Getting Started Guide
Getting Started With Hotjar
Your no-brainer guide to getting your account set up
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get started with Hotjar. So, here’s 5 steps to take to make sure you get set up right so you can start collecting data as soon as possible.
- 1. Your Hotjar Tracking Code
- 2. Collecting data from one or multiple sites
- 3. What are Snapshots? How do they work?
- 4. Starting & stopping Recordings
- 5. How to block your team’s on-site activity from being tracked
- 1. “I don’t know how to code, how do I add the tracking code to my site?”
- 2. “I added my tracking code and created a few items, where's the data?”
- 3. “Did I set this funnel up correctly?”
- 4. “Do I have to create separate heatmaps for all of my pages or just one?”
- 5. “How do I change ownership of my Hotjar account?”
Your “tracking code” is a code snippet that needs to be installed on your site for you to be able to use Hotjar. Amongst other things, it allows you to record visitors, collect heatmap data and shows Poll to your visitors. It’s found in the right-hand side corner (at the top) where it reads "Tracking Active" or "Tracking Inactive."
Anytime you need it, that’s where it’ll be:
Need help finding out how to add it to your site?
Click here to jump down to our FAQs
You can choose to setup sites separately – or you can use one tracking code across multiple sites / domains. This is useful when you want to see the user journey across multiple sites. If you don’t need to though – it's best to keep sites separate.
You can add new sites to your account in the “Sites & Organizations” page for every site you want to track separately. When you add a new site, each site gets its own (unique) Hotjar Tracking Code, which you simply install on the site it corresponds to.
Here’s a quick guide on how to add more sites.
A "Snapshot" is an on-demand report based on a sample of data. The snapshot size refers to the number of visitors used to generate a particular report. So, why do we use snapshots? The “snapshot model” allows you to have the information relevant to your needs, rather than an overload of data to sift through. This approach also benefits your bottom line because it lets us offer much lower price points when compared to our competitors (since we minimize waste by only collecting data you request).
- For Heatmaps: If you select a snapshot size of 2,000, your heatmap will gather pageview data and once it reaches this amount (the 2,000 pageviews) the report will be considered complete and will stop collecting data. If you want to collect more, you’d just create a new heatmap, choose your snapshot size, and collect data until you reach that snapshot size.
- For Recordings: In the same way, you can collect a snapshot (think of it as a batch) of up to 5,000 visitor sessions from your site called “Recordings.” Once you reach the limit Hotjar stops recordings sessions and you’ll need to start again.
If you have the Plus or Business plan, you have the option to start recording a snapshot only after a user visits a specific page or performs a specific action.
For example, if I start my recordings with a snapshot of 2,000 and after analyzing most of these recordings I realized that I might've spotted an error on my "Cart" page, I can go back and create a new snapshot of 2,000 but this time only start recording when the user reaches "Cart".
Once you start to record visitors Hotjar will start collecting a group of visitor sessions based on the number of sessions you've chosen (and once you reach that Hotjar stops recording and you have to hit the “Record Visitors” button again to start a new Recording).
If there’s a green button that reads “Record Visitors” your snapshot is completed and you’ll need to start a new snapshot:
To exclude your team’s activity from your reports and analytics, you can block their IP addresses (and yours) in Hotjar. You can do this by accessing your account settings on the right-hand side by clicking the settings icon:
- After you click on “IP Blocking” you’ll be directed to an interface where you can add your IP Address by clicking a button, or manually entering it into the text field:
More IP Address Pro-Tips:
- If you’re wondering, “How do I find my IP Address?” don’t worry - Hotjar can automatically detect your IP when you click "Add your own IP to the list."
- Give each IP address a name (e.g. “The Office,” or "Home"), enter it in the box, and hit “Add IP.” Then tada!, You’re all set. If you want to block multiple IP’s at once, this can be done by using a regular expression.
- You should also invite the team and have them do the same thing. But, this only works if internet connection is on a fixed IP, not a dynamic one. Because if your IP constantly changes, this will only work temporarily so you should check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to learn more.
Adding the tracking code to your site is simple (even if you don’t know how to code). You can do it manually or if you’re using a platform like WordPress or Shopify, we provide you with a tailored guide that doesn’t require a developer.
Now, since we know that coding can be a bit intimidating, if you’re adding the tracking code manually, here’s a quick crash course on where your code should go:
HTML is the skeleton of your page, this is where the Hotjar tracking code would be placed. Here is a quick layout of some HTML code your site may follow:
Ideally, you should add your tracking code anywhere between <head> and </head>:
It’s best to add the tracking code in the <head> tag, but if needed you can also add it at the bottom of your code right before your closing body tag, </body> instead:
If you’re not seeing any data reports yet, theses three things might tell you why:
- The tracking code isn’t installed. You can find out if it is by verifying it in your dashboard.
- The tracking code got removed when a change was made to the site. Just re-install it.
- No items (e.g. Heatmaps, Recordings, etc.) have been created so, there’s nothing to track.
It’s also helpful to know that different tools take a different amount of time for Hotjar to collect the data. For Funnels, Hotjar automatically collects data every hour. For all other tools, you can see the data collected within 1-3 minutes (if you have enough traffic coming to your site).
Hotjar Funnels show visitors arriving at different steps only if they actually visit that particular step. Let’s say you have the following Funnel set up (with each letter representing a page):
- A (product page) > B (cart) > C (checkout) > D (thank you page)
Hotjar doesn't care about the order in which your visitors go through the steps. We only care that they actually go through them. This means that your funnel will track visitors in your Funnel in the following cases, as long as they visit each step (i.e. page) along the way:
- A > C > B > D
- B > D > C > A
- D > B > A > C
But, if any step is skipped, the visitor won’t be counted in the Funnel:
- A > B > D (Funnel drop shows at step B since step C was never visited)
- A > C > B (Funnel drop shows at step C since step D was never visited)
- B > D > C (Visitor session not even counted since step A was never visited)
To track a conversion, your visitors can visit as many other (non-funnel) pages as they want as long as the funnel steps are all visited:
- A > B > SOME OTHER PAGE > C > SOME OTHER PAGE > D
“Do I have to create separate heatmaps for all of my pages or can I just create one for the whole site?”
Every page you want to track needs its own separate heatmap. Here’s the two most common ways to set up your heatmaps:
- "Simple match" is your best bet. This option is the most commonly used, and it collects data for all visitors on a single page (e.g. "www.mysite.com”)
- "Exact match" is for pages that have a very specific URL (e.g maybe for a campaign, etc.) such as "www.mysite.com/?id=18" to let you target a subset of visitors going to a page.
If you have multiple pages which are generally the same in structure such as product pages, article pages, etc, you can generate a single heatmap targeting multiple pages. This is achievable as Hotjar doesn't track usage relative to the page – but rather relative to the different elements on your pages.
If you want to learn more about this, definitely reach out to our Customer Success team and also be sure to check this article out.
If for any reason you need to change the ownership of your Hotjar account, it just takes a few simple clicks from your Hotjar Dashboard:
- Click on “Preferences” from the settings icon:
- Once you see the new window, click “Change Account Owner”
- Add the new account owner & agree to the new terms.
Over to you...
If you have more questions, please reach out to us. We’re happy to help you get where you need to be. But until then, we'll see you online.
The Hotjar Team
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