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Get insights customized to your site with User Attributes in Hotjar

Want more from your data? Learn how to use Hotjar’s User Attributes to get valuable insights unique to your site or product.

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Last updated

26 Jul 2022
Get insights customized to your site with User Attributes in Hotjar

Hotjar helps you gather invaluable data about every single user who visits your website. But did you know you could use that data to get even deeper insights about individual users or user groups? Or that you can discover which segments your users belong to without manually sifting through every recording in your list?

Hotjar’s User Attributes are the key to finding those segment-specific insights faster. They let you carry out audience segmentation in Hotjar so you can focus on the users that matter most.

Read on to find out how User Attributes help you get customized insights for your site!

Understand what users are doing on your site

Hotjar gives you the tools to understand what your visitors are doing, where they get stuck, and why they don’t convert.

User Attributes let you easily identify users and audience segments in Hotjar

“User attributes” are facts about your audience that you record outside of Hotjar. In other words, they are individual data points you store when a user buys from you or interacts with your website. 

For example, you might record: 

  • When an individual customer signed up

  • How much they spent

  • What country they’re from

By bringing this information into Hotjar, you can identify audience segments and take a closer look at what they’re doing and how they’re behaving.

Which Hotjar features can you use User Attributes with?

If you’re on a Hotjar Observe Business or Scale plan, you can use User Attributes to filter your data from our Heatmaps and Recordings tools. For example, instead of viewing recordings from everyone who made purchases, you could instead view recordings only for customers who spent over $500. 

use User Attributes to filter your data from our Heatmaps and Recordings

Similarly, User Attributes let you target specific audience segments with Surveys (available on our Hotjar Ask plan). So instead of asking all your visitors what new content they would like to see, just ask your high-value customers.

user-attributes-survey

Finally, you can use User Attributes to target Feedback widgets at the users you want to learn from. For example, you might target users who added an item to their shopping cart on multiple visits without purchasing.

user-attributes-feedback-prompt

Why is it helpful to segment your audience by attribute?

Depending on your business goals, sometimes you’ll only want to see user insights from specific audiences. For example, if you want to improve a SaaS website experience for trial users, it wouldn’t be helpful to view recordings from paying customers.

User Attributes let you focus on the segments you’re most interested in, so you can:

  1. Target specific users to get more out of your data: like setting up a survey that Hotjar only shows to visitors from Spain

  2. Boost your storytelling with evidence about user personas: like creating heatmaps with data from users in specific job roles

  3. Filter out data from users you’re not interested in: like creating a filter that omits recordings from users who visit your site infrequently

What are the differences between Events and User Attributes?

Hotjar Events are user actions, such as clicking, scrolling, and logging in, which are recognized by Hotjar.

They can be used in Hotjar to:

user-attributes-events

These two features are similar in that both User Attributes and Events give you smart ways to organize and understand Hotjar data. However, Events gather data relating to the actions users take on a specific page. In contrast, User Attributes are about the characteristics or past behaviors of individuals and groups using your site or app.

💡Pro tip: for a comprehensive list of the key differences between Events and User Attributes, check out our Help Center.

4 ways User Attributes help you create better user experiences with Hotjar

If you thought you were getting the most out of Hotjar, think again. User Attributes give you hundreds of additional ways to improve your user experience and sort through your most relevant insights with ease.

1. Dig deeper into an individual user’s journey

User Attributes let you identify which recordings came from an individual user. This gives people on your team a fast, easy way to see what specific users did, so you can offer support and address issues as they arise.

For example:

  • When a user reports a bug or issue on the site, check their recording to find out what happened

  • If a customer wants help with a purchase they made on your site, watch their latest recording to get more context

2. Learn more about user behavior

Leverage User Attributes to get deep insights about any user group you want—like trial users, high-value customers, or users who saw a specific campaign. You can even combine multiple attributes to filter your data further.

For example:

  • Does your website ask users what job they do? If so, filter your recordings and heatmaps to find out what parts of your site people in particular roles are interested in.

  • Filter your recordings and heatmaps to find out what products your highest-value customers in specific industries look at most. Then, create campaigns to target them!

poll based on user attributes

3. Carry out audience-specific research

Surveys and Feedback widgets can help you get more data about users—but more data doesn’t always mean better data. 

With User Attributes, you can target specific audience segments with a message customized for them. And there you have it: better user research data at your fingertips!

For example:

  • Show users from specific countries survey requests that are written in their language

  • Are visitors going to your checkout page multiple times without making a purchase? Target those visitors with Feedback widgets to find out if something on the page is confusing them.

language for survey

4. Meet privacy requirements

With User Attributes, you can more easily comply with an individual user’s data privacy requests in Hotjar.

For example:

  • If a user asks you to delete their data, leverage User Attributes to wipe any information about them held in Hotjar

  • When a user doesn’t want to see surveys or Feedback widgets, Hotjar can identify them and ensure they’re not targeted

A scrumptious story of improving customer experiences with User Attributes

My Muscle Chef (MYMC) is an Australian business that delivers delicious, nutritious meals to its customers on a subscription basis. Like many ecommerce businesses, MYMC finds it helpful to use Hotjar Recordings to analyze its customer journeys.

Ashleigh Gardiner, Insights & Analytics Manager at MYMC, leverages User Attributes to build better experiences for the company’s most valuable website visitors:

“We pass a custom user attribute into Hotjar that allows us to identify our active subscribers. We combine that with filters to focus on recordings of active subscribers who visited their profile page URL in the past 30 days.

“We’re very close to the user experience, so we think it’s easy, but these recordings help us to see what actual paying customers are doing and where they’re getting stuck. We use this insight to create a better experience for them. Making sure they know what to do, making it easier to add a meal or change their order, means they’re far less likely to churn.”

How does Hotjar sync up with your data to enable User Attributes?

You can sync the data points you collect about customers with Hotjar by connecting to our Identify API

The data points you collect are associated with a User ID—a unique value you pass to Hotjar. This allows Hotjar to associate its own data with the same user ID you use and look up user information based on that User ID.

Hotjar explained: what is Identify API?

Identify API is the “bridge” that lets your computers talk to our computers so they can exchange data. Following a basic setup procedure, Hotjar will make automated API calls to cross-reference our data with your User Attributes.

UA-events-API

A (quick) guide to setting up User Attributes in Hotjar

Getting set up with User Attributes is relatively simple. However, it does require some light coding knowledge, so you’ll likely need a developer to help.

We’ve also prepared some handy documents that make it easy for your team.

1. Decide which User Attributes you need

Depending on your goals, you’ll need to pull specific data points from your systems into Hotjar. Decide what User Attributes you want to use, then fill in this worksheet for your developer.

2. Check your privacy requirements

User Attributes can include personal information, like the user’s name or email address. Before you connect to Hotjar’s Identify API, check that you’ll be in compliance with your organization’s privacy requirements.

We’ve designed Hotjar to help you anonymize user data, and you can also delete personal information manually with the User Lookup Tool.

3. Connect to the Identify API

Your web developer must first check the basic details in our Identify API Reference Guide. They’ll also need a snippet of JavaScript code, which can be found on your User Attributes page in Hotjar Insights.

4. Start making the most of User Attributes

Once you’re connected to the Identify API, you’ll see User Attributes appear in your dashboard. Enjoy getting deeper insights from your Hotjar data in less time!

Troubleshooting tips

To avoid running into any sticky situations, keep these tips in mind when getting set up with User Attributes:

Try not to exceed 100 Unique Attributes

You can add a maximum of 100 Unique Attributes for each Hotjar site. For this reason, we don’t recommend using User Attributes for product SKUs (or any other unique items) that would cause you to exceed that limit.

Turn on session capture to use Unique Attributes

If your Unique Attributes aren’t sending, it might be because session capture is turned off. Learn how to enable it in our article on Configuring Site Settings.

Enable Identify API calls on your pages

If Hotjar isn’t triggering Surveys and Feedback widgets on a specific page, you may need to update your User Attribute settings for that page.

Get more insights in less time with User Attributes

Improving your product experience is an art and science best informed by research. But sifting through every piece of data you have access to is no small task—especially when you have thousands of user journeys you want to examine. 

We’ve designed Hotjar to shortcut your journey. By using smart features like User Attributes and Events, you can drastically streamline the list of recordings, survey results, and feedback you need to review.

That means getting more—and more valuable—insights in less time and creating better experiences for your users.

Speed up your user research processes

Create your Hotjar account now to use Heatmaps, Recordings, and more, and get a fuller picture of your users. Next, set up User Attributes for custom insights about users you care about most.