There are a handful of tools that we, as digital marketers, consider essential.
Hotjar is definitely one of those tools. A website analytics and user behavior analysis tool, Hotjar helps you understand how your users interact with your website. It gives you great insight into areas of improvement for your website or landing page.
In this post, we’ll be taking a deep dive into Hotjar and looking at the pros and cons of this tool. We’ll also take a quick look at some of its competitors, in the hopes of helping you choose the right website analytics tool for your business.
Hotjar is one of the best-known tools for analyzing and understanding user behavior on a website or landing page.
This tool was designed for product managers and UX designers but it can also be very useful to digital marketers who want to get an idea of how their pages and content resonate with users so they can offer a better service or product.
Hotjar offers 4 features: Heatmaps, Recordings, Feedback, and Surveys.
Heatmaps, Click Maps, Scroll Maps
With Hotjar you can easily set up heatmaps on your website or landing page and analyze users’ interactions across all three devices, desktop, mobile, and tablet.
As we know, nowadays, it’s a task to keep a user interested in your content. You’re always fighting other websites for your users’ attention.
That’s why it’s so important to structure your website in a way that makes the user keep scrolling and taking your content in.
Heatmaps help you discover what that structure might look like on different devices.
Recordings are like heatmaps on steroids. They take it one step further than heatmaps and let you watch your users interact with your website at every step of their journey.
This is the best way to pinpoint users’ pain points or bugs in your website. You can even filter your recordings by traffic source, allowing you to spot differences in behavior between users coming from different channels.
If you want to know how your users feel about a particular page on your website, you can use feedback widgets.
These widgets are a simple way for users to provide either positive or negative feedback with little effort. They can also associate their feedback with a particular point on the page and tell you what they thought about a particular section, picture, form, and so on.
However, since the feedback widgets are non-intrusive on the page, users will have to take the initiative to click on the widget and provide feedback. Not all users might go through the trouble.
Surveys, on the other hand, are a more intrusive way of asking for feedback because they stop users in their tracks.
With Hotjar, you can associate a pop-up survey with a particular action like exiting the website, clicking on a button, filling a form, and so on, and get relevant feedback associated with that action.
And if you’re not sure what to ask, you can use Hotjar’s survey templates and get ideas of questions to add to your surveys. You can also customize your surveys to your liking with the drag and drop builder.
Hotjar offers 4 pricing plans, ranging from €0 to €189/month. They also offer a 15-day free trial for you to try out more advanced features that you won’t be able to find on the free plan.
Basic Plan: €0
If you have a small website or don’t have too many users yet, the basic plan should be more than enough for you.
It offers 35 daily session recordings, unlimited heatmaps, and 3 surveys and feedback widgets.
Where it lacks the most is in its filtering and analytics possibilities. The basic plan doesn’t allow you to filter or segment your data so you’ll have a bit of a harder time going through the data.
But for websites that don’t have many users yet, there won’t be that much data to go through anyway. So if this is you, this is the best plan for you to start with.
Plus Plan: €39/month
Hotjar suggests this plan for small teams.
It includes up to 100 daily session recordings, unlimited heatmaps, unlimited surveys, and feedback widgets, and the option to filter and segment your data. You also get the option to track events such as specific user actions you might be interested in analyzing.
This plan is ideal for growing websites that want to dive a bit deeper into the analytical capabilities of Hotjar. The ability to segment and track events will help you better understand your users, faster.
Business Plan: Starting at €189/month
This plan starts at €189/month for 1500 daily session recordings but can go up depending on the sessions you want to record. However, you can record as much as 270k daily sessions for €9.589/month.
As the name suggests, the Business plan is ideal for larger companies and websites. Aside from the session recordings, it offers everything that’s included in the other plans, plus custom integrations with tools like Zapier, Google Optimize, Slack, Hubspot, among others, and more useful features.
Scale Plan: Custom pricing
For businesses that need to record more than 270k daily sessions, the Scale plan is available.
With this plan, you are offered unlimited daily sessions, unlimited sites under the same plan, full access to every feature available on Hotjar, and a dedicated account manager.
This is the ideal plan for large agencies that have a lot of client websites they need to analyze.
Hotjar Pros & Cons
Hotjar is good but it’s certainly not perfect. Let’s break it down into the pros and cons of using Hotjar, to help you in your decision-making process.
- Option to share heatmaps
- Straightforward interface
- Plenty of integrations
- No funnels
- More expensive than some alternatives
Hotjar has plenty of alternatives but we’ll be focusing on three. Let’s take a closer look at each one to understand how they differ from Hotjar.
Aside from all the features we already know, Mouseflow also offers funnels that allow you to map out your conversion funnel and analyze your customers’ largest drop-off points.
This is a great starting point to understanding where you’re losing your customers and which conversion points you need to optimize.
Not only are the funnels a pretty cool feature but Mouseflow also takes heatmaps one step further than Hotjar by offering geo maps, live maps, and attention maps.
Check out all of Mouseflow’s features below.
|Features||Heatmaps, Clickmaps, Movement Maps, Scrollmaps, Session Recordings, Feedback Widgets, Surveys||Heatmaps, Clickmaps, Scrollmaps, Movement Maps, Attention Maps, Live Maps, Geo Maps, Session Recordings, Funnels, Forms, Feedback|
|Main Integrations||Slack, Hubspot, Google Optimize, Optimizely, Omniconvert, Zapier, WordPress, Shopify, Clickfunnels, Trello, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Asana, Salesforce, Airtable, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, ClickUp, Outlook, Klaviyo, and more.||Adobe Analytics, Optimizely, Hubspot, Google Optimize, Unbounce, WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Wix, Kissmetrics, Instapage, Joomla, Squarespace, and more.|
|Starting Price (excluding free account)||€39/month for 3000 monthly sessions||€29/month for 5000 monthly sessions|
|Number of Websites||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Smartlook is a user behavior analysis tool for websites and mobile apps.
Aside from the normal features also offered by Hotjar, with this tool you can also analyze your users’ behavior flow.
And if you don’t know what that is, a user’s behavioral flow is the way they naturally move or flow through your website. With Smartlook you can find out if they’re taking the path you set out for them (your funnels), or if they’re deviating from that path. And if so, why might that be happening.
You can find all of this out and more with this awesome tool. Take a look at all of its features below.
|Features||Heatmaps, Movement Maps, Clickmaps, Scrollmaps, Session Recordings, Feedback Widgets, Surveys||Session Recordings, Heatmaps, Clickmaps, Movement Maps, Scrollmaps, Funnels, Events, Mobile App Analytics, Customizable Dashboard, Behavior Flows|
|Main Integrations||Slack, Hubspot, Google Optimize, Optimizely, Omniconvert, Zapier, WordPress, Shopify, Clickfunnels, Trello, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Asana, Salesforce, Airtable, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, ClickUp, Outlook, Klaviyo, and more.||Optimizely, Salesforce, Google Optimize, Google Analytics, Slack, Zapier, Make, Zendesk, Intercom, Sentry, Mixpanel, WordPress, Webflow, Wix, Magento, Weebly, Unbounce, Squarespace, Instapage, Joomla, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more.|
|Starting Price (excluding free account)||€39/month for 3000 monthly sessions||€31/month for 5000 monthly sessions|
|Number of Websites||Unlimited||Limited but more than 1|
Fullstory is a digital experience intelligence platform, or so it calls itself. Much like competitors, it focuses on analyzing user behavior and helping you optimize your website’s main conversion points.
Unlike the other tools mentioned in this article, Fullstory doesn’t offer surveys and feedback widgets directly, but they allow you to set up these features through other tools they integrate with like Qualtrics or Survicate.
Now, where this platform shines the most, in our opinion, is the analytics dashboards, where all the data collected can be easily visualized and analyzed. Here’s the other features Fullstory offers:
|Features||Heatmaps, Clickmaps, Movement Maps, Scrollmaps, Session Recordings, Feedback Widgets, Surveys||Heatmaps, Clickmaps, Scrollmaps, Funnels, Session Recording, Reporting Dashboards, Page Flow Analysis,|
|Main Integrations||Slack, Hubspot, Google Optimize, Optimizely, Omniconvert, Zapier, WordPress, Shopify, Clickfunnels, Trello, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Asana, Salesforce, Airtable, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, ClickUp, Outlook, Klaviyo, and more.||Qualtrics, AB Tasty, Appcues, Drift, Amazon RedShift, Big Query, Google Analytics, Gravity Data, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Segment, Survicate, Marketo, UserVoice, and more.|
|Starting Price (excluding free account)||€39/month for 3000 monthly sessions||Not Provided|
|Number of Websites||Unlimited||1 per Account|
Our Final Thoughts
Hotjar is a very straightforward and easy-to-use tool that records and analyzes user behavior. It has all the necessary features for a blog or a small website like heatmaps, user recordings, and surveys.
So, if you’re looking for a simple tool to take some insights from, Hotjar might work for you.
But, if you have an eCommerce store and are looking for a tool that allows you to take more in-depth insights (through funnels, for example) and organize your insights into dashboards for better analysis, you might want to choose one of Hotjar’s competitors like Smartlook or Fullstory.
Either way, make sure you add one of these tools to your website!