Google Analytics versus Hotjar

The reason this is not a Google Analytics vs Hotjar review is that Hotjar is meant to be used complementary to Google Analytics. We highly recommend using both of them together in order to get the complete picture of what is happening on your website. We have decided the best way to show each product’s differences while at the same time showing how they work together would be best done by highlighting some of Google Analytics’ key features and then explaining how Hotjar may be used in conjunction with:

Google Analytics Feature: Geo Info

See the Language and Location of your users. Check the website traffic coming from each location. There is a nice map that uses color gradients so you can track where your users are most concentrated. This will let you better target your marketing. The language info corresponds to what users have set on their browsers.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Surveys

Create a survey to send to a high concentration user location to better understand what makes your site so appealing to that specific geography. Then perhaps you could use this info to try to bring that same “magic” to other geographies, or perhaps you wish to select/develop additional products/content for those high concentration areas.

Google Analytics Premium Feature: Behavior Flow

This greatly expands upon Google Analytics’ basic behavioral website statistics such as website page views. Here you see what pages users first land on when they enter your site, how long they stayed on a page, and what page flows were most popular. You can also see what page they exited on. The idea here is that you probably have a preconceived notion of how users navigate through your site and you may have even tried to engineer it so they move through a certain way. Behavior flow is constantly tracking these movements and lets you know with certainty what path(s) are most popular.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Visitor Recordings, Feedback Polls

Hotjar goes a layer deeper behavior-wise. While Google Analytics lets you see website traffic reports showing how users navigate between pages, Hotjar helps you to figure out why. Hotjar does this by tracking user interactions and letting you view actual user sessions so you can watch what they do on any page they navigate to on your site. If you see any drop offs or bottlenecks but can’t figure out why this is occurring even after watching user recordings, you can implement Hotjar’s Feedback Polls. Feedback Polls are unobtrusive popup windows where you can ask users simple questions such as, “Is there any info missing from this page?”

Google Analytics Feature: Technology


Find out each user’s browser and OS. This info may help you to spot if there are any issues with a browser/device type or OS. You can also see what type of device a user is on whether it be a desktop, mobile or tablet. You might suspect a technology is causing an issue if the number of signups using a particular technology are not representative of the number of users that come to your site. However there would be no good way to validate this hypothesis.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Visitor Recordings

Visitor recordings is a type of web tracking that lets you see not only what users are doing, but tells you what type of device they are watching on, as well as browser and IOS. Furthermore when you watch individual recordings, you will see the screen as the user sees it, so you will see if it doesn’t look good on any device. And although Hotjar may be tracking all users’ interactions with your site, you won’t need to go through tons of recordings if you know what devices/OS you want to see screen rendering on. You can filter the recordings by technology and watch only those that match the one(s) you wish to check. You may also want to use this info in Adwords to limit the devices on which your ad appears.

Google Analytics Premium Feature: Campaigns

If you are running a campaign, so long as you append proper code to the URL you are having someone click on to come to your site, Google Analytics can measure the effectiveness of this campaign. This will work whether you use Google Adwords or any other type of advertising such as Facebook, or if you simply want to be tracking organic traffic to your new landing page.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Conversion Funnels, Form Analysis, Visitor Recordings

Although Google Analytics can tell you what sources of traffic are converting best for any goal(s) you have configured (eg. purchased product, entered email, downloaded an ebook), it will not tell you why. To further delve into why some traffic sources convert better than others, again, Hotjar can help. In fact, in this case, there a bunch of Hotjar features that would be helpful. Firstly, both Hotjar and Google Analytics have Conversion funnels so you could use either one to be tracking bottlenecks as well as a traffic monitor of sorts for each part of the funnel. If it looks like a page with a form might be causing the issue, you can use Hotjar’s Form Analysis feature which gives form-specific reporting and analytics. This includes stats on every field in a form such as the time user spent on each field, what fields were filled in and their values, even if the user quits halfway through or used invalid field data. Such might be the case if you created a form with a phone field that accepted only American phone numbers and someone from Japan tried entering his phone number. If you still can’t get to the bottom of this you can also look at recordings, with results filtered by that specific bottleneck page.

Google Analytics Premium Feature: Site Speed

This feature gives you stats as to how fast your pages are loading and even gives you recommendations as how to improve this speed. Site speed is important when it comes to SEO for website traffic rankings and also on Adwords where you will still be charged for the click even if an impatient user doesn’t wait for the page to load before leaving.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Feedback Polls

If you are not sure if your page is too slow, it can’t hurt to use Google Analytics’ site speed technology and then try some of Google Analytics’ optimization suggestions. However not all may be easy or inexpensive. After you go for the low hanging fruit suggestions, maybe you don’t need to implement any more suggestions because you think your site is fast enough. How do you know for sure if it is? Use a Hotjar Feedback Poll and ask something like “Quick question, do our site pages load quickly enough?”.

Google Analytics Feature: Events

Events are action items on your site that you have marked for Google Analytics to track. For example, being able to see exactly which links on your website were clicked or buttons were pressed and the number of times each occurred. This is especially useful in measuring the effectiveness of click through rates when advertising with Adwords or other similar software.

Hotjar Complementary Feature(s): Heat Maps, Visitor Recordings

Hotjar also tracks events, but what’s really cool is that in the recordings playback page, you can filter to see recordings only of those users that have taken a particular action and then go watch them perform that action. In addition, there are some “events” that Google Analytics can’t capture that Hotjar can. For example, if some users think an image is clickable and it’s not, you would never know from Google Analytics that most users try to click on this image and assume it is clickable. You would know this is happening if you were to use heat maps. Heat Maps shows for a particular page by using color gradients where users are clicking their mouse and where they are simply hovering. You may be surprised to find what parts of a page users find most interesting.

So, in summary, you can see how valuable both Google Analytics and Hotjar are when used together. So we believe you will find purchasing Hotjar to be well worth the price.

StickyMarketers is a Hotjar agency reseller and it’s StickyEnhanced edition of Hotjar brings its users the complete Hotjar experience at a discount as well as free installation, a friend referral program with monetary incentives, and optional affordable implementation of Hotjar’s 9 Step Action plan.

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