Best WordPress Heatmap Plugins and Tools
If you’re interested in understanding your average website visitor better, there are several tools available to help you do so. However, platforms that gather user data – such as Google Analytics – can’t tell you exactly what draws your visitors’ focus the most.
Luckily, heatmaps are an accessible tool you can implement on your site to gather this valuable information. Understanding what visitors are actually looking at when they scroll through your website can help you create the maximum impact with your design and content choices.
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss how to use a heatmap and the data it provides to improve your WordPress site. Then we’ll introduce some of the best heatmap plugins and tools. Let’s get started!
Using a Heatmap Plugin in WordPress
Heatmaps are a highly-visual tool. They provide a layer of color over your website pages that indicate ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ areas. The parts of your site that get the most attention from visitors will be highlighted in red.
Less engaging sections will show up as unhighlighted, or in cooler colors such as purple, blue, or green. Orange and yellow typically indicate areas of moderate interest, where only some users have taken the time to view content:
This information is different from what other website analytics tools provide. While you might be able to see which of your pages are the most popular in Google Analytics, you can’t discern what about them is attractive to visitors.
A heatmap, on the other hand, can tell you exactly how leads are interacting with your pages, including how far they scroll, what they click on, and more. This information can help you make decisions about your content and design, in order to appeal to your visitors’ interests and tastes.
Best Heatmap Plugins
In order to generate heatmaps for your WordPress posts and pages, you’ll need a plugin or another third party tool. Fortunately, there are plenty of quality options available. To help you get started, we’ve listed six of them below.
Heatmap for WordPress is a real time analytics and mouse-tracking plugin. It provides easy-to-read color overlays for your site so you can understand where your trouble spots are, and quickly see where your content needs improving.
This plugin gathers information on smart touch devices as well as PCs and laptops, enabling you to gain insight on mobile users and those who prefer desktop browsing. Plus, Heatmap for WordPress won’t impact your site’s performance, and it keeps user data private.
Unfortunately, while there are free plans available, they’re limited to one website and five pages per user. Chances are that won’t give you much data to work with. Paid plans start at $100 per month.
The CrazyEgg plugin for WordPress adds a tracking script to your site, in order to monitor your visitors’ behavior. You can then use CrazyEgg’s many data tools – including heatmapping – to better understand your users and improve your site accordingly.
An easy way to determine if this tool is for you is to take advantage of CrazyEgg’s 30-day free trial. Once it’s over, plans are reasonably priced starting at $24 per month. You can add team members to your account at no extra charge, making this an ideal platform for collaboration.
The only real downside is that viewing mobile and desktop snapshots at the same time can be tricky. Despite that, CrazyEgg is a very popular heatmap tool. The plugin for WordPress makes adding the tracking script easier, but it’s not essential to the platform’s functionality.
HotJar is a robust heatmap and customer data gathering tool. The corresponding plugin for WordPress makes it easier for you to set up the necessary tracking codes on your site, but you don’t need it to use HotJar itself.
Like CrazyEgg, HotJar includes multiple tracking features in a single platform. It also has five different heatmap views, so you can zero in on various behaviors including scrolling, clicks, downloads, and shares. Plus, it’s entirely free for up to 2,000 page views.
With that said, HotJar isn’t as robust as some of the other analytics tools in this list. You also have to add the required tracking code to the header of each page you want to track, although the WordPress plugin can take care of this for you.
Built to tackle digital experience challenges, Clicktale is a stand-alone tool designed to help capture and interpret customer behaviors on your website. The developers’ experience with big-name customers – including T Mobile, Office Depot, and Ancestry – speaks to the quality of their product.
In addition to heatmaps, Clicktale has several other high-end features such as session replays, which enable you to play back a user’s actions. This could be especially helpful for testing and auditing.
However, this platform may not be the best solution for smaller WordPress sites. It’s geared more towards enterprise-level analytics tracking, and you’ll need to schedule a meeting to find out how much Clicktale will cost you. There’s also no plugin for easy integration.
Mouseflow is a heatmap tool that can record all user activities anonymously, and display key trends in an easy-to-read format. Its heatmap feature can show you where in the world your users are located, in addition to their clicks, mouse movements, and more.
There’s also a WordPress plugin available for Mouseflow, to help you easily integrate the tool with your site. You can test it out for 14 days before submitting your payment information to make sure it’s the right fit.
Compared with other tools, Mouseflow is a bit on the pricey side. Plans start at 29€ (about $31) per month) for 2,500 page views. If you want your whole team to be able to access your data, however, you’ll need the 399€ Pro plan. Budget-wise, this platform is probably best for smaller sites.
6. Lucky Orange
Lucky Orange offers so much more than heatmaps. It’s a powerful conversion-boosting toolkit that comes equipped with anonymous customer recordings and in-depth funnel analysis. It can even provide sales chat functionality to help you connect with leads.
The LuckyOrange WordPress plugin will automatically insert your tracking codes for an easy setup process. Its flexible pricing starts at just $10 per month, and there’s a discount if you agree to a one- or two-year contract. All plans include unlimited heatmaps.
However, if you want to store data for more than 30 days, you’ll have to purchase storage extensions. LuckyOrange’s branding will also be included in your chat windows, unless you purchase an add-on to remove it.
Using Heatmap Data to Improve Your Site
First impressions are pretty important online. You have very little time to capture a site visitor’s attention and guide them to your Call to Action (CTA). Heatmaps are an excellent way to gather data on whether your design is working or not.
When you examine your heatmaps, there are a few things in particular to look out for. The first is at what point users stop scrolling. This can point out areas where they’re becoming bored or distracted, indicating a flaw in the design or content.
It’s also helpful to note where users are clicking. You can analyze this information to determine if your CTAs need revising, or if visitors are confused about which elements are clickable. Finally, you’ll want to compare your desktop and mobile heatmaps, to determine if your design is translating across devices.
Combining heatmaps with a split-testing approach can help you assess different design options, to see which is best for accomplishing your goals for your site. Many of the tools we’ve covered in this post include A/B testing functionality for this very reason.
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Heatmaps and other analytics tools are a smart way to optimize your users’ digital experience. At WP Engine, we strive to provide some of the best resources for bloggers and developers, to help you improve your site’s design, performance, and more.
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