You can use visual labeling in Heap to select and define raw bits of data as events, which you can then use in analysis. No coding knowledge is required, though it is useful for refining your events further after they’ve been labeled.
Note that we only officially support visual labeling in the Chrome browser.
To visually label websites and web apps, navigate to the Visual labeling page in Heap. Enter the URL for your website in the text box, or select one of your top-viewed pages from the drop-down.
Explore pageview suggestions
This section will take you to a list of the most popular pageviews within your app. Defining pageviews as events allows you to dig into engagement with those pages to better understand user behavior. For more info, see Pageview Suggestions.
Click Launch to launch the visual labeling interface on your selected page. Once it loads, it will look like this:
If the visual labeling toolbar is blocking an element you want to define an event on, simply click the arrow at the bottom to minimize it.
To define new events, simply hover over and click on the element you’d like to define an event for. Once clicked, a pop-up will appear where you can review and update the definition of the event as needed before saving it.
In the visual labeling toolbar you will notice options to Define Events and Navigate Site. The Define Events mode will allow you to define the event based on your clicks/interactions. The Navigate Site mode allows you to use the site regularly so you can get to the interaction you eventually want to define.
To switch modes you can either click on the mode you want in the toolbar, or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + /). For German keyboards, the shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + ß and for Swiss German keyboards the shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + ‘. The keyboard shortcut is helpful to switch modes without triggering subsequent click interactions on your site.
In the screenshot below, we’ve clicked on the Free Trial button on our homepage. To the right, some helpful information is provided which you can review to confirm that you are defining the right event.
The information listed on this screen includes:
Amount of clicks in the past week: Reference this number to make sure you’ve selected the right event. If it’s one that typically gets a lot of traffic, but this number is low, then you may need to adjust your event definition.
Number of matching elements on this page: If you intended to select an element that appears more than once, such as a list with multiple elements, you can check this number to confirm your selection is correct.
For example, you may wish to know when any element of a navigation bar is selected. You can hover over the navigation bar to select all of the elements in that space.
When defining an event, you can check the selector to confirm that it applies to the entire nav bar (
.site-nav__list in the screenshot above).
Selecting only one of the navigation bar elements will look like this.
Within the Edit Definition section, you can hover over each individual CSS element to see what it selects on the page. Clicking on an element adds it to your event definition, enabling you to further define your new event from this page based on what you want to capture.
Scroll to the right to see the full event definition.
Clicking on different elements won’t break your event definition. You can experiment by clicking on different CSS elements to see what gets captured, allowing you to further optimize your new event definition.
If your event definition includes data attributes, you”ll see an option to add these to your event definition by selecting the checkbox next to the attribute. This is helpful for adding useful metadata to an event.
The following filters may appear based on the context of the event you are defining.
Limit to Text: This allows you to narrow the event definition based on the text in the element.
Limit to URL: This allows you to narrow the event definition to only instances where the event occurs on this page.
You may also see warning messages if you are defining an event that already exists in your Heap app, if there is no data associated with the event, or if the event matches what we know to be a bad pattern (such as being too wide in scope).
Once you’ve tailored your event definition to your needs, click Next. On the next page, you’ll see options to name and categorize your new event. You can define an event in your personal or shared space.
You’ll have the chance to review your event definition one last time before saving. At the bottom of the page, you can add notes to give a deeper description of what this event is capturing. When you’re ready to save your new event, click Define Event.
To see your brand-new event definition, click the Back to Heap button at the top to navigate back to your Heap account. You’ll also see options to QA with Live View and define pageviews in this top navigation bar.
Not familiar with CSS? Take our 30-minute Intro to HTML & CSS course to quickly ramp up to creating and managing your very own event definitions.
When visually labeling events, we recommend the following best practices.
Always select the largest element possible. This includes all clicks that could occur inside the highlighted event.
Example: Capture All Clicks on Blog Post CTA
As an example, we may want to capture all clicks on a blog post on your homepage, including clicks on the title, image, and surrounding space within that element. To make sure all of these actions are captured, we will select the entire element when labeling the event.
If you define the event on only the title of the blog post, then you’ll miss clicks on the other parts that also lead to that link.
Be careful when using dynamic CSS IDs or classes, which includes most IDs you see with a random string of numbers or classes (such as
ember_12345) as these may limit the data captured to the extent that nothing appears in Heap. If you see no users have completed this action in your analysis, this means you probably have a dynamic CSS class or ID selected.
If too many elements are highlighted when you defined your event, you can narrow your definition by clicking on CSS elements to add them to your event definition.
If too few elements are highlighted, you can expand your definition to include the elements you want to capture by clicking on them within the edit definition section.
To better understand how CSS selectors work, check out our guide on Defining Events in the Events Tab.
Example: Capture Clicks On Signup Wherever It Appears
Many websites have elements that exist on multiple pages, such as a signup button. If an element has the same CSS hierarchy on all pages, then this event will be defined across all pages.
If you only want to look at the event on a specific page, then make sure to check the ‘Limit to URL‘ box when defining the event. This ensures that the event definition will only apply to the path, and not to all other pages where the same action is taken.
In this example, we highlight ‘Sign Up’ to define it as a new event. To make sure we are only tracking clicks on ‘Get Started’ on this specific page, we check ‘Limit to URL‘.
With that box checked, we don’t have to worry about unintentionally capturing clicks on the same ‘Sign Up’ button on other pages.
Troubleshooting Common Errors
For errors using visual labeling, see our FAQ I can’t get visual labeling to work. Why?
React & Angular Websites
Is your app built in a single page app framework, such as React or Angular? If so, be sure to write distinct classes or IDs or make use of data-attributes so that you can accurately define events based on those selectors.
We only support visual labeling for the latest version of Chrome on desktop. Mobile browsers are not supported. Other desktop browsers, including Firefox, Safari, Edge, and all others, are not supported.
If you are having any trouble with visual labeling on Chrome, you should check to ensure you are on the latest version of Chrome. For steps to do so, see Google’s support documentation.