Heat Maps are great visual tools that can easily and quickly tell you if your calls to action are effective or not. Using heat maps will help you to determine if your calls to action are property located, clearly viewable across platforms and easily clickable.
You can also test the effectiveness of call to action placement in various designs and measure usability of your forms and site search using heat maps. These valuable visual tools are a web designer’s best friends because they illuminate and let you correct design flaws. Heat maps are also invaluable when it comes to explaining online marketing concepts to a client that isn’t particularly web savvy.
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Some Heat Map Tools
There are two different types of heat mapping tools that can be used to improve your designs and your call to action conversion rates. These are:
- Visual algorithm heat maps- predictive/corrective tool
- Heat maps that track user’s behavior- corrective tool
First, let’s look at a visual algorithm heat map like Attention Wizard. This tool uses a visual algorithm based on scientific research to analyze your design and predict where your users will click based on visual optimization research.
The visual numbered strings in the following heat map for the site http://www.privatejetscharter.net/ predict where a viewer’s involuntary eye movements will wander on the Attention Wizard heat map in order of #1 being the most important. When visual string sets are too numerous they suggest visual confusion among users and this can lead to reduced attention spans and click through rates. The numbered string data combined with the hot visuals show the optimum design locations to place your calls to action.
In the Private Jet Charter example you can see that the calls to action 1, 2 & 3 are strategically placed to optimize call to action points using both the visual strings and the hot spots on the heat map. The nice thing about using tools like this is that they allow you to optimize and tweak the web design before you fly it for your clients and the world to see. The costs are reasonable ($27-197 a month) and the tool is immediately useable and effective.
A Comparison of CrazyEgg, ClickTale and Click Density
CrazyEgg is one of the least expensive heat map tools but unfortunately their free plans are a thing of the past. CrazyEgg starts at $9.00 a month and goes up to $99 a month. Clicktale will cost you between $99-$790 dollars a month. Clink Density starts with a free 30-day trail followed by plans that cost from about $5.00 to $400.00 a month.
CrazyEgg will track clicks on any page with a little heat spot showing you the clicks on the page including lists and overlays. ClickTale’s maps display hot-colored zones showing you where users spend the most amount of time. ClickTale’s advantage is that it shows you the duration in addition to the clicks. Clicktale also allows you to see real videos of visitors navigating your website. Click Density uses dots and includes real-time filtering and timed heat map analysis.
On the analytics side CrazyEgg gives you the user’s information on a page (including search) and gives you the day and time of the user’s visit. ClickTale gives you more form data including the time of form completion, the number of entries, field abandonment, timed task completion and field backtracking. They then place all this information into a video format for you. Click Density also shows task completion, site analysis and timed decision form analysis. Click Density doesn’t yet support frames. All three sites have a range of analytic tools that you can use to analyze the data. Of the three, ClickTale is filled with the most bells and whistles while Click Density is probably the best value (at the moment).
Google’s free overlay tool, the Corunet DIY tool and Adobe’s Omniture Clickmap are also worth a look depending on your software and your situation.
Heat maps present web designers with valuable visual analytic tools that can be used to predict, track and correct a design so that it matches user’s needs. While traditional analytic tools only show you how well something is working, heat map analytics will show you things that aren’t working like dramatic dead space and field abandonment. These tools will help you optimize the placement of your calls to action and that should increase clicks and conversion rates.