I set out to test the data accuracy of Omniture’s ClickMap tool and the heat map tool offered by CrazyEgg. I quickly found it difficult and frustrating to run a clean test. So, I decided to simplify the test and measure the performance of each tool separately.
I also want to be clear, that the point of this experiment is not to debate Omniture ClickMap vs. CrazyEgg. They are two separate products, with different pricing and distribution structures.
I see ClickMap and CrazyEgg as being complimentary tools. ClickMap is great for measuring ongoing site behavior, it can easily be tied to site conversion, and is great for measuring sites with dynamic content. CrazyEgg is best suited for structured tests, the run for a pre-determined period of time and for measuring exact click locations to better understand creative placement.
NOTE: This test covers the out-of-the-box deployment of ClickMap. I did not test the impact of dynamic pages. For sites that use highly dynamic pages, Omniture recommends using s_ObjectID tracking. Speak with your Omniture representive about updating your code to automatically assign unique IDs for link tracking. Also refer to my post Omniture ClickMap & s_ObjectID
I tested the following link types:
- CSS styled drop down menus
- Text links that open in a new window
- Text Links that open in the same window
- HTML Form button
- Photo wrapped with an href
- A button with no destination link
- Flash Banner
Drop Down Menus
I was pleasantly surprised to see that ClickMap accurately, I clicked each link 5 times and the overlay reported 5 clicks on each link, tracked clicks on drop down menus. Again, the accuracy will depend on the technology you use to create your drop down menus but for CSS styled menus, ClickMap works great, with one exception. If the link in the drop down menu opens in a new window (i.e. target=”_blank”), ClickMap did not record a click on this link.
Text Links (New Window)
I tested two different link types. One I call simple links, a standard link with no query string parameters and complex links, a link that contains query string parameters. In this test, the links open in a new window (i.e. target=”_blank”). Again, 5 clicks equaled 5 clicks in the ClickMap report.
Text Links (Same Window)
The same two links from the previous test, this time the links opened in the same window, and with the previous test 5 for 5 on the click tracking.
HTML Form Button
I deployed a simple HTML form with a button that navigates to a new page. I had heard complaints that buttons were not accurately tracked with ClickMap but I found in my test 5 clicks were recorded 5 times. It should be noted that the action of the button is a URL and not a function, if the action was a function, my guess is that the button would not be properly tracked with ClickMap.
Again, another 5 out of 5! Go DWill!!!
A Big Button That Does Nothing
As expected, ClickMap did not record clicks on the big button that goes nowhere.
ClickMap did not record any clicks on the Flash banner.
NOTE: Click tracking on Flash applications is not supported by the out-of-the-box ClickMap solution, however Omniture does have a Flash tracking solution which does support ClickMap tracking, please contact your Omniture representative.
By no means was this test scientifically rigorous, there are many different factors that can impact the accuracy of the ClickMap data, however what I hoped to prove was that ClickMap is directionally correct.
In the end, ClickMap should be used as an indicator, as to which areas of your site navigation are working and which areas warrant further analysis. No conclusions should be reached based on the results of ClickMap data alone, however as part of a more formal analysis and for use as a directional indicator, ClickMap is a very solid tool that should not be dismissed.