The All-Inclusive HotJar Review (No Fluff)
It’s not easy finding an analytics tool which captures ‘who’ and ‘what’ your visitors are doing on your website, which is why I thought I’d put together a very thorough review of HotJar. I’ll outline the good and bad, diving deep into what HotJar can do for your business and website.
Before I started using (and paying) for HotJar, I really only had Google Analytics as a guide to see what was happening on my website.
While HotJar doesn’t replace Google Analytics, it most definitely supplements it with metrics that you just can’t capture in the free Google Analytics service. Metrics which you can’t just slip through your fingers anymore, otherwise your competitors will start stealing your profits left, right and centre.
Let’s start off with the price. HotJar’s pricing is the most competitive I’ve seen for a software of that nature. You can expect to pay $100s of dollars for a combination of three or four different services to cover each segment of HotJar’s features.
They’ve managed to keep their costs down by using ‘sampling’ as a means to give their customers the best product at the most affordable price which is a great idea. Even on their homepage you can see they’ve done a quick snapshot of all the different services they offer within their one platform
Now lets look at the different plans they offer:
There’s three primary plans, the ‘Basic’, ‘Pro’ and ‘Business’ each of which have a different price point.
Basic: Free — Forever
Pro: $29 USD per month
Business: $89 USD per month
Both Pro and Business have the same features to offer, however the Business allows more data to be captured than the Pro does. It also allows the removal of any HotJar branding which may be appearing when running polls, surveys etc. This is preferable if you’re white labelling your services for clients.
And on the topics of using HotJar for clients, they also only charge a small fee of $9/USD per month, per client more. So if you’ve got 5–10 clients, you’re only paying $45-$90 usd more on your core plan.
I think that’s a very good way of pricing a software like HotJar as it really lends itself to small businesses, freelancers and anyone who wants to use the service without putting it beyond their budget.
So on the pricing end of things, its a more than reasonable offer. And even if you’re not willing to pay, you can hop onto their Free plan and give it a test run.
Probably one of the most used tools that HotJar has to offer is their Heatmaps. The other tool which most people think of is Crazy Egg when it comes to heat mapping.
HotJar’s heatmaps are fantastic and exactly what you need if you’re looking for insights on what areas of your website people are spending time on. HotJar’s heat maps allow you to not only see desktop heatmaps, but tablets and mobile heatmaps too (which is personally one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while).
From Clicks, Taps to Scrolling behaviour they’ve pretty much got all basis covered. You can create a heatmap for any specific page you want too.
During the launch of HotJar, I also interviewed their founder David Darmanin which you can head over and listen to in the podcast section of the blog. He went really deep into the launch of HotJar and how rolled out the platform to all of their users. We also discussed topics like the MVP (minimum viable product), the future of HotJar and what lies ahead.
The recordings of HotJar are my favourite part of the platform, and without a doubt the area which will allow you to get the best feeling of your audience and how they move and navigate around your website.
The recording feature essentially captures each and every session of your visitors when they hit the website and you watch over their shoulder (ok, I’ll admit it’s a little bit creepy but is some great data).
You can track their clicks, scrolls and movements from page to page across your website on any platform or device they may be using. Additionally what HotJar’s recently added is the ability to tag the recordings.
So say for example you’re going through your website, you can tag a recording ‘fitness apparel’ if they make decisions on your fitness clothing area of your e-commerce site or you may want to tag them ‘blog’ if they decide to take action if they came through the blog.
Overall, the recordings are gold and personally is the area on HotJar I use the most. It gives me a real view on where the visitor is going and what they’re doing in the most ‘real’ sense possible.
Now being the ‘funnel architect’, obviously the funnel part of the software caught my attention.
If you’ve got a simple funnel that you’re building with 1 to 6 steps in the shape of a membership website, leadgen website, software then the HotJar is perfect. It supplements other pieces of software which you may be using for your business.
I must say I don’t use this feature as much as the others but it can be very powerful if you spend a little time on adding it to your business so don’t write it off.
It’s not often I get impressed by a software’s bells and whistles, but the forms feature is one of the most awesome features of HotJar.
If you run a membership website with a sign up field which may have a few steps, or maybe you have a simple ‘Contact Form’ on your website, this feature will fit into your website. What the forms feature does is track how far through your form process your visitors have filled in and when or if they dropped off.
This means you’ll be able to test different forms and clearly see which questions are the barriers of your website sign ups. For example, if you’re running a signup form for your forum, you may find that the question “How did you hear about us?” causing a lot of drop offs and stops people from signing up.
Some of the analytics provided on this page are awesome, they include:
- Time to fill out a field
- Conversion rate of the form
- Total form sessions
- Dropoff graph
- Failed and successful submits
Looking to improve the user experience starts with feedback from the user. Personally I’m never a fan of putting together quizzes and surveys…don’t ask me why, I’ve just always found them really frustrating.
But the first time I used HotJar’s interface to send a poll to my website visitors, it really blew me away. The simplicity is right on point, and it took all of 30 seconds to get it up on my website and ready for user interaction.
HotJar’s polling is extremely effective and can bring in some great data and feedback from users. Here’s an example of what I asked visitors to this blog for example:
You can see how easy it is to read the results of the poll. You’ve also got the option to see the answers in replies or results format. There’s also accompanying information too like page, screen size, browser, country, date and more which the poll was answered on by the user.
The main metric you’ll see differences in usually is mobile vs. desktop. Like most data collecting software, you’ve also got the option to export everything that you collect for analysis.
One part of the polling is the ‘WordCloud’ which I only noticed recently. HotJar highlights the words which are regularly used in your responses and turns them into this funky cloud.
Similarly to polls, HotJar also allows you to customize a survey which you can send to your customers for constructive feedback or you may want to use it to uncover objections or concerns which your customers may have. I’ve found running this to my email list works wonders every 2–3 months.
You need to be quite selective on which types of questions you ask, but HotJar makes it very easy for you to construct a variety of different questions in their survey builder.
You can add anything from:
- Short text answer
- Long text answer
- Radio buttons
- Net promoter score
It uses a pretty clean interface so your users aren’t just seeing an old WooFoo form or Google Form (which is more than likely what your competitors are using). Also a quick note on that, by using HotJar you consistently have a look and feel through your site, unlike using 3–4 different programs for different things. Being a clean/organised freak myself, I prefer to have everything under on hood as much as possible so HotJar is naturally a great choice.
The recruiters feature recruits the best possible participants for user research and testing directly from your site. It allows you to collect profiling information, contact details and offer a gift in exchange for their help. While this is the feature I’ve used least in HotJar, it’s essentially a modified poll which collects more information from your user base.
You’re likely to use this if your a software company or plugin maker where you need users to test areas of your site, otherwise the alternative is sending out an email survey to your users.
It would actually be awesome to find out which converts better doing a split test, Recruiters Feature vs. Email to Survey. I think the recruiter feature would be at least 1.5x times better, but that’s another test for another day.
So overall, HotJar really is a great tool with a lot of value to offer any online business (or website in general at that). There’s not many businesses that work online I wouldn’t recommend this tool to.
With a no-brainer price point (and even a free plan) it’s pretty hard to go wrong with HotJar. This HotJar review will continue to be updated as I notice HotJar rolling out new changes and updates to their platform. I know David (their founder) is always making changes and working on improving the product around the clock.
Fun Fact: According to HotJar’s latest email, they have just hit a milestone of 60,650 users on their platform. That’s a hell of a lot of users to support (including clients like Hubspot, Pingdom, Booking.com and more..)
I build all my sales funnels using Clickfunnels and pairing all the pages with HotJar is a dream come true (you can see a full list of my recommended tools and software I use in my resources area).
Now I’d like to ask you, what measures do you take to make sure your website is conversion optimized?