Hotjar Insights Review

Hotjar Insights – Bloomin’ Brilliant

Let me start by saying I’m not involved with Hotjar. I’m not on their team, not in an Affiliate scheme and I’ve not been bribed to write this. I’ve not been blackmailed or threatened either. Nobody has promised me a puppy, nobody has begged or pleaded…. I’m just genuinely a bit of a fangirl.

Whenever a new tool that allows me to understand mine or my my clients’ web traffic better comes to market, I’m always trying to wangle my way to the front of the queue to have a try. And understanding web traffic is absolutely critical for digital marketers. I don’t just mean knowing how much of it there is or where it comes from. I’m talking about getting to grips with what it does on your site, how it interacts, converts, engages… If there’s a conversion rate problem, you need to understand the barriers that might be sending people away and, frankly, Google Analytics alone isn’t enough.

When Hotjar started to open its doors to people in beta, it promised a whole lot of things:

  • Heatmaps of user clicks, mouse movements and scrolling (separated by screen size!)
  • Video playback of user sessions
  • In form Analytics
  • Feedback and exit polls
  • Online Surveys
  • Forms and funnel analysis
  • Proactive on site chat
  • Ability to recruit user testers

And the best thing is that the tool promises you can switch these features on and off at your will. So for me, who hates on site chat, for example, the fact I can pick and choose which of these I use is brilliant.

In fact, my view before trying the toolset is that if it really did do all of the above well, then it was basically going to enables agencies and users to switch a whole host of other tools (such as Clicktale, Qualaroo, Formisimo etc) and streamline their visitor analysis into one platform. Hotjar sums this up pretty well itself…

hotjar tool comparison

Setup and Verification

Nice and easy 🙂 Set up your account, add your domain and verify by adding a snippet of code to your side. No hassle.

But does it deliver?

I should start by saying I have only used this tool so far on 2 websites. However, I’m about to launch it on a 3rd (bigger) site. I’ve also only used heatmaps, session playback and conversion funnels so far. The form abandonment element isn’t yet ready but I will be trying it as soon as it is.

The heatmaps are better than heatmaps I’ve had from pricier tools like Clicktale. There are heatmap versions for:

  • Clicks
  • Movement (desktop only)
  • Scrolling

And, more to the point, there are 4 device types for each of these:

  • Extra large desktop
  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Mobile

Similarly, the conversion funnels are easy to understand and setup!

Where I’m particularly pleased with Hotjar, though, is on the visitor session playback (again this is available for users on XL desktops, desktops, tablets and mobiles). Again, it’s as good as any I’ve seen from much more expensive tools. Here’s a screenshot of what you typically see watching a smartphone visitor playback session, for example:

hotjar video playback

You can easily speed up/slow down and see the device the user is browsing on and the length of their session. The video playback captures everything you would expect from much pricier dedicated session playback tools. You see the full session (on desktop, movement, scrolling and clicking and on mobile devices all scrolling and clicking).

On the Whole

It’s early days for Hotjar, but I’m genuinely excited for the potential for it.

There are still featured to be finalised (form analytics, for example) and released. The tool is still stating itself as in beta, yet I’ve not encountered a single glitch or problem with any of the features I have used. And more to the point, the quality has been top notch.

You can’t underestimate the value of potentially being able to merge a number of different tools into one single platform. I know plenty of people (myself included) using different tools for surveys and user testing, extra tools for heatmaps and session playback and then dedicated tools for in form Analytics on top. If you could get them all in one system and cut your costs without cutting the quality of the data you get back, well surely it’s a no brainer?!

Agency Accounts

There will be a Hotjar partner programme of sorts for agencies. Again, details to be confirmed but Hotjar sent an email inviting agencies to register interest.


In this initial beta stage, it’s free. And then packages will start at $29 with further details yet to be released.

Check it out

At this stage, you can register for early access at and invites to get started, as I understand, are being sent out in batches. Highly recommend you give this a shot.