What is session recordings software—
and why do you need it?
Session recordings software helps you capture the actions of people who land on your website—mouse movements, clicks, taps, and scrolling across multiple pages on desktop and mobile devices—and reconstruct them so they can be rewatched.
You can use session recordings as part of your optimization toolkit, to get a real understanding of how people interact with your website. Seeing where website visitors struggle, encounter bugs, or abandon a page will help you fix and optimize UX, so you can ultimately improve conversion rate.
Understand how people use your website
so you can improve it
Session recordings (also known as session replays, user recordings, and user/visitor replay tools) help you learn about your visitors’ journey across your website—which is crucial to making changes that improve their user experience and lead them more efficiently towards a conversion. You can learn:
- How your visitors use buttons and clickable elements to take action
- How they navigate through your website
- How they move around individual web pages and interact (or fail to) with its elements
- Whether something is causing issues (e.g., broken links or functionality, mis-rendered elements)
Make data-driven decisions,
Recordings are easy to share with your team, clients, or stakeholders, and straightforward to watch:
- You can use filters (including device, country, length, landing page and visited page URLs) to narrow down the list of available recordings
- You can use advanced functions such as ‘u-turns’ and ‘rage clicks’ to highlight problematic pages or elements where people immediately leave a page upon landing on it or click on the same element in rapid, frustrated succession
Session recordings will help you collect evidence for the changes you’re advocating and showcase the effectiveness of your work once the changes have been made.
More ways to understand your users
with Hotjar's Session Recordings
Session recordings give you a clear idea of how people interact with your website—but it doesn't end there. Session recording tools are one of 7 tools in Hotjar that work together to help you dig deeper into visitor behavior and get their in-the-moment feedback as they browse through your website.
When you sign up for Hotjar, all 7 tools are immediately available to you.
And if you’re serious about your users’ privacy, with Hotjar you’re in safe hands. We follow a Privacy by Design approach and our software can be used in both GDPR- and CCPA-compliant ways.
Start collecting user behavior insights today 🔥
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Session Recording FAQs
How long can a user session be recorded?
A user session can be recorded for as long as the user is on your website. If you want to capture a user’s session across your entire site, it’s as simple as creating an account with Hotjar: your first recording will be automatically triggered as soon as your Tracking Code is installed. Hotjar also lets you capture sessions on specific pages or a series of pages so you can learn more about the customer journey and identify opportunities to improve the user experience.
Learn more about how to set up session recordings in our Recordings Guide.
How does session recording help my conversion funnel?
Session recordings help you understand user behavior so you can learn how to improve the overall user experience and increase conversion rates. When you can see the actions taken by real (anonymized) users as they browse your website, you can identify blockers and pain points, learn how to improve website features and elements, see where people are getting stuck in the sales funnel, and find bugs or opportunities for improvement.
Learn more about how to get actionable insights from user recordings in our Recordings Guide.
Can a mobile app user’s session be recorded?
While we don’t record user sessions on mobile apps, Hotjar Session Recordings let you watch anonymized visitors scroll and tap across multiple pages of your site from their mobile devices, so you can see how they interact with different features and elements even when they’re using their phones or tablets.
Can I use session recording while A/B testing?
Yes! If you’re running an A/B test, session recordings will show you how your visitors are reacting to—and interacting with—different versions of your website. You can use session recordings filters, tags, and sorting options to organize your recordings by the pages or page elements that you’re testing.
Do session recordings capture web visitors’ sensitive data?
Hotjar Session Recordings record web visitors’ interactions without capturing any sensitive data. With Hotjar, your website visitors are anonymized by default—we automatically suppress keystroke data and offer additional blocking (or allowing) options. Hotjar’s session recording software can be used in a GDPR- and CCPA-compliant manner; learn more about Hotjar’s approach to privacy.
Can Hotjar Session Recordings be combined with other analytics tools?
Yes, and we recommend that you do use a combination of analytics tools so you can get the most out of your session recordings. Combining different types of website analytics tools will help you understand your users’ behavior so you can learn how to improve and optimize your site.
Consider combining session recordings with these other analytics tools:
- Traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics
- Split testing or A/B testing tools
- Heatmaps (i.e., move maps, click maps, and scroll maps)
- Voice of Customer (VOC) tools like on-site surveys
Learn more about which tools to combine with session recordings in our Recordings Guide.