If your business relies on the website for attracting customers, having a reliable, informative web presence is vital.
Apart from delivering a visually pleasing layout, it’s important to use supporting web analytics tools to determine your customers’ website actions: clicks, scrolls, mouse movements, time spent on pages, etc. It will help you understand your customers’ behavior and highlight your website’s pain points.
Which tools do I need to understand user behavior on my website?
The main tools you need for this adventure are session recordings and heatmaps. They help you measure the website changes and user engagement on your website through visual representations.
In this post, FullSession team will compare Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity. We’ll talk about why heatmaps and session recordings are essential tools for businesses that use their websites as a key point of contact for customers. This article should help you decide which of these two tools are right for you, and will help you dive deep into user behavior on your website.
If you want to explore more user behavior tools, check out Top 9 User Behavior Analytics Tools in 2022
FullSession: why read our review?
As a relatively new web analytics software, we focus on actively upgrading our product. FullSession is working (and competing) alongside other software products on the market, and taking the time to review software we believe are the finest products to take notice of. Feel free to also check out our other reviews: Hotjar alternatives, Hotjar vs FullSession and more on our blog.
Although we currently lack certain features (like heatmaps or customer surveys), we will be releasing them in 2022. As a group of professionals, we do know a good product when we see one, and we make sure we remain objective in reviewing our competitors. What is more, as we grab every opportunity to learn and upgrade, we enjoy comparing those products to our own for inspiration.
How Is FullSession different from Hotjar?
FullSession will thoroughly analyze visitor behavior through broader analytics tools. FullSession insights help spot friction points that may lead to funnel dropouts that affect your conversion rates.
- FullSession has more filtering options to better understand visitor digital experience and identify sessions that raises an eyebrow
- FullSession helps to identify major events inside a session to save time and understand what matters
- FullSession provides behavior and activity tracking to better optimize conversion rates
- While Hotjar will significantly slow down your website, FullSession will allow you to make the right CX analysis without affecting performance.
If you want to try FullSession, you’ll get exceptionally built session recording and session replay features together with some other options you should find beneficial. So, sign up for a free trial today and see why customers trust us.
Now, it’s time to learn more about heatmaps and dive into our Hotjar vs Microsoft Clarity review!
What are heatmaps?
Using simple language, a heatmap is a visual representation of users’ behavior on your website page. The image itself uses color values to display the user’s mouse clicks and scrolls.
The more users click or engage with something on the page, such as a button or link, the brighter the color shown on the heatmap. Scroll depth is also tracked and outlined by a red (high) to a blue (low) gradient.
The heatmap information is invaluable for webmasters and site owners. The visual illustration of user engagement suggests what aspects of your website visitors see clearly, and what areas need (additional) optimization.
Some apps allow access to user session recordings that display every mouse click, trail, pages the user was referred from, and page visits. In addition, it’s even possible to see demographic data like country and browser information.
Why use heatmaps?
Most websites use basic analytics tracking applications such as Google Analytics to monitor user engagement. The data these apps provide is, without a doubt, critical to learning about the traffic your website gets per day. But, Google Analytics only scratches the surface when it comes to understanding where your website needs improvement.
Heatmaps give you answers where traditional analytics tools can’t – they collect user feedback through their movement across your website.
Say you notice a sudden increase in traffic on a peripheral page on your website, and you know this page is accessible from several links on your homepage. How will you know the way users are getting to this page? Which buttons lead them to here? Which surrounding content did they like?
Having this depth of data will lead you to create a better product, and that’s precisely where heatmaps jump in to help.
Heatmaps can segment your website audience and point at certain user interactions with your website. With this data in mind, you can make optimization decisions that will increase your users’ engagement and create content that serves them better.
Heatmap comparison: Hotjar vs Microsoft Clarity
If you’re in the market for a website heatmap and session recording tool, Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity are the software products that are currently gaining momentum on the market.
What is Hotjar
Hotjar is an established, user-friendly product trusted by 900,000 organizations in over 180 countries. It tracks, records, and displays online user behavior to help you understand their dynamic on your website.
Hotjar gives you a “big picture” of what’s going on on your website by combining both Analysis and Feedback tools.
Using Hotjar, you have visual feedback that helps you act and improve your site performance and the overall user experience.
- Analytics and demographics data
- Session recording with pauses and mouse trails
- Add comments to recordings
- Create segments for recordings
- Recording session relevancy score
- Allows the addition of comments to recordings
- Hotjar is GDPR compliant
- Uses user and form system to collect user feedback
- Identify API enables granular data segmenting
- The Hotjar business plan ensures hands-on training from specialists
- Relevancy score on each recording session
- Enables sharing the results with the team
Although a tool that ranks high, Hotjar comes with a few drawbacks as well, such as:
- No A/B testing
- No error report
- No analytical overview of the dashboard
- No analytical overview on the dashboard
- It sometimes fails to load images in the recording
All heatmaps and session recordings with Hotjar are saved for 365 days.
Hotjar offers both free and paid plans. The free plan allows:
- Up to 1,000 pageviews/heatmap
- Manual data capture
- Create 3 heatmaps
- Up to 300 recordings
- Create and store 3 surveys & 3 incoming feedback widgets
Hotjar paid plans start at $39.00 per month and feature “Plus”, “Business” and “Scale” subscription options. You can make your choice depending on the number of daily sessions you need to analyze.
Feedback widget is one unique offering from Hotjar, and it’s available on both free and Business plans. This widget allows site users to give feedback through a rating scale and by filling out a form.
Hotjar offers numerous ways to educate and train its users. Here are just a few of them:
- Live Chat
- Video Demos
- Heatmap Guide
- Product Tour
- Product Updates Page
- Support Documentation
- Direct Contact Through Support Tickets
If you are running an established business with plenty of website traffic, Hotjar may be the tool you need as it can help maximize advertising ROI by giving you more profound knowledge of your website.
What is Microsoft Clarity?
Microsoft introduced Microsoft Clarity in October 2020. The tool focuses on behavior analytics and shows how users interact with your website.
Microsoft Clarity benefits
- It is entirely free to use, and all users have the same access
- It records user inactivity
- It is GDPR compliant
- It displays images while recording (unlike Hotjar)
- It provides an analytical overview of the dashboard
Microsoft Clarity drawbacks
- Movement heatmaps are absent
- Doesn’t support custom tags
- Lacks audience segmentation feature
- No user feedback or taking surveys
- No support for sharing or exporting of reports
A relative newcomer to the heatmap stage, Microsoft Clarity seems to offer similar data reporting and recording to Hotjar and makes it available in an analytical dashboard. It’s easy to install and use. However, it’s still not as advanced as Hotjar.
Microsoft Clarity support
As a Microsoft product, Microsoft Clarity comes with satisfactory support content:
- Support Documentation
- Direct contact via email
Microsoft Clarity has a few growing pains to work out, but we won’t take that against it as it is still in development. Observing its attitude towards improvement, we’ll say it has the potential to capture significant market share in the future.
Our Final Thoughts: which tool to pick?
If you are looking for highly advanced website tracking and analytics features, go with Hotjar or some of its top-rated Hotjar alternatives. But, if you receive less website traffic and don’t have the budget to splurge on an advanced tool, we recommend going with Microsoft Clarity, an excellent free heat map software.
Is Microsoft Clarity safe?
Yes, Microsoft Clarity is completely safe as it is GDPR compliant.
Is Microsoft Clarity any good?
Microsoft Clarity is Microsoft’s latest addition and as such comes with a set of great features and a promising future in the heatmap world. It is still a young product, so it has space for improvement. However, its current offer is pretty good considering it’s free.
Is Microsoft Clarity free?
Yes, Microsoft Clarity is free for now. It’s a very good free alternative to Hotjar.
What does Microsoft Clarity do?
Microsoft Clarity is an analytics tool that provides you with information on how people use your site. It gives you more insights into how users interact with your website and allows you to see which areas of it work well and which don’t.