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In-depth analytics can help you understand users’ behavior and adjust your content strategy accordingly. However, trying to make sense of numbers and metrics can be a little tiring. That’s where WordPress heatmaps come in.

Heatmaps offer a simple way to track and analyze 🕵️ what’s happening on your site. They provide a visual overview of the content that gets the most traction and engagement. This way, you can identify and fix problem areas more quickly.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at WordPress heatmaps and what makes them so useful. Then, we’ll show you how to set them up using a plugin. Let’s get started! 🤩

What heatmaps are (and why they’re so useful)

A heatmap is a visual representation of data that uses colors to represent specific values. When you use a heatmap for your site, you’ll see which areas receive the most interaction. The warmer the color, the more engagement a section gets.

Heatmaps can be powerful tools for spotting design problems or any other issues that may affect your site’s User Experience (UX). Here’s how you might use a heatmap to improve your site:

As you can see, the real value of heatmaps lies in their ability to reveal specific issues with your design or navigation.

There are two main types of heatmaps: those that track clicks, and those that analyze scrolling behavior. The first type is the most popular as it provides you with more precise information about what your users are interested in clicking on.

Scrolling heatmaps, on the other hand, are useful if you want a bird’s eye view of your site’s performance. They show you what areas are catching your readers’ eyes as they scroll down each page.

In this tutorial, we’ll be focusing on a click heatmap tool for WordPress. However, you can always opt for an alternative such as CrazyEgg if you’re looking for a scrolling map. 🧐

How to set up WordPress heatmaps (in two easy steps)

Now, let’s look at how to set up WordPress heatmaps, using the Aurora Heatmap plugin:

Current Version: 1.6.0

This tool is very easy to set up. Plus, unlike other similar plugins, you won’t need to create an account on a third-party heatmap service.

Also, the plugin is free. So, you can go ahead and install it on your website.

💡 Note: Aurora Heatmap can be used with WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache. If it causes compatibility issues with your caching plugin, you’ll need to turn off JavaScript-related optimization or exclude jQuery and Aurora Heatmap measurement script (reporter.js) from optimization. You can find more information about this on this page.

Step 1: Configure your heatmap

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, navigate to Settings > Aurora Heatmap in your WordPress dashboard:

As you might notice, the Heatmap List tab doesn’t contain any data yet. It might take a while for the plugin to collect enough data to display a map, depending on your traffic.

In the meantime, you can configure some settings for your heatmap. To do this, navigate to the Settings tab:

In the Data settings section, you can choose whether to include non-singular pages in the report. In the Ajax delay time field, you can set the time in milliseconds before the plugin starts logging activity.

If you scroll down to Display settings, you can select the number of drawing points. This is the amount of data included in the map:

You also have the option to disable the count bar, and choose whether to count anchor links as separate pages. Remember to hit Save once you’ve selected your preferences.

If you opt for the premium plugin, you’ll get access to additional features, including weekly email reports.

Step 2: View your WordPress heatmaps

If you have a high-traffic website, you should be able to view your first heatmap within minutes of installing the plugin. If your site doesn’t yet get a lot of visits, you might need to wait a few hours until the first heatmap shows up.

You need to navigate back to the Heatmap List tab to check the available heatmaps.

With the free version, you get two views for each heatmap: desktop clicks and mobile clicks. Hover over the number of clicks next to the page you want to check, and select the arrow icon to launch the heatmap:

In a new window, you’ll see a heatmap of your page. The colored blobs show you where users are clicking. In the sidebar, you’ll see the number of clicks:

At the moment, you might only see blue spots on the page. However, as you get more traffic and the plugin collects more data, you’ll see a range of colors, including green, yellow, and red. Any element that gets over 75 clicks will have a warmer color.

Heatmaps are a visualization tool that gives you a clear insight into your users’ behavior. You’ll be able to see which links and elements on a page are getting the most clicks, and which aren’t. You can then use this information to improve your site’s design and user experience.

You can set up WordPress heatmaps on your site for free, using the Aurora Heatmap plugin. This tool enables you to configure heatmap settings, such as the amount of data included in the map, and start monitoring user activity straight away. ⚙️⚙️

Do you have any questions about WordPress heatmaps? Let us know in the comments section below!

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