Choosing the Best Heatmap Tool for Mouse Tracking
If you’re a regular visitor on this site, you might have noticed that I’ve been running a poll to ask visitors about their preferred heatmapping tool for mouse and click tracking. Now, a heatmap tool is a great companion for Google Analytics. Because, while Google Analytics often tell us where something goes wrong, it doesn’t really tell us the actual problem.
This is when a heatmap tool offers some more qualitative data. If analyzed thoroughly, you’re able to determine if you have problems with your site. Those problems often relate to page layout. Maybe you’re using distracting images, too much text or call to actions without proper visibility.
There is a tonne of different heatmap tools on the market. Some of them are dedicated solutions; they simply do heatmaps of mouse movements and clicks and taps and nothing else. And other tools come with a bundle of different analysis features such as form tracking, polls and even survey modules. So which should you choose? Well, instead of doing a full comparison and loads of free trials, just checkout the rest of this post.
Which heatmap tool do other web analysts use?
Most people following this blog are web analysts (I know that from a poll I run from time to time). And these web analysts are the same people who provided me with data on what is the most used heatmapping tool. So check this out:
While Hotjar is a relatively new piece of software (I think they went out of beta in 2015) they seem to have gotten a pretty good market share. Crazy Egg is one of the older players and I remember using their software years ago. It surprises me though that other alternatives don’t take up more of the ‘market’.
In any case, since most web analysts apparently opt for either Hotjar or CrazyEgg I thought I’d do the work for you and do a head-to-head comparison. I’m focusing on pricing and features, but there are other factors to consider as well. E.g. implementation, security, user roles and such. But the requirements to those factors vary so much from business to business, so you’ll have to do that one yourself.
Pricing and volume
The most common way to set the price of heatmapping software is to offer different levels depending on the volume of pageviews. But just comparing the pricing pages for Hotjar and Crazy Egg make my head hurt. First of all, they split their plans on different levels. Second, CrazyEgg displays the included pageviews per month, while Hotjar displays them by day.
As if that’s not enough, CrazyEgg pricing is in US Dollars, and Hotjar charges in Euro. So I made my own heatmap pricing comparison for the two tools. I simply converted Hotjar’s daily pageviews to monthly pageviews by multiplying by 30. Yes, it’s not entirely precise, but close enough. And then I converted Hotjar’s Euro prices to US Dollars by multiplying with 1.085855. Then I came up with this:
Long story short: If you’re just going for the lowest price, go for Hotjar. They have the lowest price on every level of pageviews you need to record. They even have a free plan that allows you to record 60,000 pageviews per month. CrazyEgg only have paid plans starting at 9 USD and that’ll just give you 10,000 pageviews.
I actually asked CrazyEgg what a “visit” is in their terms, since they tend to use both “visits” and “pageviews” in their product descriptions. I got this answer:
“We are counting visits as page views. It is not ‘uniques’. So if a person comes back, they will be counted as a visit again.”
So, I’m thinking that - in their terminology - visits and pageviews are the same thing.
Usually, a heatmap tool comes with different sorts of features. That would be different types of heatmaps based on mouse movements, or clicks or scrolls. Some tools are bundled with analysis and tracking tools that expand on heatmaps. For instance, a click heatmap might show interaction with different form elements. But dedicated form tracking would also tell you which form fields are difficult to use. (For instance by measuring the time to complete a form field).
So, price doesn’t need to be the only deciding factor. Features are important too. So I went through the feature pages of CrazyEgg and Hotjar and found this:
Wow. Not a lot of features in CrazyEgg huh? At least compared to Hotjar. I’m beginning to get how Hotjar gets so much of the market. They just pile on features.
Conclusion. What heatmap tool to choose?
If it isn’t clear from the comparisons of prices and features, then I’d say: Go with Hotjar. It’s entirely possible that I have missed something, but Hotjar’s pricing is much friendlier than CrazyEgg’s. And the feature list is so much longer for Hotjar.
It seems like CrazyEgg are just thinking about heatmaps and nothing else. “Hey, let’s do heatmaps and let people guess what’s wrong”. While Hotjar provide a bunch of tools to become much more actionable in analyzing behavior and pain points. So, my recommendation: Definitely Hotjar.