Industry Insights

Hotjar is Heating Up as The Go-To Website Statistics Tool

Hotjar, a privately owned and funded company that develops intuitive and disruptive research and optimization tools for web businesses, is the only all in one tool that can truly combine unlimited analytics and feedback solutions to help you better understand WHY your visitors behave the way they do and HOW they are interacting with your website.

Hotjar was founded in 2014 by David Darmanin and Erik Näslund. In a blog post entitled The Hotjar Story (Part 1) – From Idea to 60,000 Beta Signups in 6 Months he humbly admitted something I am sure many serial entrepreneurs can relate to:“I failed miserably in 2 startups before Hotjar.”  But with Hotjar, he must've hit his stride because they have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for small to large businesses over the past few years.

Darmanin also stated that he has run hundreds of tests for his clients across 19 languages, 12 currencies and 13 industries. In one of his most recent projects he generated $16 Million in life time value for an eCommerce SaaS company.

“With Hotjar we did things differently. Especially since the toolset was more complex than any other tools we had built before. Hotjar is a solution that allows marketers and designers to see how visitors are using their site pages by connecting the dots between analytics and feedback. Think Clicktale meets Qualaroo. It includes heatmapssession replays, funnels, polls, surveys etc...” said Darmanin.


Since launching in 2014, Hotjar has made some important decisions to prove their commitment to privacy, and plan on continuing to do so over the coming years.

Stating: “Our privacy track record is not tied to just legal requirements (such as the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation or ‘GDPR’. We believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to safeguard privacy.”  said Darmanin.

"I had been in Conversion Rate Optimization for a very long time, so I'd used feedback and analytics tools before and attended a lot of events. I had grown a successful software company, so I had made a lot of mistakes to leverage. I worked with some of the best companies in the world, so I was very well-connected and networked with a lot of industry leaders. So when we started Hotjar, what helped a lot is that I knew exactly where to go."” 
David Darmanin, Founder and CEO at Hotjar

Hotjar’s Standout Key Features


When I think of Hotjar, this is the one true key feature that comes to my mind – It gives you a visual representation of the behavior of your users clicks, taps and scrolling on both desktop and mobile devices which allows you to see your user's behavior and show you how to lower bounce rates. You can also save your report for future reference or share it with a colleague.

Visitor Recordings
Not only do recordings show you the true user behavior on your site but you can also see the user’s clicks, taps and mouse movements. View session information, add tags to categorize your recordings or even add notes and actions to organize.

Conversion Funnels
Find out where your visitors are dropping off and where the biggest opportunities for improvement are. By using the conversion funnels you can pin point which exact page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site.  

Form Analytics
Do you want to find out how your forms are being used? This feature allows you to improve your online forms by discovering which fields take users too long to fill out, which are then left blank and why your visitors are abandoning your form or site page.

Feedback Polls
The feedback polls are very similar to a widget in terms of style since its pretty much an element that displays information or provides a specific way for a user to interact with your site. In this case, it helps you understand the reasons behind particular behavior by providing target questions to your audience.

Incoming Feedback
Instant visual feedback provides your users an easy way to leave feedback on your website or app. This can help you identify what people love or hate, identify any issues or room for improvement as well as opportunity for growth.

Create an appealing and engaging survey for your existing users and/or customers via email to gain knowledge on the drivers, barriers and hooks about your site.

Recruit Test Users
Using this feature allows you to use your own audience for user testing – what better participants could you use then your very own who are actively engaging with your website on a day to day basis? You can also offer incentives in exchange for asking for their help. Now that’s what I call a win, win situation – right?

Platforms and Frameworks Compatible with Hotjar

Although Hotjar is not compatible with all platforms and frameworks, there are quite a few that are compatible. Here is a quick look at the accepted platforms and frameworks:

  • Google Tag Manager
  • WordPress
  • Shopify
  • WiX
  • WooCommerce
  • ClickFunnels
  • Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager
  • Drupal
  • HubSpot
  • Instapage
  • Joomla
  • LightCMS
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • QuickSilk
  • Smarty Templates
  • SquareSpace
  • Weebly
  • Unbounce

Hotjar’s Biggest Advocate: Hubspot

Hubspot, an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers, is a huge advocate for using Hotjar. Hubspot Academy even used Hotjar polls to boost their signup rate by 10%.

Hotjar conducted a one on one interview with Eric Peters, Senior Growth Marketer at Hubspot Academy and stated “The Academy provides inbound marketing & sales education, with about 10k people signing up every month. HubSpot started making courses back in 2012-2013, initially for our customers only. We knew that making our customers successful meant more than just teaching them how to use HubSpot software: it was about teaching them how to be great marketers. 

Hubspot uses Hotjar feedback polls to understand why visitors abandon the course registration page, and how the team acts on feedback to make user-driven decisions for winning page redesigns.”

Hotjar’s Product Roadmap

Hotjar’s commitment to staying on top of the latest trends and to executing iterative and rapid improvements is based solely on the vision of Hotjar and feedback from their users and customers.

As of March 9th 2018, they have already completed projects and improvements for their first Q1 of 2018. Updates and improvements include sampling rate visualization, suppression layer for e-mail and numbers text, and improved processing of Recordings and Heatmaps.

Here's a look at the Product updates coming soon:

  • Improved Billing: Changes to plans and billing pages to improve the user experience and allow yearly payments.
  • GA Integration Beta: Working on a GA <> Hotjar integration.
  • Visitor Look Up: GDPR regulation requires that website visitors have the right to access and delete parts of their data. We’re building a self-service system that will make this process easy and fast
  • Consent for Feedback: Visitors will be asked for consent before submitting data in one of our feedback tools: Incoming Feedback, Polls, Surveys and Recruiters.

Ending Notes

I find Hotjar incredibly useful therefore, I thought it was necessary to share my findings with our audience. I must admit that Hotjar is definitely an easy to use tool that’s left the guess work out of finding out how my users are engaging with a particular site or page. The most interesting feature that I’ve personally encountered was conversion funnels for an experiment with gated content vs ungated content. It was very interesting to see how many users dropped off the page when they were presented with a form in exchange for getting access to the special content. When analyzing the data, I decided to remove the gated form which gained a lot more traffic for that particular page.

It was also extremely helpful when I was in need of some guidance and I could easily gain access to their online documentation which was extremely useful and easy to follow.

Please leave a comment down below on your thoughts about Hotjar and if you have used them to gather vital information that has helped you change and grow your website to something bigger and better. We’d love you hear from you!

Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella is the Digital Marketing Assistant for CMSC Media. She brings a wealth of knowledge from not only a CMS perspective but also content, SEO and eCommerce. She enjoys everything social media and staying ontop of the latest trends in the digital marketing world. 

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