Hotjar should capture the majority of user sessions in Heatmaps and Recordings. However, we cannot guarantee that a specific user will be tracked due to a number of reasons we'll outline in this article.
To know why users are not being captured, it is important to understand potential traffic and traffic coverage:
- Potential traffic is made of visits to your site that Hotjar could capture. There are a variety of technical reasons why someone may fall outside this type of traffic.
- Traffic coverage describes the total rate of sessions captured from your potential traffic. You can view it from your traffic coverage widget, in the top right of any page in insights. Your Hotjar plan determines if someone falls outside of traffic coverage.
Feedback tools work differently.
It's common to see feedback from a user that Hotjar has not tracked. If your traffic coverage is less than 100%, then some users will see feedback tools, but may not be tracked. Feedback tools appear to all users on Basic, Plus, and Business plans. If you are hoping to link as many responses as possible to other data, traffic coverage should cover as much of your potential traffic as possible. Additionally, unless a browser setting or extension blocks the Hotjar script entirely, then it's likely that users who block tracking can still submit feedback.
Why might a session fall outside of potential traffic?
Hotjar does its best to collect data from all the users coming to your site. There are a variety of technical reasons why Hotjar may be unable to, often based on your users' own browser preferences.
We have no way of saying how many users this affects on your site because we can't track them!
Here are all the known reasons why Hotjar may not track someone. They may:
- Use a browser we do not support.
- Have not interacted with your page during this session. Hotjar ignores these sessions to avoid collecting session data with no useful insights.
- Have cookies disabled. See what cookies Hotjar stores.
- Have disabled Hotjar based on instructions from our Do Not Track page.
- Have Do Not Track enabled in their browser.
- Have accessed your site via a private/incognito browsing mode. These often block cookies or tracking scripts.
- Have disabled use of localStorage or sessionStorage
- Use browser plugins that disable tracking scripts such as Hotjar. This can include ad-block or privacy-enhancing extensions. As many as 30% of internet users have ad-block or similar software installed.
- Access your site from a private or public network that restricts access to Hotjar's servers. Rarely, this is due to local legal restrictions on certain types of network traffic.
Although rare, there may also be other technical reasons their visit may have not been captured:
- A WebSocket was not opened during the visit. This is often due to the use of Content Security Policies that block one from opening. You can configure this on your servers.
- Network conditions such as loss of connectivity can cause data loss. If this happens, the user's session data may be discarded.
How can I find out my traffic coverage?
In the top right hand corner of all pages in Hotjar insights, you will see a button that changes depending on your Tracking Code activity.
- X% traffic coverage: after 7 days of consistent data capture, Hotjar will tell you what percentage of traffic is covered.
- Tracking Active: this will show after Hotjar is first installed, or re-enabled after a period of inactivity. After 7 days, it will change to showing the traffic coverage.
- Tracking Issue: Hotjar has not been active on your site for some time. You may want to verify your Hotjar tracking code installation.
- Session Tracking: Disabled: data collection is disabled. You can re-enable in your Site Settings.
Clicking on this widget will tell you more information about your current plan limits, as well as tell you how much potential traffic your site received per day compared with your daily plan.
When Hotjar has only just been installed (or re-enabled), the potential traffic figure will be estimated based on the data collected so far. This happens because we need to measure how much traffic your site gets over time. This helps us calibrate traffic coverage so that Hotjar can capture data evenly throughout the day, even if you exceed your plan daily limits.
Why might a session fall outside traffic coverage?
There are a few settings inside Hotjar which may discard a specific user's session. They are:
Your traffic coverage did not include this user.
If your potential traffic exceeds your plan limits Hotjar will capture a portion of your traffic called your traffic coverage. Learn more about traffic coverage.
Manual Heatmaps use pageview-based traffic coverage, rather than session-based coverage. This means that the traffic coverage that is detected by Manual Heatmaps may not reflect the same coverage that you see in Continuous Heatmaps or Recordings.
Session coverage becomes more accurate after the first 7 days after Hotjar is installed, so if your rate of daily traffic is higher than your Hotjar plan limit, parts of the day may be missed from tracking during the first 7 days.
"Only 30s+ sessions" is enabled in site settings.
This is enabled by default. This setting is helpful in avoiding lower-value Recordings. Enabling it often explains differences in traffic compared to other sources. This might include Google Analytics, ad software analytics, or your server logs.
The user may not have visited a page you are targeting.
Learn more about:
You have the user's IP blocked within your Hotjar settings.
If the user's IP address was added to a block list, Hotjar will not process their session.
The session did not have any user activity.
If Hotjar did not detect any activity during the user's session, the recording associated with that session will be discarded.