Heatmaps and visitor recording with Hotjar

Posted on July 13, 2017

It’s incredibly important to know what your visitors are doing on your website. This allows you to be able to prove with real data what is working and what is not. You may think that beyond Google Analytics something more robust could be very expensive. Sometimes that is the case but today I’m going to share with you a tool that is very affordable and very powerful.

What is Hotjar?

Hotjar is an online service that creates heatmaps and visitor recordings for your website. What that means is when someone visits your site it will record what they are doing including what pages they go to, where they move their mouse and what they click on. It’s really very cool. Click here to see an example of this website.

Hotjar takes all of the data it collects and forms heatmaps of your site. Heatmaps just show you where you get the most interaction. Typically the navigation of a website will be white hot for example because people click that the most often.

Setting up Hotjar

Setting up Hotjar really is very simple. Just visit their signup page and work through the steps. Select the plan that best fits your needs. Once you have finished signing up you will get a simple JavaScript code to drop into your site. It couldn’t hurt to have a developer help you out with this step, although it really is very easy.

Making use of Hotjar

Once Hotjar is set up and you confirm that it is working give it some time to collect data. It’s really fun to follow along and see what people are really doing on your site. After awhile heatmaps will become available and these can really tell you what to improve. For instance, if you want people to sign up via your contact form, you really want people to be clicking through to that. If they’re not then you know where to begin your improvements.

Here is a real example from my own website. As you can see people are really clicking these boxes. They aren’t links, but this data tells me that people are mistaking them for links. So sometime in the near future I need to get them linked up to other pages or change this treatment.

One of many

Hotjar is just one of many tools you can use to inform yourself on what your visitors are doing. Stay tuned to this blog for more tips on collecting that data!