In the world of Internet Economy, understanding your potential users is the hardest job to perform as neither can you see them physically nor you can attract them by giving an extraordinary sales pitch. The one and only chance is have is the user experience of your website especially for the first few seconds when any user land of your website. Now most of these user will leave your site anyway after landing on your site and you can check the percentage of these users using the “Bounce Rate” metric of Google Analytics. In fact these analytical software are the most important thing to any startup, entrepreneur or business organizations as these web apps will provide you an in depth data interpretation which might help you to find out the loop hole in your site and why you are having a low achievement rate.
Let’s be honest till today no matter what analytical software you have used or using for your business is not that easy to handle and a lot of learning needs to be done to understand those analytical metrics. As an example if you use Google Analytics or Statcounter or even self-hosted Piwik, these will give you a bunch of analytical metrics like your Bounce Rate, Most Visited Pages, Most Referred URLs, No. of Page views you have and you can even create your custom goal. But honestly speaking understanding your user behavior thoroughly is very tough through these web apps.
Now think you had a way to actually view how your user is surfing your site, what are the things make them confuse, what are the things make them to leave your site, just like a movie recording, isn’t it be amazing? You can actually see your user behavior on your site and take key business decision upon them. Cool right? Now, think this as a completely FREE service. Yes, that’s right, this is where Hotjar comes into the story. Hotjar is a revolutionary web analytical system which takes user analytics in a slightly different approach than the other competitors out there. Wanna know more about Hotjar? Great, keep reading. 🙂
So, why should you opt for Hotjar?
Hotjar is not just any other analytical system out there, it comes with a ton of features which not only make your life easier by understanding your user behavior thoroughly but also give you a ton of in-build features to run pools, surveys, funnels any many more.
This is one of my favorite feature of Hotjar. Those people who doesn’t know what heatmap is, it is a thermal map of your webpage dividing it depending upon the number of click each region get. So, the red hot sections are the places people clicked most and the cold blue section are the places people clicked less. Here is a screenshot, take a look.
Now, you might say that there are other web apps out there who generate heatmap for website, so what’s so special about hotjar? Well, the thing is those sites will only generate heatmap for your site, but hotjar is a complete package out of which heatmap is just a small part.
This is my most favorite feature of Hotjar, which this feature you can record all the visitors land on your site and see their behavior on your site as a recorded movie. This is really an innovative and very important feature of understanding user behavior. As you can see by yourself how the user is interacting with your site and what are the things making them either leave your site of move the mouse from the section you wanna click them. This really take the understanding of user behavior on a website to the very next level. In fact you can tag each recording to audit them easily in future. The best part is, Hotjar does all this stuffs without even increasing any extra load on your website or your server.
This is really great of testing new things on your website as this funnel will give you an in depth visual information about out of your testing, which things are performing well and which are not.
Hotjar comes with an in-built forms feature which you can use to create a form for your site and then hotjar will show you the analytical information about that form. Like if you have created three forms, then which form is filled up mostly by users and which form is getting neglected by your users. These features are not really extraordinarily unique like the Heatmap & User Recording I rather say, but it’s good to have in the bundle.
Polls & Surveys
This is always great to ask users about the things you are confused about. Pools and Surveys that is why always play a vital role in every online business as this helps the business to understand the feeling of their users regarding their business. Though in my professional webmaster career, I’ve seen that this Poll & Surveys actually annoy a big user base as by nature people are lazy and when you ask them to answer something they feel even more lazy and annoyed. But no matter what, the importance of Pools & Surveys for any online business is significantly important.
Beside all these awesome features packed into a single service which even comes for FREE to help you make more money in your business, I think is more than enough reasons to opt with Hotjar.
Is there any cons of this service?
Well, I’ve tested Hotjar for more than 3 months before writing this review and honestly speaking I didn’t find any cons of their service so far. The service and support both are really nice, though they are providing a FREE account for now to the users as this is an early release, I’m not sure if they are going to keep that free account option in future too or not. Though I didn’t find any cons of their service, but I do find a few place where I think some real improvement and new feature is needed to make hotjar even more usable.
No mobile friendly dashboard
If you login to your hotjar account using your smartphone, it will show you an error message that the dashboard is not optimized for mobile device so please visit it from any desktop or PC environment. This is kind a bad as you can’t use hotjar on the go, but I’m pretty sure that the hotjar devs are working on this issue.
Heatmap & Recording limitations
Yes, there are a session limitation for all hotjar account, whether you are just a free user or a pro user or even a business user. According to the plan, you will receive the number of sessions you are allowed to record at a time. I think it will be great if it does some automations like after the session count ends, it restart the process automatically. So that, the process never actually stops. I’m not sure why they kept that session boundary, but this is a notable thing you must know before start using Hotjar. Even though hotjar will email you when the service hits the limit, so that you can relogin into hotjar and initiate the job again if you want. I personally think that it would be great if they remove these limitations. 🙂
Needs Smarter User Recording
The current user recording feature hotjar has is pretty good but during my testing I felt that it needs to be even more smarter in terms of which users should hotjar records and which they don’t. Current you only have one option stating whether you wanna record all users or only those users who stays longer than 30 seconds. But I personally thinks that there should be even more conditions.
Let me give you an example, let’s say you have a website where you sell WordPress plugins. Now in your website you also have a blog section, about us section, contact section and others. Now as you have limited number of recording sessions, you only wanna record those users who visited your shop page at least once during his whole surfing duration. As the store is the main revenue generating section of your site, you are more concerned about these users rather than your blog readers or let’s say you wanna record only those users who landed on your site from a reference of a specific site. This is important because if your products has been highlighted of other website then you know that the user coming from those reference sites may become a potential buyer.
Currently there is no way to achieve this kind of conditional user recording feature in hotjar, but I think this really would be a very useful feature if they integrate this into hotjar.
As I said Hotjar is really the next generation of user analytics, understanding your users not depending upon some key matrix, but actually monitoring how they are interacting with your site and taking decision depending upon that. But, I personally thing that the usage or important of traditional analytical systems like Google Analytics or Statcounter or even self-hosted Piwik will never get obsolete as they provide a different kind of analytical approach which also helps to take some decision and monitoring users in a different way. I personally suggest to use Hotjar along with a traditional analytical system as the code quality of hotjar is really amazing and would not increase your site or server load a bit. All hotjar scripts loaded asynchronously to make sure your site loads superfast.
So, do you use Hotjar in your site or thinking about using it? If you have used hotjar, let me know if you agree with my review or if you think there is something more which I may be missed. I would love to hear your hotjar experience or how do you feel about it. Let me know all your things in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to hear them.