Hotjar review and tutorial: what it does, pricing, opinions

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Hotjar is a relatively new tool and I have been using it for the last 6 months.

Dr. David Darmanin and Marc Von Brockdorff have done a fantastic job in providing the digital marketing community with this software for users' analytics and feedbacks.

Just a quick disclaimer - I have no affiliation with Hotjar or any of the team and all of the opinions I have are my own.

I have put together a quick tutorial on how Hotjar works and how to use it. It offers a lifetime free account with limited capabilities (that suits small websites) and paid accounts for medium and large websites.

Here is a breakdown of what Hotjar does:

  • Allows you to see where people are clicking on the pages of your website, including number of clicks for each area;

  • Shows you how much users are scrolling down to your page;

  • Quickly collect feedbacks through polls, feedbacks tools and surveys to measure the performance of your pages;

  • Allows you to build funnel and quickly identify drop-offs

  • Record sessions of your visitors on multiple pages.

  • Export all this intelligence in PDF and Excel formats.

When it comes to developing any kind of insight, Hotjar has become the go-to tool that I use. And these above are just some of the things it can do. When integrated with Google Analytics, Hubspot or any other insights and analytics tool it can really boost your intelligence and opens up endless possibilities.

Read the full review and tutorial below.

What Hotjar does

Hotjar is a free tool to collect feedbacks and analytics intelligence about your website users. You can visit their website and open a free account easily.

Hotjar home page
Hotjar home page

I want to show you how easy and quick it is to start with Hotjar, you can make it work in literally 60 seconds. All you need to do is opening an account with username, email address and password and then install the single Hotjar snippet code into your website, immediately after the <head> tag.

Make the code installation verification and you are ready to collect interesting insights.

The analytics tools

Hotjar offers 4 analytics tools:

  1. Heatmaps (or heat maps)

  2. Recordings

  3. Funnels

  4. Forms

...and 4 feedbacks tools:

  1. Incomings

  2. Polls

  3. Surveys

  4. Recruiters

Let's start with heatmaps. Heat maps are great tools where you can see an aggregation of users of a particular page.

Once you have created an heat map, you can quickly spot switch between Desktop traffic, Tablet and Mobile users by the click of a button. This heat map above is the example of Desktop.

You can also choose to see a Clicks Heatmap, where there is a count of clicks users have made on the page. Then you got the Move Heatmap, to check where they put their mouse and the Scroll Heatmap, to analyse how far down the page they have gone.

When you go into your "heatmap" tab, you see the +Heatmap button, click there to create a new heatmap, choose the page you want Hotjar to analyse and let the software to the job. When you create a heat map you can choose several factors like page targeting, page views - with the free version you got 1,000 free page views - and URL targeting (you can choose between exact URL and single URL).

What I don't like about Hotjar heatmaps:

  • You don't have confetti heat maps, in this regard Crazyegg is much better

  • You can't filter by traffic channels or any other element.

  • You don't have overlay report, in which you can see the percentage difference among all those clicks.

Now let's show recordings. This tool records users while they are using your site. You can see the page they have visited and how they have interacted with your content, functionality and feels and forms. This makes it easier to see where they hesitate, get confused and explain why they are leaving your site.

Hotjar allows you to skip pauses, times in which users don't do anything or to change the speed of recordings.

You can filter your recordings with many functionalities, such as by timeframe (check recordings only during a defined time period), by user ID, by device, by browser (Chrome, Mozilla, Opera or IE), by tagged recordings. Finally you can also publicly share it with people who don't have access to your Hotjar account.

What I don't like about recordings:

  • They are not downloadable on your desktop

  • They are only limited to 300 with a free account - and believe me, 300 recordings is nothing.

Funnels. This is one of the coolest features Hotjar offers. It allows you to see the whole journey users take in a single report, where you can spot in 5 seconds where they drop off.

Building the funnel has never been easier.

Forms. To be honest with you, I have not used forms on Hotjar yet because I didn't have a chance to do it. But I let you do this and report it here if you want to contribute to this review, I am happy to cite your name and give you credit.

Now let's move to the feedbacks tools.