Crazyegg impression: Heatmaps are hot!

Crazy Egg recently gifted me with access to the current beta service and I must say, I am impressed. While analytical tracking utilities like Mint [currently running on 5ThirtyOne] provide great data results regarding hits and unique traffic, it is often difficult to create a general impression of actual reading habits. Analyzing that reader #2345 was referred by site A and landed on page B, continued to page F and H, and finally left the site to visit site W doesn’t do much other than:

  • I should probably find out in what context reader #2345 was referred to my page. What impression are other sites getting of my own?
  • Was the content on page B enticing enough to provoke the reader to continue to page F or H? Or were those posts random flatus which left the reader with nothing else to do?
  • What may have prevented said reader from exploring the rest of the site? Was content on page H that repulsive?
  • Damn. My writing style must stink.

You get the idea. Raw numbers equate to raw impressions of actual interactivity on any given page. Time to toss the figures back on the barbecue ergh [Crazy Egg] Heat-map right?

Crazy Egg heatmap

As stated earlier, raw figures are often difficult to convert into useful data as far as content organization and layout are concerned. Are readers able to navigate easily? Is that menu item situated in a way which allows readers to recognize that it is indeed a menu? These are a two hypothetical examples that I feel Crazy Egg can successfully assist in answering. For example, is it obvious that the ‘pull’ image in the right corner of Foliage activates a menu? According to Crazy Egg, yes, readers focus most of their click through on that area of the page compared to any other links on the page. Additional noteworthy items below:

  • Have you ever seen the movie Predator? If so, imagine yourself hunting in the jungle. While Predator’s target heat signatures signified potential trophies, Crazy Egg’s Heat-map displays click through activity on any given page.
  • In addition to Heat-maps, users can view activity in the form of Overlays [number of clicks & conversion percentages] or a simple List view.
  • At the moment, tracking ‘Sessions’ are limited to single pages for a maximum of 14 days or 99,999 clicks (whichever comes sooner). However, Crazy Egg keeps an archive of past sessions allowing users to compare Overlay or Heat-map results.
  • Possible performance hit on browsers while loading multiple scripts [Scriptacular]. If you’re going to run this on WordPress, I recommend that you paste the Crazy Egg string on the page that will be tracked [not in the footer.php which is called on all page loads].
  • No current option to prevent your own clicks from being tracked.
  • I’m no stats whore, but Crazy Egg and Mint combined are turning me into something else. I just had an idea: Crazy Egg stats integrated into a Mint Pepper. API?

Inquisitive minds can submit their email address on Crazy Egg for notification as to when the service will go public or for premature access.

Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. Viki says:

    hey, thanks for the heads up on askimet. I haven’t updated to 2.0 let alone 2.0.2 yet, and I was thinking I could only use it for 2.0 and up. I set it up and it worked great!

    by the way, your site is beautiful!

  2. Anshul says:

    Hi. I was also invited to test out crazyegg. I think you are running wordpress. Where did you insert the code. I put it inside header.php but my clicks don seem to register only.

  3. Derek says:

    [quote comment="473"]I think you are running wordpress. Where did you insert the code. I put it inside header.php but my clicks don seem to register only.[/quote]

    according to the link that you left with the comment you’re running wordpress.com which [as far as i'm aware] does not allow for custom scripts to be inserted into the template.

    either way, because i’m using home.php as my frontpage i inserted the code towards the bottom of the template before <?php get_footer(); ?>. the directions on crazyegg direct users to insert the script somewhere before the </body> tag.

  4. Eli says:

    haha derek, i’m seeing this surfing from blogmad ;)
    great article!

  5. Anshul says:

    Hi. Yes wordpress.com doesnt allow custom scripts. I am planning to shift to a hosted solution. The new blog is at http://jainanshul.com/blog. Thanks anyways

  6. Derek says:

    if that’s the case, feel free to drop the script in the footer before the body tag is closed.

  7. RyanB says:

    I saw another review and thought it was cool. The click map thing blows me away.

  8. Anshul says:

    Hi Derek. i put the code inside the footer panel before the body tag. Unfortunately it just refuses to work. Nothing is registered.

  9. Derek says:

    at the bottom of your sessions page there is a feedback link. i recommend sending feedback as inserting the script should be as simple as copy and pasting.

  10. Anshul says:

    Yea I did that. I myself couldnt understand why isnt it working.

  11. Hiten Shah says:

    [quote comment="506"]Yea I did that. I myself couldnt understand why isnt it working.[/quote]

    Anshul, we think your problem has to do with a combination of wordpress and yahoo hosting, but we are looking into it and will keep you posted. We should have it all sorted out before we launch :-)

  12. DENiAL says:

    That is just sweet! I can’t waint untill it’s out of beta!

  13. Ben Bishop says:

    Thanks for your help with getting crazyegg working. Oh and congratulations on the great theme!

  14. [...] For some time, I’ve left a small Crazy Egg <script> at the bottom of my site which provided information as to where readers were more inclined to use their mouse. My impression(s) of the service has changed little from when I shared my thoughts during the beta period. [...]