Heatmap, Hot or Not? Free Alternatives for Crazy Egg
Heatmaps are graphical overlays of your website which points out what content is hot and what not. This is mainly done by tracking the mouseclicks of the visitor. A more expensive model uses eyetracking to achieve this overlay. Although the results look the same, the two options are somewhat different.
The click-heatmap makes it possible to analyse the clicking behaviour of the visitor while the eyetracking-heatmap shows you where people actual look on your webpage.
So what can you do with a heatmap? It gives you the opportunity to look through the eyes of your visitors as they navigate on your website. For example: The heatmap shows that your advertisement is easily overlooked. Possible reasons: wrong colour, close to big images which capture more attention, … Just give the ads a more prominent place and see if the visitors pick up on this.
I came up with this post because I was looking for an alternative for the site-overlay provided by google analytics. It’s not that this tool is useless, on the contrary, but the grass might be greener on the other side. That’s when I came to find Crazy Egg.
A while ago, Crazy Egg was a free service, but that’s not longer the case. They have various payment-options and if you have a look at the demo, you’ll notice that 9$ a month is not that much. If you prefer to have a free alternative for Crazy egg, you can just keep on reading…
I also wrote an extensive review about Crazy Egg if you’re interested in this tool. It includes a link, giving you the opportunity to subscribe for a 60 day free trial.
I have been using Hotjar since the early Beta version and I am actually very happy with it. The tool is really easy to set up and produces useful heatmaps per device (desktop, tablet and mobile phone) and per type (click, move and scroll). This means a nice variety of options to analyse and gain insights from.
But it doesn’t stop there for Hotjar because they offer so much more than heatmaps. Other features include live recordings, funnel analysis, polls, surveys and even live user tests via screen sharing. Every feature is enabled for the basic (free) account but restricted in use. Really worth your time to check it out.
Just to let everyone know: I’m not getting payed for writing this review (although I’m member of their affiliate program), but I’m very thrilled about Mouseflow. Not only does it offer a detailed mouse click heatmap, but also a mouse movement and scroll heatmap. But that is not where it stops.
Mouseflow is in fact a powerful web analytics package that gives you plenty of statistics and features to play around with. It records the pageviews, total visit length, interaction time (which I find very useful), bounce rates, loading time, response time and the scroll reach (in percentages and pixels).
On top of that, Mouseflow offers live streaming, a very nice feature with which you can follow your users live (only for paying subscriptions)! It also records whole visitor sessions, which you can playback in your browser or simply download to your hard drive to watch it whenever you want. These recordings include the mouse movements, clicks, scroll events and key strokes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Mouseflow has just released a new version of their tool. Check out the new Mouseflow.
Next one is Lucky Orange, which has more features to offer than any other tool mentioned in this list. They have session recordings, heat maps and funnels. On top of that, they have also integrated a live chat functionality, polls and form analytics.
The heat maps are divided into clicks, moves and scroll depth. So what’s so special then? Well, Lucky Orange doesn’t simply take a ‘snapshot’ of your web page but instead creates an interactive overlay as you browse your website. That’s right people. Finally a solution for dynamic content and interactive interfaces! No need to worry about about menus, drop downs or popups any more.
You can easily switch between screen sizes and event types. Filter on behaviour tags (similar behaviour), keywords, source, browser, etc. and create segments for frequently used filter combinations, making it possible to define your personas for example.
Lucky Orange has several pricing plans. Pretty pretty good value for money I might add, but, unfortunately no free subscriptions. However, readers of paulolyslager.com will enjoy a 30 day trial instead of the normal 7 days. Just sign up and they will make the necessary changes for you!
Next one in line is MouseStats, which has several features to offer. They have session playbacks, heatmaps, form analytics and surveys.
The heat maps are divided into clicks, moves, scroll reach, viewport overlap, attention and areastats. The coordinates of the clicks are pretty similar compared to the other tools but they seem somewhat less refined (think bigger blobs).
MouseStats has also included the services of Unbounce, Instapage and Optimizely, giving you the possibility to generate a different heat map per A/B test variant for example.
The session recordings will show you, besides the actual video, the duration of the visit, the amount of pages during the sessions and some other details such as OS, browser, screen size and whether it was a touch device or not. In all honesty, I’ve seen better implementations of this feature.
MouseStats has several payment plans but they offer a free life-time plan as well. All of the above features are enabled in this plan, but limited in the amount of recordings.
Inspectlet offers 3 bigger features: User session recordings, heat maps and form analytics. All are available within the free plan (although limited), with the exception of the form analytics. The paid plan starts at $39 per month.
The user sessions recording come fully packed. Browser, Screen size, session length, starting page, referrer and enough other filters to find what you are looking for. One neat little filter – and I haven’t seen this anywhere else – is the option to find sessions by the caption of any button or link that a user has clicked.
Inpectlet generates 3 different heatmaps:
- Eye-tracking heatmap: understand where your users are looking and what parts of the site they’re reading by overlaying their mouse movements.
- Click heatmap: this type of heatmap is useful for visualizing where your visitors are ultimately clicking.
- Scroll heatmap: see how far visitors are scrolling down and what portion of your entire page’s contents they are viewing.
You can also filter for several device types:
- Mobile – Landscape
- Mobile – Portrait
All in all, inspectlet is a great tool, giving you all the necessary insights in a blink of an eye. Unfortunately, the recording quota with free plan is a bit on the low side. For example, it will only record 100 user sessions per month.
Continue reading on the second page where you’ll find more alternatives for Crazy Egg.
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