Hotjar recordings – How to get great insights of what matters

I’ve been using Hotjar as my go-to tool for visitors recordings for over 6 months now and would like to share some thoughts on what’s best about it. I like it because the quality of the recordings is outstanding, much better than Clicktale when I used it

Some general details:

  • Pricing – I started with the free trial, run the free 300 recordings on a specific page defined as trigger in GTM, and after seeing the quality of recordings and the insights you get from watching them, paying the 30 EUR / month was a no-brainer for my employer.
  • Installation – it’s very easy to add the Hotjar tracking code to your WordPress site either by using a plugin or directly by adding it to your header.php file, detailed instructions are available. My prefer way would be using Google Tag Manager of course. Just add it as custom HTML tag with a trigger to Fire On all pages or specific URL if you’re still on the free version.

The most important thing about Hotjar is to set aside the time to actually go through the recordings you’re collecting, and take notes while you’re watching them.

It doesn’t make sense to get thousands of recordings if there’s noone to watch them and analyze them.

The best way to start is to identify a page you want to record. Usually that’s easy – check your conversion funnel to see where the biggest drop off point is: landing page, step 1 of checkout, last step of checkout, or something else.

Set Hotjar to record this page (you can specify a page in Pro, or if you’re still with the free version, just add the Hotjar tracking code to this page only using GTM) and make 3 batches of 100 recordings. 300 recordings should give you a good idea what’s going on.

Start watching the videos with a spreadsheet ready. Record the video number in the first column, the result in the second column (bounce, abandon, success, clicked away), add some more descriptive notes in the third column, and if the user encountered any specific errors in the forth column, like this:


After you go through all videos you can summarize the results, and drill-down into specific reasons visitors are abandoning the funnel or errors they encountered that can be prevented by better usability, special tooltips explaining how a particular field should be filled in, or adding live chat support to help visitors.

If you haven’t used Hotjar yet, sign up for the free trial and get some qualitative data!

P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.