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Funnels is a session-based tool enabling you to visualize conversion steps and drop-offs on your site and make comparisons across segments. You can also view the specific recordings connected to a funnel to understand the reasons behind drop-offs and conversions. In this article, we cover the following:
- What can I use funnels for?
- How do I build a funnel?
- How can I add a funnel to my Dashboard?
- Funnels FAQs
What can I use funnels for?
With Funnels, you can:
- Add up to ten funnel steps based on sessions that viewed a page, clicked an element, or triggered an event.
- Apply session filters to the entire funnel to further refine your results.
- Add up to 5 comparisons across any funnel view. Some examples include comparing:
- Apply a date filter to specify the time period for the funnel.
Choose a different funnel view
- Funnel steps
- Conversion over time: A line chart showing how conversion has evolved over time. This is useful to check if changes you've made have impacted your conversion rate, or for any seasonality in your conversions.
- Metric only: A single scorecard with just the conversion rate for the entire funnel, including the average time to convert metric. This can be useful when adding a funnel to the Dashboard for monitoring only the conversion rate.
- See the total conversion rate and average time to convert for the entire funnel.
- View the conversion rate at each step of the funnel.
- Watch connected recordings for conversions and drop-offs at each step, including for comparisons.
Funnels use case examples
The following are some example use cases for Funnels:
A Product team is investigating how to improve upsell paths to increase the conversion rate.
Create a funnel for each upsell path and get a deeper understanding of actual user behavior by clicking through to watch the connected conversion recordings. Watching recordings can reveal friction points across the upsell paths and help generate ideas to help users convert faster.
A Product team has a low conversion rate in a particular country.
Create a conversion funnel with the last step using a clicked element filter to target users who don't complete the checkout. Use session filters to filter the entire funnel by a specific Country. Then click through to connected recordings and identify what's preventing users from converting.
A Marketing team is A/B testing two different landing pages.
Create separate funnels for each version of the page to compare drop-offs and conversions.
For example, Version A could have the funnels steps as follows:
- Viewed page contains /landingpageA.
- Clicked element occurred where button or link text contains Claim your offer.
- Viewed page contains /success.
Version B could have the funnels steps as:
- Viewed page contains /landingpageB.
- Clicked element occurred where button or link text contains Get your discount.
- Viewed page contains /success.
Funnel examples by type of site
- E-commerce: Product Pages > Cart > Checkout > Thank You Page.
- News/Blog: Homepage > Article Pages > Subscribe Page > Success Page.
- Web App: Trial Signup Page > Interface > Upgrade Page > Thank you page.
- Lead Generation: Category pages > Landing page with form > Thank you page.
How do I build a funnel?
The key to a great funnel is to build it backward. Think about your biggest goals, such as sign-ups or completed orders, and create a funnel that maps back to your highest traffic pages. Funnels only show data for user sessions that match the criteria entered in the first step of your funnel. This means if you have multiple main traffic sources for a goal, like your homepage and a landing page, you'll want a separate funnel for each.
Funnels are built using a series of filters: viewed page, clicked element, and events. The resulting funnel will show: the number of sessions where the selected step condition occurred (or did not occur), the step conversion rate, a link to connected recordings, and a total conversion rate. A funnel can be further refined using additional session filters, such as country, new/returning users, and more.
Ensure the same Hotjar tracking code is installed on all pages included in your funnel
The same tracking code needs to be installed on all pages you're capturing in your funnel steps to track sessions across your entire funnel.
From your Funnels page, click Add step to add the first step.
Continue to add up to 10 steps to define the funnel toward the goal you're interested in.
Using identical funnel steps will result in correct data, however connected recordings will be unavailable
We're aware of an issue when identical funnel step conditions are used multiple times in a funnel. While the data shown will be correct, connected recordings will be unavailable. The team are currently looking into this issue.
You can drag and drop the steps to rearrange the funnel and take a closer look at different aspects of the user journey.
After defining your funnel steps, apply filters to your entire funnel in the Filter by section.
These include a date filter and other session filters you can read more about in our How Do I Filter Session Data article. You change the order of filter groups to investigate different scenarios.
Share your funnel with other Hotjar team members using the Generate short link button on the bottom right of your funnel page. The Generate short link button will copy a short URL for the funnel that you can revisit in the future with the pre-determined steps and filters applied.
Click through to the resulting recordings that are connected to each step.
You can also see your Funnel steps that correspond to each page in the recording.
Create a new funnel by following the steps above.
Click + Add to Dashboard.
Enter a name and description for your funnel, then click Add to Dashboard.
A success message will appear confirming that your trend was added to your Dashboard.
Why is there a 100% drop-off in one of my steps?
Checks you can make:
- Viewed page: Check that the URL entered matches what users will see in their browser after any redirects have finished. See our How to Use Conditions in URL Filtering article for help.
- Clicked element filter: Ensure the clicked condition you've entered will correctly result in captured sessions. You can check this by applying the same filter conditions on your Recordings page and see if at least one session appears.
- Event: Check that the event code is correctly firing on your page when you expect it should.
- The tracking code is installed on every step of the funnel: Check the installation on relevant step pages by following our guide on How to Check That Hotjar Is Working.
- An optional step has been added: Hotjar Funnels only show data for users that start their session on step 1 and match all subsequent steps. Any optional steps should not be included in your funnel set up.
Why is my funnel data different to other tools or not showing enough data?
In most cases, your funnel may not be showing as much data as expected because the Hotjar plan selection for your site results in sampled data. When your site has traffic levels higher than the daily sessions allowance provided by your Hotjar plan, Hotjar will automatically use a sample of your traffic to generate your funnel. If your funnel data is being sampled, you'll see a notice above the funnel letting you know that you're only tracking a percentage of your site's traffic with your current plan.
Other reasons for differences include:
- Customized session capture targeting rules limit the sessions being captured. This can result in sessions not being included in your funnel, as they need to match the custom targeting rules. An Admin level team member can check your targeting rules in the Site settings and make changes to rules, such capturing sessions shorter than 30 seconds.
- Sessions end before steps are completed, as all steps must have been completed within the same session to be a conversion. Meaning if a session has ended after only some steps are complete, this is considered a drop-off. This is the case even if the remaining steps are completed in a subsequent but separate session.
- Sessions are being rejected by Hotjar due to malformed content or unsupported technology, such as Canvas Objects.
Are funnels based on sessions or users?
Hotjar Funnels are based on steps that are performed within a single session. Like other Hotjar tools, a funnel will show sessions from users that match the steps you specify in your funnel. This also means that users who complete the funnel over more than one session won't be counted as conversions. You can find out more about sessions in our article What Is a Session?
Can I include subdomains as a step in my funnel?
If the same tracking code from your main domain is also installed on your subdomain, you can create a funnel that includes the subdomain. However, if you've reached your daily session allowance and your captured sessions are being sampled, this may result in higher than expected drop-offs. For more help with tracking across subdomains, see our How to Track Multiple Subdomains article.
How many funnel steps can I add?
Currently, a maximum of ten steps can be used to build a funnel.
When I apply a filter to the entire funnel, with the same condition as one of the steps, why does the data change?
The filter applied to the entire funnel will apply across the steps specified. This means sessions at each step match the "global" funnel filter. For example, a funnel has step 1 as viewed the pricing page, step 2 as clicked the help button, and step 3 as viewed the billing page. Before applying a filter to the entire funnel, step 1 contains all sessions that viewed the pricing page. If a filter is then applied to the entire funnel for sessions which viewed the billing page, step 1 will now contain all sessions that viewed the pricing page and viewed the billing page.
Similarly, when filtering an entire funnel by the same condition that applies at a specific step, the conversions may not show 100%. This is because not all sessions that match the filter applied to the entire funnel followed the funnel step sequence. Using the example above, sessions that only viewed the billing page and then the pricing page would be counted in step 1, but not step 2 or 3. Sessions that only viewed the pricing page in step 1, then the billing page, then clicked the help button would be counted in step 1 and 2 but not step 3.
Can my funnel have optional steps?
Hotjar's funnels do not allow steps to be set up as optional or non-required. As an example, let's say you set up a funnel as follows: A > B > C > D
- If step C is a non-required step, then your Hotjar funnel will show your visitors as dropping off in the funnel. Even if these visitors did move on to step D, Hotjar would not show their data in the funnel.
- Similarly, if a visitor interacts with step B, C and D without first visiting Step A, this visit will not be shown in the funnel data. You can see interactions through steps B, C, and D by building a funnel with step B as the first step.
This is a different approach from what Google Analytics does with Funnels. Google Analytics will automatically assume that visitors that made it to Step D completed Step C and backfills the data. Hotjar does not backfill data.
What is a strict funnel, and does Hotjar support it?
Strict funnels only count sessions if they follow the exact path you specified in your funnel. Hotjar Funnels follow a strict funnel approach, with conversions only being counted if your users follow the exact path defined in the funnel steps in the order specified in your steps. Users can perform other actions between each step, such as visiting other pages or triggering other events. Your users also won't re-enter the funnel if they didn't perform all the steps.
How do I share a URL for a funnel?
You can share your funnel with other Hotjar team members by using the Generate short link button on the bottom right of your funnel page. The Generate short link button will copy a short URL for the funnel that you can revisit in the future with the pre-determined steps and filters applied.
If I upgrade my Hotjar Site to get access to Funnels, will it show historic data?
Funnels will look at all session data that exists in your Hotjar Site. This means that, even if you didn't have access to Funnels on your previous Hotjar plan, you'll still be able to see funnels for session data that was collected before you upgraded - as long as the historic data is still visible in your Hotjar Site and hasn't been deleted, or expired due to our Data Retention Policy.