If you’re running a business, you already know the importance of web analytics. While a traditional analytics tool like Google Analytics may show you significant numbers like churn rate, page traffic, or bounce rates, how do you learn how users behave on your site? Advanced web analytics tools such as FullSession, Hotjar, and Smartlook can help you.

Currently, Hotjar and Smartlook are popular web analytics tools on the market. Rather than spending long hours on research trying to figure out which software is ideal for your website, we’ve made the process easier for you. We’ve prepared a Hotjar vs Smartlook comparison. 

In this article, we’ll compare these web analytics tools based on their features, pricing, use cases, integrations, languages, and support, so you can save time, resources, and money.

Also, we’ll address a better alternative – our FullSession. FullSession is a web analytics software that provides you actionable insights into customer behavior via helpful features like real-time session recordings, session replays, interactive heatmaps, and customer feedback forms. 

Combining these features gives product teams the ability to understand user behavior, identify user issues, improve their products, and ultimately increase conversions. If you want to test all FullSession features, you can sign up and create your free account today

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the Hotjar vs Smartlook comparison, let’s begin by introducing each software. 

What is Hotjar?


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Hotjar is a conversion optimization tool that tracks your web visitors’ behavior and provides you with insights to help you increase your website performance rate. With Hotjar, product managers, UX designers, and researchers can discover user pain points, understand user actions and improve customer experience (CX).

What is Smartlook?


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Smartlook is an analytics software for websites and mobile apps that lets businesses track customer behavior. With Smartlook, product managers, developers, UX designers, and marketers make an informed decision on how to optimize product performance.

What is FullSession?


FullSession is a web analytics software that helps businesses monitor user behavior. It helps them capture and analyze digital engagement data to optimize product design, content, or layout and improve the user experience.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: How they compare and contrast 

Below, you can compare Hotjar and Smartlook to spot where their features overlap and what unique features each solution provides. This insight can make a big difference in analyzing your website visitors’ actions.

Both Hotjar and Smartlook provide session recordings and heatmaps and have an easy set-up process. You’ll learn more about their differences, use cases, deployment, features, user ratings, language, and integrations as you read further. Let’s start with the basics.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Basic differences

You can use Smartlook to track user interaction on websites and mobile apps, while Hotjar doesn’t track user behavior on mobile apps and doesn’t provide mobile analytics. 

UX designers, product managers, and digital marketers use Hotjar in their everyday work. Smartlook targets small businesses, agencies, and digital marketers.

One of the most significant differences between Hotjar and Smartlook lies in the filter options for session recordings and heat maps. For example, with Hotjar, you can filter session recordings by user feedback, while Smartlook doesn’t provide this feature. 

In another context, Smartlook includes the funnel analysis to help you understand the user navigation, and you can use this feature as a filter for session recordings. In contrast, Hotjar doesn’t provide the funnel analysis.  

Hotjar vs Smartlook: User ratings

When it comes to user ratings, both Hotjar and Smartlook have shown promising results in the market. We’ll highlight user ratings based on two popular review sites – TrustRadius and G2. 

  • TrustRadius – Hotjar has an average user rating of 8.5 out of 10 based on 263 user reviews. In contrast, Smartlook has an average user rating of 8.9 out of 10 based on 297 user reviews.
  • G2 – Both tools also have a good rating on this review platform. Hotjar has a 4.4 out of 5 user rating based on 252 user reviews, while Smartlook has a user rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 846 user reviews. 

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Use cases

Since Hotjar and Smartlook have similar features, there’s also some overlap in their use cases.

Some relevant use cases of Hotjar:

  1. Hotjar helps you collect instant visual feedback via a feedback widget to understand your user behavior better. With this feature, you can learn what goes through your users’ minds while using your website and act on it.
  2. With the session recordings feature, you can watch what your users do while on your site. For example, you can spot specific user activity by using filters like user feedback, rage clicks, friction events, and more.
  3. The survey feature lets you collect user feedback after users have visited your site. Here’s a typical scenario – if you’re in e-commerce, you can watch a session recording and spot where a user abandons your shopping cart. You can send an abandoned cart survey to the user’s email to better understand the shopping experience and what stopped them from completing the purchase.
  4. Heat maps let you uncover what distracts your users and test web copy and page elements to find out what works best for them.

Some relevant use cases of Smartlook:

  1. With the heatmap feature, you can pinpoint what web visitors are doing on your site. Rather than watching all user actions simultaneously, you can use filters to sort new and returning users. You can also use heatmaps to get segmented data. For example, you can filter mobile users and desktop users.
  2. You can use the funnel feature to create a sequence of events before a visitor becomes a customer. This feature helps you understand visitor navigation and spot friction points leading to website abandonment.
  3. Automatic session recordings let you watch user behavior. With this feature, you can spot the specific issues your users have with your product and fix them.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Deployment

The deployment between Hotjar and Smartlook is quite different. With Smartlook, there are a few ways to install the software. 

For instance, you can add the code snippet by copying the code and pasting it into your website source code. You can also implement Smartlook on your website via Google Tag Manager. You have to create a custom HTML tag with the tracking code.

With Hotjar, there are a couple of installation options available. For instance, you can install the Hotjar Javascript snippet by manually adding the code to your website.

After installing, tracking user actions represents a crucial difference between these solutions. For example, with Hotjar, you need to describe specific events by creating custom Javascript code and using events API to track user-specific actions. 

It can be challenging if you don’t have enough technical knowledge. In contrast, once you install the code snippet, Smartlook automatically tracks user interactions. 

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Features

As we mentioned earlier, Hotjar and Smartlook share similar features, but there are cases where these features differ.

The main features of Hotjar:

  • Session recordings – let you watch and track user activities on your site. You can spot where users rage click, make a U-turn, get stuck, and abandon a page.
  • Heat maps – provide insights into how users behave on individual site pages. This feature lets you spot the most critical elements on a web page and track where users click, scroll and point their mouse.
  • Feedback widgetyou can use it to ask customers about their overall experience while on your site.
  • Surveys – you can use them to ask customers about their experience after stopping interaction with your site.

The main features of Smartlook:

  • Session recordings – you can watch user events and behaviors
  • Heat maps – provide insights into how users interact with specific web elements
  • Events – let you see all the actions users perform on your mobile app or website
  • Funnels – help you understand the user journey. You can spot when users take the path you don’t want them to take and fix glitches to increase conversion rate.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Languages

The language is where Hotjar and Smartlook contrast greatly. The Smartlook interface is only available in English.

While the Hotjar interface is also available in English, the software’s user-facing features like surveys and feedback are available in multiple languages like Arabic, Dutch, French, Chinese, Italian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, and more!

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Integrations

Both Hotjar and Smartlook offer many integrations. They share similar integration options with A/B testing and conversion rate optimization tools. 

Both software integrates well with tools used by digital marketing experts like Segment, Google Optimize, and Zapier. Another similarity in their integration is that both tools are compatible with WordPress, Shopify, and Joomla. 

There are some integration options you can find in Hotjar and not Smartlook. For example, Hotjar integrates with popular project management tools like Basecamp, Asana, Click up, Notion, and Trello. In contrast, Smartlook doesn’t.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Support

No tool is perfect, and issues can arise. For this reason, customers need efficient and reliable support. Hotjar and Smartlook customer support have some differences. Hotjar includes email support, ticket submissions, and training in all pricing plans. The absence of live support puts Hotjar at a disadvantage since most customers prefer to communicate via live support.

In contrast, Smartlook provides email support, ticket submission, training, and live support. Only the Startup and Business plans include access to live support, so you need to upgrade your account.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: Pricing

Both Hotjar and Smartlook offer pricing plans suitable for startups, SMBs, and enterprises.

Hotjar pricing plan is divided into two packages – observe and ask. The Observe plan features heatmaps to visualize user behavior and session recordings to watch what users do on your site. The Ask plan helps you hear from your users and discover how they feel via surveys and feedback. 

The observe pricing model:

  • Basic plan – costs $0/month with 35 daily sessions
  • Plus plan – costs $31/month with 100 daily sessions
  • Business plan – starts at $79/month with 500 daily sessions
  • Scale – a customized plan 

The ask pricing plan:

  • Basic plan – costs $0/month with 20 monthly responses 
  • Plus plan – costs $47/month with 250 monthly responses
  • Business plan – starts at $63 with 500 monthly responses
  • Scale – a customized plan

The pricing plan for Smartlook includes four plans – Free, Startup, Business, and Ultimate. Here are more details on each plan:

  • Free plan for personal use – includes 1500 monthly sessions
  • Startup – starts at $39/month with 5000 monthly sessions
  • Business – starts at $95/month with 15000 monthly sessions
  • Ultimate – a customized plan.

As you can see, Hotjar and Smartlook pricing plans also have some differences. For example, all pricing plans for Smartlook include a 10-day free trial and a 15-day money-back guarantee. All pricing plans for Hotjar don’t include a free trial but offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why FullSession might be a better option?

So far, we’ve discussed how Hotjar and Smartlook compare and contrast in terms of pricing, deployment, use cases, integration, features, and languages. At this point, you have gained insights into the possible ways you can use each software. While both software seems like great options for tracking user behavior, could there be a better alternative?

Let us highlight powerful FullSession features and explain why it may be a better alternative.

What can you do with FullSession?

FullSession shares similar features with Hotjar and Smartlook, but some differences can affect how you track user behavior. Here are the main components of FullSession:

  • Session recordings
  • Interactive heatmaps
  • Customer feedback
  • Insights

Let’s throw light on each feature.

Session recordings

Session Recording

Session recordings let you watch user actions like mouse movements, clicks, and taps. In other words, you can visualize the entire user journey, including user frustrations and pages where they bounce off.

You can replay session recordings and use the insights to optimize your site to increase conversion rates. You can use advanced segmentation and filters to spot specific events, so you don’t have to lose time watching session recordings that have no relevancy.

Some filters include:

  • Referral URLs
  • Operating system
  • Thrashed cursor
  • Javascript errors
  • Rage clicks

Interactive heatmaps

FullSession Interactive Heatmap

With this feature, you can go beyond static heatmaps. Interactive heatmaps help you monitor how users interact with elements on any web page and track actions like button clicks, mouse hovering, and scrolling in real-time. You can also understand the complexity of your page structure using scroll maps to detect less attractive web page areas and improve them accordingly.

We understand that heatmaps can be hard to interpret, but we have made the process easier. Read this article to learn how to read heatmaps.

Customer feedback form

Customer Feedback Form

Imagine that you watch user sessions and spot an event where a user clicks through to the pricing page but doesn’t complete the payment process. How can you possibly know what went wrong?

While user recordings can show you how users behave, you still need to know what they have in mind while performing specific actions. With the customer feedback feature, you can remove the guesswork and ask your users what they think. You can also find out the Net Promoter Score for each page with custom user segments.

FullSession Customer Feedback

The great thing about the feedback feature is that you can collect customer feedback in real-time via the expandable feedback widget.


FullSession Insights

Insights is another powerful feature that FullSession provides. It comprehensively analyzes visitors’ behavior and friction points that may lead to funnel dropouts and affect conversion rates. When you log into the FullSession account, you’ll see the Insights feature in the dashboard.

You can try it out now as you read. FullSession starts collecting data after you install our code on your site.

The benefits of using FullSession

So far, we have highlighted essential features in FullSession. Let’s move on to the benefits of using Fullsession to track user activity on your website:

  1. FullSession lets you make an accurate CX analysis without impacting your site performance. In contrast, the Hotjar script can slow down your page load speed, affecting your SEO performance. 
  2. With the FullSession behavioral analytics tools, you can understand every user action and friction point so you can improve the customer journey.
  3. FullSession lets you use advanced filtering options to identify specific events like cart abandonment, rage clicks, and failed payment inside a session recording. This way, you can save time and improve the customer experience.
  4. With FullSession, you don’t need to guess why customers perform a specific action on your website. You can use customer feedback and surveys to ask customers about their overall experience on your site.
  5. FullSession provides a central analytics and feedback platform where cross-functional teams can collaborate effectively to improve CX.
  6. FullSession delivers insights into how customers interact with significant elements on your web pages like call-to-action buttons, images, and hamburger menus to improve conversion rates. 

FullSession pricing:

FullSession Pricing

FullSession offers two pricing plans – Basic and Business. We also offer customized pricing plans based on your business needs. The Basic plan costs $39 per month, while the Business plan costs $99 per month.

If you want to learn more about how FullSession compares to other session recording software like Crazyegg, Mouseflow, and FullStory – check out our Crazyegg, Mouseflow, and Full story comparison.

Hotjar vs Smartlook vs FullSession: A summary 

So far, we have highlighted key features of FullSession and where it overlaps with Hotjar and Smartlook. If you need more details on how Hotjar tracks user activity, check out this article on our unbiased Hotjar review.

To keep things simple and easy to grasp, here’s a detailed table that summarizes FullSession features compared to Hotjar and Smartlook.

Session recordings
Engagement score
Session replay
Advanced user filtering
Recording timeline with pages and average time on each page
Real-time session recording
Sharing option
Click/tap heatmaps
Scroll heatmaps
Live heatmaps
Feedback collection
Visual feedback
Customer surveys 
Other features
Live support
Click rage detection
Free trial
Analysis of dynamic elements


Hotjar vs Smartlook: Final words

So far, we’ve compared Hotjar and Smartlook based on their features, integration, deployment, pricing, support, use cases, and language. While each software shares similar features like visitor recordings, and heatmaps, there are other cases where their features contrast.

For example, Smartlook relies on features like a funnel, events, and retention tables to understand the why behind customer behavior. In contrast, Hotjar relies on customer feedback forms and surveys to ask customers about their experience. 

There are areas where both software lack, such as tracking user behavior in real-time. In this case, FullSession stands as a better alternative. It also provides interactive heatmaps that let you track dynamic web elements like hamburger menus, hidden items, and pop-ups. 

What’s more, FullSession Insights help you gain a bird’s eye view of user behavior and pain points that may lead to funnel dropout and impact conversion rates. 

Try Fullsession for free

You can sign up for a free Full session account and gain instant insights into user interaction on your website. Our solution helps you build a seamless digital customer experience.

Hotjar vs Smartlook: FAQ

      1. How much does Smartlook cost?

Smartlook offers pricing plans suitable for personal use, startups, and businesses. The company also provides a customized solution based on your business needs. The personal use plan is free, while the startup and business plan start at $39/month and $95/month.

      2. How good is Hotjar?

Hotjar is a conversion optimization tool that helps you track user interaction on your site. With the Hotjar feedback and survey feature, you can directly ask your customers about their experience on your site.

      3. Is Hotjar a safe website?

Yes, Hotjar is safe. It is GDPR and PCI compliant, and it can help you track user activity anonymously.

      4. Is Hotjar free?

Hotjar offers a free plan to collect data from up to 2000 page views per day. If you need more data, the paid plans provide higher page views.

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