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12+ website analysis tools to improve user experience
Frequent website analysis is an essential part of ensuring your site is efficient, competitive, and valuable for your users, and specific analysis checklists can help you stay on task. But which tools should you use to complete the evaluation?
Often used interchangeably with ‘website analytics’, website analysis goes beyond traditional web and behavior analytics to include more holistic analyses that focus on other areas like customer feedback, search engine optimization (SEO), online reviews, and competitor analysis, in addition to overall website performance. The list of tools to turn to is long, and the possibilities are endless.
Over the years at Hotjar, we’ve consulted dozens of website owners, growth strategists, marketers, SEO and ecommerce managers, designers, and content creators, and asked them which website analysis tools they couldn’t live without. These experts represent multiple industries, from sole proprietorships and small businesses to companies with over 1,000 employees. Here’s a round-up of their recommended tools and how to use them.
The 12 best website analysis tools recommended by experts, plus alternatives
In no particular ranking order, here are the top twelve website analysis tools—including helpful use cases and alternative tools—that will have your site looking and feeling its best:
1. Google Analytics
What it is: without needing much introduction, Google Analytics (GA) is the tried-and-true website analytics tool that continually earns a spot on pretty much any list of web analysis tools. It tracks key metrics that factor into the quantitative data analysis of a website. Traditionally known for monitoring data like website traffic, page views, sessions, user engagement, conversion, and retention, the latest version—GA4—includes more insight into how visitors use a site.
Collect website traffic data to follow the path your new and returning website visitors take, including how they land on your site, so you can make sure the user journey runs smoothly
Integrate GA with other Google Marketing Platform tools, like Adwords or Google Search Console, and access all your analysis data in one platform
Pricing: free basic plan, upgrade to Google Analytics 360 (plan pricing available upon request)
💡Pro tip: to get the most out of Google Analytics, check out our GA glossary. Or you can use the Hotjar and Google Analytics integration to complement GA’s quantitative data with Hotjar’s qualitative user behavior tools and unlock more comprehensive insights. Here are five simple ways to use Google Analytics and Hotjar together to grow your business.
After reviewing Google Analytics data, installing Hotjar is one of the first steps we take in every client engagement. It’s the window we use to understand the customer journey.
2. Matomo (formerly Piwik)
What it is: if you’re looking for a website analysis software or web traffic analytics tool that puts data privacy first, Matomo is an attractive option. This comprehensive web analytics platform is open-source and proudly offers users 100% data ownership, while still providing all the standard web analytics data features, from unsampled traffic metrics and paid ads performance to event tracking and user behavior data.
Make sure your website is compliant with data privacy laws like GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, LGPD, and PECR, so you can continue reaching users around the world
Avoid pesky cookie consent banners with cookieless tracking that provides accurate web traffic data and user experience insights without collecting personal information like IP address—no opt-in necessary
Pricing: free basic plan (self-hosted), paid plans starting at $23/month
What it is: 👋 that’s us, Hotjar! As a digital experience platform centered around user behavior insights, we offer web analysis tools that go beyond traditional web and product analytics. With all tools connected in one streamlined platform, there’s no need to settle for just one: you can observe how users interact with your site, gather in-the-moment feedback, and conduct 1:1 interviews. Each tool is designed to help you understand and improve the user experience with real-time data that’s straightforward and visually engaging.
Hotjar has been a valuable tool for our analysis, and the insights we have learned about shoppers have been highly beneficial. I recommend it to anyone who cares about customer experience and values how their audience spends time on their site.
It's really hard to dive into analytics. It's so nice to have one tool that tells me exactly what it is I have to change. Hotjar for me simplifies the process of analytics. Instead of having numbers that explain how people use my website I have graphic visualizations of it, like Heatmaps and Recordings.
I find Hotjar gives me empathy for the user. I can see their experience directly and notice how frustrating it can be, and this gives me real empathy. You know that your registration form works. So when you get feedback that it isn’t working for a user and you then watch the recordings, it makes you think ‘Well actually, the user can't do it.’ They're not wrong. And we need to take it seriously. Without Hotjar, it's harder for me and the team to empathize in this way.
What it is: the product analytics platform Mixpanel provides an advanced, self-serve approach to user behavior analytics by utilizing event-based tracking like conversion, engagement, and retention performance metrics. Our Mixpanel guide goes into more detail about how this tool can benefit you, but put briefly, it’s designed to help ecommerce websites improve the user experience and maximize conversions by answering questions like "Where along the funnel do users drop off?" and "Which user cohorts convert best?"
Conduct funnel analysis to visualize where visitors convert or drop off at each step of the journey and discover what inspires them to engage
Pricing: free basic plan, paid plans starting at $20/month
You can also launch event-based surveys for specific user cohorts with Hotjar Surveys and Feedback—this is particularly useful when you want to address users with a below-average customer lifetime value (CLTV).
What it is: to analyze the entire customer journey from start to finish and really understand where to improve the user experience, Woopra is one customer journey analytics tool to turn to. This platform integrates data across multiple channels and examines every single touchpoint your users come across while interacting with your site. It also goes above and beyond traditional analytics by providing tools that cater to different teams, like sales and customer support.
See if your marketing campaigns and product engagement features succeed at attracting users at every touchpoint (ad, email, support, SMS, live chat—you name it), so you can refine your marketing strategy, streamline sales funnels, and tailor the customer journey directly to your audience
Get a comprehensive look at the customer lifecycle with built-in user profiles that track individual activity, then run an aggregated report with People Metrics to reveal what customer experience touchpoints need tweaking
Synergize all the customer data at your disposal with 50+ one-click integrations and plugins, including Salesforce and Zendesk
Pricing: free basic plan, paid plans starting at $999/month
What it is: the digital experience platform Optimizely provides a key website optimization tool that lets you run experiments to improve the user experience of a site. With their front-end A/B testing capabilities, you can validate hypotheses about various web design elements or functional features to ensure your site works well while engaging users across multiple devices. Optimizely also offers content management, marketing, and ecommerce products that complement their testing tools.
Leverage the user perspective by testing their experience with new features and design elements like navigation bars, color palettes, animations, or call to action button placements
Pricing: free plan for their Content Marketing Platform, plan pricing available on request
💡Pro tip: integrate Optimizely with Hotjar to understand why users prefer or reject the features you’re testing. Add Hotjar Recordings to an Optimizely test so you can observe how users interact with your site in real time, or use Surveys to collect user feedback on both control and variant web pages.
The visual aspect of Hotjar is great to show people what we’re talking about—people who don't necessarily work with analysis and different data tools all the time. It was important once we had a result to show how people were using the two variations. User Recordings were great at that.
7. HubSpot Website Grader
What it is: the popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform HubSpot offers a free tool called Website Grader that rates sites by performance, SEO, mobile experience, and security metrics. Requiring only your site’s URL and an email address, this free tool is a fast and easy way to assess your website against relevant ranking criteria and discover what areas to improve for a better user experience. HubSpot also provides other valuable business and digital marketing tools, including Sales Hub and Marketing Hub.
Quickly identify UX issues and other website problems that might put off users and keep your site from performing at its best
Go from novice to expert with access to website optimization learning material, including best practice tips for digital security, mobile performance, and more
💡Pro tip: we teamed up with HubSpot Academy to bring you a free lesson on website optimization that shows you how to make your site perform at lightning speed. Oh, and Hotjar integrates with HubSpot to help you gain an even more comprehensive overview of the user experience with Recordings and Survey feedback that auto-populates directly into each customer profile.
What it is: as one of the most reputable SEO platforms, Semrush offers various toolkits that help you improve your site’s visibility using search engine results page (SERP) analysis, SEO, social media marketing, and search engine marketing (SEM, hence the name). This involves automated analysis of keywords, search volume, backlinks, and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, giving you the insight you need to improve your site ranking and bring in more traffic with optimized content tailored directly to your users’ search needs.
Conduct keyword research with the Keyword Magic tool to expertly match search intent so you can rank higher and attract more users to your site
Audit your site and uncover areas to improve with technical SEO and content optimization recommendations
Analyze your site’s backlink profile and see how it compares to your competitors
Pricing: free trial, paid plans starting at $129.95/month
What it is: SimilarWeb is a tool that lets you analyze your site’s performance, but it doesn’t stop there—you can also see how your site stacks up against competitors based on metrics like traffic data, SEO rankings, and audience demographics. Conducting competitor analysis with tools like SimilarWeb’s DigitalRank provides the closest possible behind-the-scenes look at how well your competitors perform, revealing the user experience areas they excel at and where you might have a leg up on them.
See how your site ranks globally, across industries, based on fluctuating traffic and engagement trends
Conduct reconnaissance by analyzing the web performance of your top competitors—you can even use SimilarWeb's browser extension to collect data while perusing the web
Uncover new leads and impress them with a superior user experience to stay ahead of competitors
Pricing: free competitor analysis tools, paid plans starting at $125 per user/month
What it is: if your web analysis goal is to deliver the most relevant and engaging content to your users, you’ll want to turn to a content optimization tool like Chartbeat. Not just for media brands and publishing organizations (though certainly designed with them in mind), this tool will help you evaluate your site media—from text to videos—to make sure it locks in user interest.
Test which headlines attract the most readers, then determine which sections, recommendations, or push alerts draw their attention further
Discover how your audience connects to your content by analyzing traffic data like reader activity, page views, and average engaged minutes with the Real-time Dashboard
Use the Historical Dashboard to get an overview of content performance, KPIs, and other valuable trends over time
Pricing: free trial, plan pricing available on request
What it is: a lot of web analysis tools have built-in data visualization, but if you want to prepare detailed and persuasive reports, you might need a more sophisticated tool like Tableau. A subsidiary of Salesforce, this visual analytics service lets you aggregate data from multiple sources and present it in one customizable dashboard. Visualizing raw data in this way is particularly impactful when sharing key user experience insights across teams and with stakeholders.
Tell a story with your web analysis data by creating visualizations that are engaging, persuasive, and easy to understand so you can get the point across to key stakeholders
Share IT and customer support metrics across teams so everyone is on the same page when it comes to delivering the best user experience possible
Create milestone-oriented dashboards and track them over time to meet company goals
Pricing: free trial, paid plans starting at $15 per user/month
What it is: G2 is a platform where people can leave unfiltered user reviews about software and service companies. With this tool, you can analyze your site’s reputation—and that of your competitors—to gather information on what people think about their user experience with your site. Also, G2 is a key touchpoint for many potential users to discover your site while they research which web analysis tools to use (like you are right now!). You can officially claim your site’s G2 profile to connect with new leads and impress them with an outstanding user experience right from the start.
Analyze reviews from existing users and filter them in granular detail to break down user experience feedback into categories like user role, topic, or geographic region
Utilize G2 Buyer Intent as a built-in prospect pipeline to funnel in prospects who are already in the mindset of purchasing a digital solution like yours
Research, manage, and budget your web analytics software stack with G2 so you can discover cutting edge tools and continue providing the best user experience possible
Pricing: basic free version, plan pricing available on request
How to choose the right website analysis tool
So, how do you pick the right tool for your website analysis work? Sure, trial and error will get you somewhere, but it’s better to think about what you want to accomplish before you get started. Ask yourself:
Do I want to address customer churn or low conversion rates?
Do I want to determine which version of a site or app users prefer?
Do I want to make sure my site performs well, in relation to competitors?
Do I want to hear what users think about my site directly?
Do I want to dive deep into manual analysis or stick to a tool that relies on automation?
Once you figure out your goal, try out different tools to see which ones you find easy to use while providing you with the most actionable data. A few of the tools we mentioned have free plans or trials that you can sign up for, including Hotjar—use our free forever plan and simply play around to find the tool that works for you.
When our users have a better experience, it benefits our conversions and ROI as well. Hotjar helps me identify bottlenecks and deliver the experience people want when they visit our website.
Finally, keep in mind that along with evaluating a site’s functionality and usability, website analysis has everything to do with the user experience—where it currently stands and how it can be improved. When it comes down to it, approaching web analysis from a user-centric perspective is essential for maintaining a site that works well and delights your users.