When we were planning the features of FullSession, our behavioral analytics software, we tested many other tools to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses because our goal was to build something even better with these lessons in mind.

In this blog post, we will give you a detailed walkthrough of the differences between Google Analytics, and Hotjar as many businesses are stuck in the middle of these two solutions. We will also tell you why FullSession can be a good alternative. Let’s start with some basic information.

The importance of web analytics

analyzing visitor behaviour chart

Google Analytics is one of the most important marketing tools. It helps you measure customer interaction with your website and tells you more about your customers’ needs, intentions, and goals.

Aside from tracking users’ behavior, you can see where you are losing customers in your sales funnel. You can make segmentation by sales conversion, upsell or cross-sell activities, traffic, bounce rate, and more.

By understanding what’s attracting your target audience, how often they visit your site, and what they do on it, you can optimize your landing page or website and ultimately increase conversions. But is this enough to help you make informed decisions?

Learn more about user behavior

Data collected from analytics tools like Google Analytics let you know what’s working and what isn’t. Numbers can show you what people do on your site, but they can’t tell you why your users made the choices they did. You need more information to understand what’s happening between events; in other words, between the lines.

By seeing how your users behave while interacting with your website, you’ll be able to get answers to questions you might not have thought of by looking at metrics alone, and that’s where the behavior analytics tools perfectly blend in.

Hotjar: the behavior analytics solution

Hotjar: the behavior analytics solution

Between Google Analytics and Hotjar, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your business. While both are excellent tools for measuring user behavior on your site, some differences between them might make one more suitable than the other. Also, there are other Hotjar alternatives you should take into consideration.

Hotjar is a behavior analytics platform that complements Google Analytics and other traditional analytics tools, providing in-depth analysis that you can’t derive from traditional data. With Google Analytics, you can see your metrics. With Hotjar, you can see why they’re happening.

Hotjar has amazing features that let you track and analyze real-time website engagements. With heatmaps, user recordings, surveys, and user feedback services, you can make informed decisions about your website usability, navigation structure, content organization, and more.

We’ll go step-by-step through Hotjar and show you how to get the most out of it.

Keep an eye on customer interaction with heatmaps

customer interaction with heatmaps

Hotjar is a unique heatmap software. Heat maps can take visitor’s activity and translate it into a visual representation. This information is presented as a color: the warmer the color, the higher the activity. Hotjar offers three types of heatmaps:

  1. Click heatmaps that show you where your visitors click the most.
  2. Move heatmaps that track visitors’ mouse movements while browsing your website.
  3. Scroll heatmaps that are very useful for landing pages analysis and optimization.

What elements grab your potential customers’ attention? Heatmaps will help you gain a clear understanding to answer this question and create a website layout that keeps your potential customers engaged and entices them to come back.

Hotjar heatmaps help you learn:

  • Where your users drop off in the conversion funnel
  • Which page areas confuse or fail to keep users’ attention
  • What they’re doing during A/B testing
  • What page elements decrease conversion and engagement rates
  • How users interact with website pages during real-time experiments

When you’re testing your website on different devices, you can use Hotjar to switch between desktop, tablet, and mobile views to pinpoint which issues are device-specific.

See your site from a visitor’s point of view with session recordings

session recordings

With visitor recordings, you can watch real users interact with your product as they would in the real world. From clicking to scrolling to hovering, you can see everything a user does on your website’s pages.

Hotjar helps you understand why your visitors are navigating away from the page, so you can find frustration points driving them away. Spot problems, pause the recording to view it from any angle or zoom in on the page to see what’s going on. It will help you improve your site with each video. Also, you can add tags or notes to your session recordings. You can use them to mark important events or gather feedback from your team.

Hotjar also provides advanced segmentation options, letting you view data through many different lenses. You can record user activity easily and filter your session recordings by specific visitor types.

Know what your customers want with user surveys

user surveys

With Hotjar user surveys, you can easily create a list of questions and place it on your website. As your visitors take the survey, the software records users’ words providing you direct feedback. With that information, you will know what to improve next on your website. Depending on your needs, you can start from scratch or choose a template.

If you ask users what they love the most about your website or app or what issues they might have, you will gain insight into customer experience and help your development team improve your product.

Make your customers happy with user feedback

 Incoming Feedback

With Incoming Feedback, you can engage with your users at a micro-level. Hotjar offers a real-time suggestion box that lets you follow individual visitors as they move across your website, pages, forms, or images. You’ll be able to record your users’ comments and complaints, know whether they’re thrilled or not quite satisfied, and capture any problems that might arise.

This level of engagement brings your company and your users on the same page, building trust and loyalty in the process. If you want to improve your website for happier users, Hotjar’s Incoming Feedback will enable you to get there faster.

Hotjar bonus features

Hotjar is easy to set up and use — it doesn’t require additional software and comes with detailed instructions and video tutorials. The platform also has an intuitive dashboard — the interface is clean and well-organized, making it easy for users to get started and discover what Hotjar can do. It doesn’t have a large learning curve and can be set up by anyone.

With Hotjar, you can:

  • Invite unlimited team members and clients to use the software free of charge
  • Target your users smarter
  • Collect feedback in more than 40 languages
  • Use all features on desktop devices or mobile devices
  • Protect your website users with privacy features
  • Export and share feedback in CSV or XLSX
  • Install and use the solution on all major platforms
  • Integrate the solution with major tag managers like Google Tag Manager
  • Optimize your ad campaigns
  • Have a reliable customer support

Whether you’re working on your first digital product or running a massive campaign, your company can track and access data points to implement design changes. And that data is fun to look at, too!

Hotjar vs Google Analytics: what is the difference

There is no need to abandon Google Analytics to start using Hotjar or vice versa. Hotjar is an alternative, not a Google Analytics replacement. Both tools can be co-existent, as they serve different purposes.

While Google Analytics is an in-depth tool that allows you to track metrics from a site’s traffic levels to shopping cart abandonment, Hotjar offers a more user-centric approach. It helps you receive feedback from your customers and make necessary changes to your landing page or website based on their comments.

Hotjar vs Google Analytics: when to use each

Google Analytics is an essential tool that every business should be using to collect data and access information. You can use Google Analytics to get details about user acquisition, demographics, traffic sources, website metrics, ad campaigns results, and more. It is best suited for individuals or SME businesses who require basic data because it doesn’t have many advanced features that Hotjar has.

On the other hand, Hotjar can help you analyze and optimize your landing page, websites, or conversion funnels with features like Heatmaps and Recordings, but it also specializes in improving user experience by gathering feedback with Polls, Surveys, and Form Analytics. It is best suited for large enterprises that need advanced functionalities or employees working as Product Managers, Product Designers, or Researchers.

Google Analytics vs Hotjar: learning curve

If you want to use Google Analytics, you need to be prepared for a large learning curve, and this is one of its main disadvantages. It offers so much customization and depth. While the data itself is straightforward enough to interpret, using it properly requires a lot of time and effort. Gathering and deciphering different metrics and optimizing your performance based on them is a process that has to be learned.

Compared with other tools, Hotjar lets users add it to their websites with the click of a button.  The entire process takes just a few minutes, making it easy for businesses to add the code to their website, and start surveying and tracking their customer behaviour quickly and effectively.

Hotjar vs Google Analytics: integrations

Hotjar offers more integrations than Google Analytics. With more ways to add real-time evaluation and deeper integration with other major platforms, you can see data from all sources in one place, eliminating the need for multiple tools. It will help you find the insights you need faster.

With the wealth of information that this software provides, there’s almost no limit to what you can learn about your customers. It gives business owners who use multiple platforms more flexibility in everyday work.

Google Analytics vs Hotjar: pricing

You can use Google Analytics free of charge as an offer you won’t find in many other places. There are no upgrades, no hidden fees, and no catch. You can set up a free account with no credit card information required after signing up for a free Google account.

What is less known is that Google Analytics has a paid version called Google Analytics 360 that starts at $150,000/year. This enterprise version provides an advanced interface that allows large businesses to conduct more in-depth analyses.

On the other hand, Hotjar offers a basic package that lets you capture up to 1,000 pageviews/heatmap free of charge. In case you are satisfied with the software, you can choose paid upgrades anytime:

  1. Plus package for small teams, starting at $39/month
  2. Business package for growing companies, starting at $99/month
  3. Scale package for large companies, starting at $389/month

Hotjar vs FullSession: what we do better


FullSession may be a new solution on the market, but we are steadily beating the competition with our intuitive session recording and session replays. You don’t need to download any additional plugins to use our service. Instead, you can start recording sessions immediately to track how your users behave.

If you compare FullSession with Hotjar, you will notice that we lack some features such as heatmaps or customer surveys. It will be an essential part of our future development plan. We are internally debating the best way to give our users what they really need, rather than what is merely popular among other brands.

How we do compare

We looked into Hotjar’s features, compared them with our solution, and researched its core competencies. Here is what we found out:

  1. FullSession uses broader analytics tools to analyze visitor behavior, so you can better assess where friction points happen and how to solve them.
  2. FullSession provides insights into the impact on conversion rates and dropouts in the sales funnel.
  3. With advanced filtering options, you can quickly find sessions that raise an eyebrow and dig deeper, so you can create a better experience for your customers.
  4. FullSession will help you identify major events inside one session to save time and cut through the noise.

Also, we found one significant difference about the website performance. If you use Hotjar, your website will slow down significantly, which will make the data gathered and analyzed not worth it because it would take forever to load. On the other hand, FullSession will allow you to make the right customer experience analysis without affecting the site’s performance.

Create the best user experience smarter, not harder

FullSession is completely free to use — so you won’t waste time and spend money paying for a subscription while you’re testing the software and making sure it works for you.

It will help you get useful data quickly, optimize your website easily, increase traffic and the number of leads you generate. Sign up today and test all FullSession features that are currently available.

FullSession pricing plans

fullsession pricing plans

The FullSession platform offers a 14-day free trial. It provides two paid plans — Basic and Business. Here are more details on each plan.

  1. The Basic plan costs $39/month and allows you to monitor up to 5,000 monthly sessions
  2. The Business plan costs $149/month and helps you to track and analyze up to 25,000 monthly sessions
  3. The Enterprise plan starts from 100,000 monthly sessions and has custom pricing 

If you need more information, you can get a demo.

FAQs In Relation To Hotjar Analytics

1. Can Hotjar replace Google Analytics?

Hotjar is not a Google Analytics replacement. With Google Analytics, you know what is happening with your website — but the answer is in the numbers alone, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Hotjar can give you a rare insight into what’s happening under the hood of your website — from how users interact with elements on the page to where they’re dropping off in the onboarding process. By combining both tools, you can get an in-depth analysis of your customers’ behavior.

2. Is there a better alternative to Google Analytics?

The Google Analytics platform is an indispensable tool for companies focusing on traffic monitoring and gathering data about their business. However, those who want more out of their analytics should consider Google Analytics alternatives. You can start with the following solutions:

  • HubSpot
  • Heap
  • Matomo
  • Woopra
  • Foxmetrics

3. What is Hotjar used for?

Hotjar allows you to see your landing page or website exactly how your customers see it. By tracking clicks, mouse movements, scrolling habits, and form entries, the service gives you insights into how customers interact with your website. You can use this information to improve navigation, optimize conversion rates, reduce bounce rates, and more.

4. Does Hotjar integrate with Google Analytics?

Yes. These two tools aren’t the same, but you can still use them together to make up for what’s missing in each other.  Google Analytics provides information on the number of sessions, pages per session, average stay times, bounce rate, and much more. Hotjar will show you heatmaps for your website so you can see how users interact with each page while they’re on the website.

5. Does Hotjar record all visits?

Hotjar attempts to track the most users possible, but there are many technical reasons it may be unable to. Hotjar always improves its performance and works consistently to capture all your data.

6. How accurate is Hotjar?

Hotjar doesn’t aim to be 100% accurate with its heatmap and form analytics. However, because it can provide a visual overview of customer behavior on a site, it is the ideal complement to other tools like Google Analytics.

FullSession Heatmap
6 Best Website Heatmap Tools in 2024 [Comparison Guide]

Website heatmap tools are valuable for evaluating the user experience on your website and measuring your website performance. With a...

Top 8 Session Recording And Replay Tools [Our 2024 Review]

Session recording and replay tools are essential for user experience analysis. They help you understand how to optimize your website,...

Hotjar alternatives
We Tried 5 Hotjar Alternatives – Here’s Our Feedback

As a website owner, you need accurate information on how website visitors interact with your website, areas where they experience...

We Tried Hotjar vs Microsoft Clarity: Here’s Our Feedback

Customer experience analysis is not an easy task. Even with the best intentions, you could end up misinterpreting user behavioral...

FullSession Tool
Customer Journey Tracking: How to Map Your Customer’s Path to Conversion

We all know that it’s essential to track website conversion rates, but what about monitoring customer journeys on your website?...