Buying a website is a multifaceted decision making process that involves looking at tons of statistical data. It can be significantly streamlined by means of contemporary analytics such as Google web analytics. It provides prospective buyers with vital information about the manner in which the visitors access the site of their interest, the length of their stay, its most popular pages and other considerations. Yet, there is an additional tool which is sometimes neglected in favor of more traditional analytical features, and that’s website heat maps. These consist of visual overlays resembling infrared displays, whose coloring scale denotes intensity of activities that visitors undertake during their stay on the website of your interest. Essentially, they provide a plastic overview of the manner in which the visitors interact with the site and these maps can be a huge pre-purchase evaluation asset when paired with other analytical tools. Let’s look at some of the best currently available heat map tools.
1. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg is currently amongst the most prominent heat mapping tools in the market. As said on its introductory screen, it makes it possible for the user to know why visitors leave particular sites. For a potential website buyer, determining how the users scroll or click on the site can offer valuable insights into the site’s potential conversion and monetization potential. Heat mapping tools are not data themselves, but rather visual presentation of data displayed through color coded maps. The red areas indicate the most visited segments of the site and the blue one denote the least frequented sections. This type of visualization helps you determine what segments of the site you want to buy receive the biggest attention of the visitors you want to turn into potential clients.
Similar role is played by the Scroll Map report feature that is used to indicate the direction in which the visitors scroll and at what point they decide to leave the page. Sections of the page with most views are colored brighter, while the darker ones indicate the least views. On the other hand, overlay report gives you insight into the number of clicks for all elements of the page. Similarly, mouse cursor heating maps visualize the areas over which the visitors hover with their cursors.
Crazy Egg also offers the Confetti feature that allows you to sort out the clicks on the site by means of various criteria, such as search terms, referral source etc. It allows accompanying heat map data to be segmented into sources of traffic. This makes it possible to identify the way in which visitors from various sources (social networks, search) establish an interaction with the website you consider for purchase.
As for pricing, Crazy Egg will ask you for $9/month for 10,000 visitors with the offer of 10 active pages, while all pricing models come with one-month free trial.
Mouseflow is another useful heat mapping tool that offers session replays and visualization of the way in which the visitors navigate, click and browse the website of your interest.
Mouseflow offers click, scroll, attention and movement heatmaps, which feature visualization of clicks, scrolls, movements and visitor’s attention. Thus, you can get a better picture of the visitor’s interaction with the site. Similarly, the Form Analytics feature allows you to determine why they abandon forms. Tracking of funnels is another of Mouseflow’s features, as it helps you determine the behavior of users from various traffic sources. All of these can be filtered by various criteria, such as IP address, operating system, traffic source, first time or returning visitor types, location and language. All these features make Mouseflow a robust analytical tool on its own.
The Mouseflow pricing plan starts at EUR 29/month for 2,500 sessions/month.
Another great heatmapping platform is Inspectlet. Similar to its competitors, it offers three types of heatmapping - cover clicks, scrolling and cursor movements. It allows insight into visitors’ interaction with the website while utilizing eye tracking in addition to clicking and scrolling visualizations. Engagement maps allow you to check other types of interaction, such as comments left by visitors on the site. Inspectlet offers conversion funnel analytics as a feature that comes together with filtering options. This includes tagging filtering, used to tag individual visitors. This is particularly useful for determining the behavior of returning visitors, while Form Analytics operate similarly to what is offered by the competition.
Thanks to its analytical features, Inspectlet can be an important tool in evaluating various sites, particularly those operating in the field of e-commerce. Pricing starts at $39 per month with 5,000 sessions for a single website, while users can also get access to a free plan with 100 recorded sessions for a single site.
4. Lucky Orange
Lucky Orange’s heat mapping capabilities feature tracking of clicks and movements as well as of scrolling depth. During the browsing sessions, heatmaps are used to monitor and display the directions in which the users click, scroll or move across the website elements. The Traffic Segmentation feature allows insight into different types of interaction for visitors who, for example, sign up, compared to those who left the site. These insights are further supported by session and visitor recording features. Lucky Orange boasts itself for the precision of its heat maps whose points are plotted accurately regardless of map viewing resolutions or HTML platform.
Similar to competing tools, Lucky Orange also offers Form analytics, visitor polls as well as conversion funnels and live chat software. Prices start at from $10 / month for 25,000 page views on a single website.
Source: Lucky Orange
Hotjar features three types of heatmaps - clicks and taps, move and scroll. The first type indicates the locations of the visitors’ cursor clicks on desktops, as well as the directions of their finger taps on mobile phones and tablets. Move heat maps are available only on desktops and they indicate the movement of the mouse on screens, i.e. on the pages within a website. Scroll heatmaps show the positions at which the visitors scroll on a page. This also features a percentage of those who can view specific vertical positions. All of these features can be visualized via an intuitive dashboard. Hotjar premium pricing plan starts at €89 per month for 20,000 pageviews / day.
Heatmap tracking tools have become an essential web analytics tools for prospective website buyers. Their usefulness is based on attractive visualization of often complex and “dry” website statistics and similar data. Heat maps make it possible to analyze a website’s performance prior to its purchase in an intuitive manner, particularly from the point of view of the way in which it establishes a synergy with its visitors and users. Having an insight into these analytical data can easily allow you to avoid buying a “lemon” of a website whose invisible backbone is the way it interacts with the visitors you want to turn into future clients.