Free and easy heatmaps from vistor clicks

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Heatmaps are a great way to quickly gauge how visitors are using your site. At a glance, you can tell where they’re clicking, and what interests them. Take for example this heatmap of clicks on the button maker.

Click heatmap created by Clickheat

To create a heatmap, you install a bit of Javascript on your site that captures user clicks and feeds a server-side program somewhere. You can them view them, typically using an image overlaid on your web site. Here’s two easy and free ways to generate heatmaps for your own web site.

For simple heatmaps using a hosted service, CrazyEgg offers a free plan that can track up to four pages and 5000 visitors per month. If you’re testing a new design or landing page, CrazyEgg can give you a quick and dirty way to see what’s working. CrazyEgg can also archive your reports so you can see the difference in clicks between different designs.

Have a lot more to track and feel comfortable installing software on your own server? Clickheat is an open source project that you install on your PHP-capable server. If you can install a blogging package like Wordpress, you can install Clickheat. With Clickheat, you can track an unlimited number of pages on your server or even send data from several sites to your Clickheat tracker and see reports all from one interface.

Both Clickheat and CrazyEgg allow you to filter your reports and show only clicks matching certain criteria. With Clickheat you can see clicks by browser and screen size. CrazyEgg offers more options, including clicks by visitors from certain referrers or search terms.

Paul Olyslager
August 31, 2009 9:15 AM

I've been doing some research on heatmaps as well and found out some things about Clickheat. When implementing Clickheat into your blog, it puts a link into your sourcecode back to the Clickheat (Labs Media) website. More incoming links for them means better results on SERP's. Of course Clickheat is a good program because it is free and it works... just be carefull with these programs. Sometimes it's a bit better to pay a small amount of money than to have problems with your google analytics account with these sneaky links. I've made a small list of free alternatives, which you can find on my website. Are you using Clickheat? Or something different?

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