Hotjar vs. Microsoft Clarity: Choosing the Right Web Analytics Tool for Your Business

Hotjar vs. Microsoft Clarity: Choosing the Right Web Analytics Tool for Your Business

Picking an effective web analytics tool plays a pivotal role in understanding user behaviour, enhancing user experience (UX), and driving website success. Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity are sophisticated user behaviour analytics software, and their goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of website visitors and allow digital marketers, website designers or even business owners to identify areas where users click on key pages in order to understand user interactions and behaviour.

In this blog, we’ll delve into two widely used tools – Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity, aiming to help businesses make informed decisions. We aim to compare their features, functionalities, and suitability for various purposes.

Two Main Contenders for Your Web Analytics Tool: Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity


Hotjar, designed as a user-centric web analytics tool, delves into user behaviour through features such as heatmaps, session recordings, and user feedback tools. While it offers various pricing plans, including a free option for tracking up to 2,000 page views per day, businesses with substantial traffic may encounter a 35 maximum daily session recording limit in the free plan. This limitation is that you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to unlock the full potential of Hotjar.

Key Features:

  1. Heatmaps: Hotjar’s heatmaps provide a visual representation of user interactions on your website, including clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements. This tool helps identify hotspots of user engagement and areas that might need improvement.
  2. Session Recordings: With session recordings, Hotjar allows you to replay user sessions, offering a firsthand view of how visitors navigate through your site. This feature is invaluable for identifying friction points and areas of confusion.
  3. Surveys and Feedback Forms: Hotjar enables the creation of on-site surveys and feedback forms to gather qualitative insights directly from users. This helps in understanding user sentiment and preferences.
  4. Conversion Funnels: Hotjar allows you to set up and analyse conversion funnels, helping you identify where users drop off in the conversion process and optimise accordingly.
  5. User Insights and Analytics: Beyond the core features, Hotjar provides aggregated data and analytics to understand overall user behaviour, page views, and time spent on site.
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How to Use Hotjar:

  1. Sign Up: Create an account on the Hotjar platform.
  2. Installation: Implement the Hotjar tracking code on your website. This usually involves copying and pasting a snippet of code into the header of your site.
  3. Configuration: Set up your desired features, such as heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys, through the Hotjar dashboard.
  4. Analysis: Once configured, monitor and analyse the data provided by Hotjar to gain insights into user behaviour.

Microsoft Clarity

Microsoft Clarity is a relative newcomer to the web analytics tool game. It focuses on delivering an all-encompassing view of user interactions, emphasising numerical data and key metrics. Microsoft Clarity also distinguishes itself by being entirely free, offering most features found in top-tier paid plans. This makes it a cost-effective choice, particularly appealing to businesses conscious of budget considerations. When it comes to user behaviour analytics, Microsoft Clarity stands out for its emphasis on providing a comprehensive view of interactions.

Key Features:

  1. Heatmaps and Session Recordings: Like Hotjar, Clarity offers heatmaps and session recordings to visualise user engagement and behaviour, as well as recording user inactivity.
  2. Performance Metrics: The tool may provide insights into website performance, including page load times and their impact on user experience.
  3. Privacy-Focused: Clarity emphasises privacy with features like anonymised data, ensuring responsible data handling.

How to Use Microsoft Clarity:

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started with Microsoft Clarity:

  1. Access Clarity Dashboard: Sign in to the Clarity dashboard using your Microsoft account.
  2. Add Your Website: Input your website’s URL and follow the prompts to add it to the Clarity dashboard.
  3. Install Tracking Code: Similar to Hotjar, you’ll need to install a tracking code on your website. This code is provided by Clarity upon setting up your website on the dashboard.
  4. Explore Features: Once the tracking code is installed, explore Clarity’s features, such as heatmaps, session recordings, and user feedback tools.

Both Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity prioritise user-friendliness, providing intuitive dashboards and reports. Hotjar, being a paid tool, ensures a visually pleasing and navigable interface, potentially catering to the aesthetic preferences of some users. While Microsoft Clarity is free, businesses may prefer the straightforward and user-friendly design Hotjar brings to the table. Since Microsoft Clarity is relatively new, it can’t collect user feedback through surveys yet, unlike Hotjar. But there’s a good chance this feature might be added soon.

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Making an Informed Decision

For many small businesses, cost is a crucial factor. Both Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity offer free plans with limited features and paid plans with more advanced capabilities.

Hotjar Pricing:

  • Free Plan: Limited access to features.
  • Plus Plan: Starting at $39/month, includes additional features like unlimited heatmaps and surveys.
  • Business Plan: Custom pricing, suitable for larger enterprises, includes advanced features and priority support.

Microsoft Clarity Pricing:

  • Free Plan: Basic features are available for free.
  • Premium Plan: Pricing details may vary; typically offers advanced features and priority support.

TLDR? Pick your Web Analytics Tool:

Hotjar is particularly well-suited for bigger businesses in industries such as e-commerce, hospitality, and design, where visualising user interactions is essential. One big advantage of using Hotjar is that business owners are that the tool can seamlessly integrate with various third-party platforms. For instance, integrations with e-commerce platforms like Shopify ensure that business owners can analyse customer behaviour directly within their sales channels.

Microsoft Clarity’s main advantage is its dashboard. Its emphasis on user session recordings allows businesses to assess user behaviour analysis in much more detail. These recordings capture every user interaction on a webpage, allowing for a frame-by-frame playback. It’s completely free so this is ideal for small businesses. However, unlike Hotjar, Clarity lacks functionalities for directly collecting user feedback. This means businesses cannot gather qualitative data such as user opinions, motivations, or reasons behind specific actions.

Ultimately, choosing the right tool ultimately depends on the unique needs and goals of your business. Before making a decision, take a moment to reflect on the specific aspects of user behaviour analysis that matter most to you. If you found this valuable, share it on social media to contribute to the collective knowledge of web analytics tools!