You’ve signed up, chosen a plan, and installed the Hotjar tracking code on your site - now what?
In this guide, we’ve got 5 tips to help you get relevant insights from Hotjar. We’ll be covering some session tracking basics, filtering, and the core Hotjar tools.
- Check your tracking settings
- Get a birds-eye view by scanning key pages in Heatmaps
- Let’s get specific: segment your user sessions in Hotjar
- Cut the noise: filter your session data
- Spot issues and bugs with your users’ feedback
#1. Check your tracking settings
Whether you’re validating a problem space, working on issue discovery, or want to get a better understanding of your user journey — ensure you’re capturing the user sessions you need.
Which user sessions? On which parts of my site/product?
You can manage the when and where of session targeting and tracking for each site you have on Hotjar. By default, Hotjar will track sessions 30 seconds or longer, so consider if your users engage with your product in shorter sessions, and customize this option as needed. Learn more about these settings in our Site Settings article.
What kinds of data do you need to track?
Will you want to see keystroke data? By default, Hotjar suppresses keystroke data (and quantity/order size data) and replaces it with asterisks (“***”). This is in line with our principles of protecting end-user privacy. There might be situations where you want to see non-sensitive keystroke data. For example, you might want to see what users type in the search bar to help you optimize for discoverability. See our guide on How to Show Elements and Keystrokes in Data Collection to learn about what’s allowed, and how to do it.
Do you have subdomains?
Is your site set up across multiple subdomains? Hotjar supports cross-domain tracking for sites you own, so you can track the user journey and behaviors across these subdomains. See our How to Track Multiple Subdomains article for more details.
#2. Get a birds-eye view by scanning key pages in Heatmaps
As you’re getting started in Hotjar, it’s useful to get a better understanding of how pages perform on an aggregate level. This is especially true if you’ve got a specific site or product area in mind to optimize, and that’s where Heatmaps come in. Spend your first couple of weeks looking at key pages of your site or product area, for example, your homepage or main dashboard. Checking Heatmaps can also help identify areas for further exploration in Recordings or by gathering user responses from a Survey.
We recommend exploring Heatmaps by date. One quick way to get started with this is using the date picker to compare user activity on key pages over the past week, and repeating this next week. Go further by applying session filters or using the update heatmap screenshot tool to view clicks on pop-ups and drop-downs.
#3. Let’s get specific: segment your user sessions in Hotjar
Do you work with campaign or user segments? If so, you can surface insightful sessions from these specific audiences or users with User Attributes. Setting up User Attributes enables you to discover differences in user journeys across your user segments by sending attributes about your users to Hotjar for use in session filtering, triggering Surveys, or User lookup and deletion.
Does your org manage customer data through Segment? Hotjar can be added as a Destination in Segment, allowing you to install the Hotjar tracking code, send events to Hotjar using our Events API, or send data collected with Segment's Identify Spec to Hotjar as User Attributes.
#4. Cut the noise: filter your session data
Hotjar Recordings show your users experiencing your product: their behavior, their journey, and importantly - where they might be getting stuck.
Once you start collecting user sessions at scale, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have more recordings than you have time to watch. Here’s a few recommendations for filtering your session data to get you started:
- Sort your recordings by the Relevance, Frustration, or Engagement score.
- Apply the Rage Click or U-turn filter to curate your recordings list with sessions where users are running into issues.
- Find sessions based on parts of your page where users have or haven't clicked using the Clicked element filter.
- Filter by User Attributes to show sessions from specific users based on attributes you've passed to Hotjar from your data.
- Save your favorite filter-set by clicking the Save segment button for quicker access next time.
Session filters can be applied across other tools including Heatmaps, Surveys, Feedback, and your Dashboard. You can also create and compare custom metrics using our Trends feature (available on Observe Scale plans). Session filters enable you to refine your data and improve your analysis. To find out more, see our dedicated article on How Do I Filter Session Data?
#5. Spot issues and bugs with your users’ feedback
Recordings let you see where users get stuck, but sometimes it can be difficult to grasp the full context of why they're stuck when you’re watching a recording. This is where feedback comes in.
The Feedback widget is a real-time suggestion box for your product or site. There’s one on this very page you’re reading, over on the right ⏩👉 It helps us pick up on usability issues, bugs, or ways we could improve our Help Center.
With the Feedback tool, users can open the widget and give feedback whenever they want, in-context, and with the option to include a screenshot alongside their response. When your widget is live, try and build a regular routine of reviewing responses:
- Include reviewing feedback in your daily routine.
- Have feedback responses forwarded directly to Slack. You'll be able to ping teammates to see the responses and jump into action if there’s an issue your users are highlighting.
For more guidance on using Hotjar to track down bugs and UX issues, see How Can I Use Hotjar to Find Bugs or UX Issues?