering the value you’ll get in return. The data from a heatmap report will give you crucial information to boost conversions on your website, which could easily 10x your ROI.
Find a heatmap solution that offers different plans based on your monthly page views. This helps ensure that you won’t overpay for capabilities that you’ll never use.
I recommend using a heatmap tool that will let you start for free. The longer the trial, the better. Some tools only let you try it free for a week or two, with limited capabilities. But the best heatmap tools will give you 30 days for free with full functionality for whichever plan you choose.
Reputation and Reliability
The best heatmap tools have a reputation that speaks for itself. Run a quick Google search for the name of the tool you’re considering plus “ratings” or “reviews.” You should see a mix of various star ratings on a five or ten-point scale.
See what actual customers are saying about the solution. Keep in mind; there will always be a few negative reviews in the mix. But see what the majority of people have to say.
The most reputable heatmap tools will be used by hundreds of thousands of people. Numbers that high only come from top-level quality. The best heatmap tools are trusted by well-known brands that run global operations.
You want to use a tool that can stand the test of time. I’d much rather use a heatmap tool that has been around for 10+ years as opposed to one that just launched a year or two ago. These established tools have already worked out the kinks and tested millions of user interactions.
Not everyone wants to analyze the exact same data for a heatmap. You should choose a tool that gives you the freedom and flexibility to change the settings and parameters when you’re setting up a new heatmap.
For example, do you want to test desktop visitors, tablet visitors, and mobile visitors on your site? The best heatmap tools will automatically give you three separate reports. But if you only want to track data from mobile visitors and desktop visitors, that should be an option as well.
When do you want to start and end your heatmap data for a new report?
Maybe you want to start it next week when you launch a new product. Do you think you’ll have enough information after 30 days? 60 days? What about when you reach a specified number of website visits?
Here’s an example of the type of customized settings that you’ll want at your disposal.
This heatmap data will start and end at a specified date and time. The report could be generated sooner if your site gets 25,000 visits prior to the end date.
The best heatmap solutions offer customized options for advanced settings as well. I’m referring to things like pop-up blocking, sampling ratio, and tracking options.
If you’re a beginner and just starting out learning how to use heatmaps, all of the default settings will be more than sufficient for your needs. But it’s nice to know that you’ll have those advanced options down the road if you need them.
Different Types of Visual Reports
One of the main benefits of a heatmap compared to other analytics tools is the way the data is displayed. A heatmap is a visual snapshot of your web pages that highlights the most popular parts of the page based on user behavior.
You won’t have to analyze spreadsheets or try to decipher complex numbers. Find a heatmap tool that’s easy to read. The “hottest” parts of your page will be lighter than the rest.
But the best heatmap tools also provide you with additional visual reports. Scrollmaps are another excellent way to analyze visitor behavior as it relates to conversions.
Here’s an example of a heatmap layered with a scrollmap:
Not every heatmap tool will give you the scrollmap displayed on the left side of the screen, like the screenshot above. You should also be able to view the scrollmap independently from the heatmap.
There are other visual tools to display clicks based on metrics. The best heatmap tools also have reports based around different elements of your page that can be viewed in both visual and list-type formats.
Look for a solution that goes above and beyond a basic heatmap. The heatmap is just one of several visual reports that can help you analyze user behavior and how it relates to conversions.
Additional Conversion Tools
This piggybacks off our last point. In addition to various reports, your heatmap tool should also provide you with helpful tools to drive conversions.
For example, let’s say you’ve used the heatmap and scrollmap to identify a section of your homepage where users are scrolling to but not clicking on the CTA. There are a few different ways to interpret these results.
Depending on what that section of the page looks like, you might need to remove a distracting page element that draws attention away from the CTA. Or maybe you need to change the size, wording, color, or location of that particular CTA box.
But anytime you’re changing page elements, you shouldn’t be making assumptions. Always use an A/B testing tool to get data-driven results based on your hypothesis.
Rather than using a third-party tool for A/B testing, look for a heatmap tool with A/B tests built-in.
The best heatmap tools will also have integrated website editors so you can change page elements without any coding or design experience.
To get a full scope of visitor behavior beyond clicks, there are heatmap tools that also have recording capabilities. You can record user interactions on your site to track their exact movements. This will give you a clear depiction of any hangups, pain points, or friction during the conversion process.
So don’t sell yourself short by only looking at the heatmap itself. There are other conversion tools that you should be looking for as well. The best heatmap tools provide these solutions without the need for a third-party app.
Which Heatmap Tool Delivers
So which heatmap tool is the best?
Based on the criteria that we described above, Crazy Egg hits the mark for everything on that list. It’s the clear winner as the best heatmap tool on the market today.
You can create a heatmap with Crazy Egg for free in less than 15 minutes, regardless of your technical ability. If you don’t want to edit the HTML code of your site, Crazy Egg has an app for the most popular CMS solutions, website builders, and ecommerce platforms.
In terms of value, the plans start at just $24 per month. You’ll get a free 30-day trial no matter which plan you select with full access to all of the tool’s features and functionality.
More than 300,000 brands use Crazy Egg for its heatmap tool and conversion solutions. It’s trusted by Nike, Microsoft, Adobe, Yahoo, Etsy, Asics, and dozens of other global giants across a wide range of industries.
Crazy Egg has customized plans for enterprises as well as advanced customization settings for running reports on user behavior. Data can be displayed in a wide range of visual formats.
Crazy Egg Benefits You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
Crazy Egg has features and benefits that you won’t find from any other heatmap tool on the market today.
All Crazy Egg plans have unlimited A/B testing built-in. Other solutions require you to use a third-party tool for this.
Your website visitor data can be displayed in five different visual reports:
- Heatmap — Visual overview that shows where users are clicking on a page.
- Scrollmap — Shows sections of the page that are viewed the most.
- Confetti — Displays clicks on a page and the metrics for those clicks (like referral source, new vs. returning visitor, browser, and other metrics).
- Overlay — Determine how many people click each individual element on your site.
- List — Organize clicks based on type of page element, number of clicks, and percentage.
Crazy Egg has a built-in site editor. So once you use these visual reports to determine what needs to be improved on your site, you can edit the images, copy, and style of your pages directly from your Crazy Egg dashboard.
You’ll also have the ability to set up screen recordings on your site. A screen recording will show you a user’s exact movements as they navigate through your website. This tool is extremely valuable in terms of identifying possible friction points in the conversion process.
As you can see, Crazy Egg is much more than just a basic heatmap tool. It’s everything you need to analyze user behavior with visual reports to drive conversions on your website.
Crazy Egg is affordable, reputable, and easy for anyone to use. Try it for free with a 30-day trial.