Set Up A HeatMap Test For Your WordPress Site With Experiment.ly

April 20, 2013 · 14 comments

in WordPress

experimently-logoExperiment.ly 
Heatmaps Made Easy 

No-Headache HeatMaps!

Heatmaps are a powerful but easy to understand tool for improving your site’s use of the traffic you already get. If you’re not familiar with them, click here to learn more about heatmaps

I’m a big fan of Cloudflare, which not only improves my blog security, but helps keep it online when there is a server outage…. 

Cloudflare makes it easy to add in script-based apps that improve my site in numerous different ways. 

Once of the apps I found, that will interest you, even if you don’t use Cloudflare, is Experiment.ly

Experiment.ly Heatmaps

Whether you use cloudflare, or simply add the little javascript code snippet to your WordPress blog, Experiment.ly is an easy way to get started with heatmaps! 

Experiment.ly is a service that offers all sorts of things including heatmaps, A/B testing, Multivariate testing and more… though the honest truth is that I haven’t tried half of the stuff they can do. 

I really enjoy the “set it and forget it” ease of their heatmaps and have not ventured into using their other stuff. 

My Heatmaps From Experiment.ly

experimently-dashboard-1 This is a heat map of my blog’s home page.

experimently-heatmap-home-april13-1

 As you can see in the heatmap above, some of my recent changes actually introduced some trouble, and I have plenty of work to do! 

This is a scroll map (shows what percentage of the page people scroll down) of my blog’s home page. 

experimently-scrollmap-home-april13-1

Experiment.ly Heatmap Pricing 

Experimently-pricing-1

I am currently using their Free plan. 

Important note about the Free plan:  The Free Plan is nice because it has no cap on the number of visitors (amount of traffic). However, they finance that fact by doing ad-tracking (using an ad-tracking cookie) from your site.  There are no visible changes to your site but an ad-tracking cookie is placed and existing ad-tracking cookies may be read. I personally consider this a fair and suitable trade-off. 

 Experiment.ly 

Experiment.ly heatmaps have most of the pros and cons of just about any heatmap. 

They seem to handle the fact that visitors have different screen resolutions (and I have my own screen’s resolution) better than many do when reporting the data for me to view.  After all, what good is a click map that shows you clicks somewhere they weren’t?

If you opt for the free plan, investment is minimal.  Pricing is competitive and I’ve had absolutely zero trouble with the company in the many months I’ve been with them. 

I am slightly worried about the future of the company due to many broken images in their resource section and other oddities but nothing that has impaired my use of their heatmaps. 

If you’re interested in learning more about their split testing options, let me know, and I’ll see if they’ll give me access so I can find out more for you!

Have you used Experiment.ly before? What do you use as a Heatmap solution? 

 ~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: I’ve had a few questions about why I’m relying on Experiment.ly when I have a Pro Plan (includes heatmaps) with Clicky Analytics. The answer is that my heatmaps from Clicky are vastly subpar compared to these. 

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14 comments
Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

That's a great question John. The key is to set it up early in the site's existence and then leave it alone until it's collected enough data. In a new site, that can be a long time, but just let it keep gathering data and it will get more and more accurate. No, I would not trust it the first couple months that the site exists, but by the time the site is six months old, you'll likely have enough data on the home page to know if the page is being effective. Does that make sense?

Kim

sureshkumar
sureshkumar

Hey Kim,

I was planning to test on Crazyegg and you gave me another option to test it out :) Perfect timing I can say. Are you planning for paid subscription too?

Cheers

Suresh

prabhat
prabhat

i know that heatmap is a great thing to study if you want to know the user behaviour on your site and it becomes more important if you want to earn more with adsense. will implement this on my blog to see the places where readers click the most

Jens P. Berget
Jens P. Berget

That's great advice Kim. I have only tested heatmaps a few times, and that's a while ago. I believe that you can use Google Analytics for heatmaps as well, but I am not sure. This turns ads and figuring out where people click (and look) into a science, and it makes it so much easier to earn money from blogging.

Paul Lee
Paul Lee

This is interesting... would you recommend it for newer WordPress sites? I have a feeling it may skew results but not sure at what point it will be accurate to use this tool. Is it after 100 viewers per day/week...etc?

Jenna S.
Jenna S.

Heatmaps and A/B testing are really important. I am making constant tests for my marketing campaign, and experimently seems a very good tool, its not easy to find those functions around the internet.

Raena Lynn
Raena Lynn

Hi Kimberly,

This is so interesting. I saw your post in a feed and came over to see what you had cooking! I want to try this out and I will use your recommendation. I've heard of heat maps but I didn't know there was an application for blogs. Showing your screenshots made it very clear of the function of heat maps.

I'm not sure what you meant by "As you can see in the heatmap above, some of my recent changes actually introduced some trouble, and I have plenty of work to do!" My guess is that the buttons or tabs not being visited need to be optimized.

Thanks again for bringing us up to date and the newest and coolest technology.

Raena Lynn

Yorinda
Yorinda

Hi Kim,

thank you for introducing another interesting looking application.

When I come to your website I feel like a kid that comes to a toy shop curious about what I can 'play' with next.

Have you done a post or video on cloudflare?

Do you use the free version?

Cheers,

Yorinda

Terry
Terry

For heatmaps i've used Crazy egg with some pretty good success. Helped me uncover a shopping cart bounce rate issue. I'll give this one a try too!

Nile
Nile

Heatmaps are great... I know Woopra and CrazyEgg both have them and they work great. I kind of wish Google did that... and I am sure if they did, we may be looking at the option for premium use.

jason
jason

I had never even heard of heat maps before. They look like a useful tool to find out what is and isn't working on your sites.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Rhonda Hurwitz
Rhonda Hurwitz

What leads you to believe that your new design has problems vs. your prior home page design? I'd love to understand your thought process that leads to that conclusion. Never used a heatmap, but based on your writeup I'm intrigued!

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

I'm not planning to moved to the paid subscription since I'm allowing them to set cookie data and do not have a traffic cap. If I was unhappy with their cookie data tracking, I'd upgrade because I'm that happy with it. But there's no reason for me to move up.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Paul, the best approach is to connect it to a new site and then just leave it alone to do its thing for several months. Even if traffic is low, in about 6 months you'll have enough data to get a useful idea of how the home page is doing and that's usually a good time to re-evaluate layout designs anyways. Set it and forget it works best here but you have to be patient. You're very right that only a months worth of data on a brand new site would be inadequate. Just give it time :)

Kim