You Ask, I Answer: Microsoft Clarity vs. Google Analytics?

Caroline asks, “What’s better than Google Analytics to measure what your visitors are actually doing when on your website?”

I’ve been playing with the new Microsoft Clarity recently, and it’s not, despite what people say, a Google Analytics killer. It’s a Hotjar killer, or at least a worthy competitor – and it’s free. Watch the video for an introduction.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Karolina asks what’s better than Google Analytics to measure what your visitors are actually doing? When on your website, there’s a ton of really good software packages out there that do stuff like this.

There’s click tail, there’s Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange.

But the one that I’ve been playing with most recently, that does a really good job, keeps it simple.

And is also free, is from this little company you might have heard of called Microsoft, they released this package called Microsoft clarity that a lot of people, when it first was announced, we’re incorrectly comparing it to Google Analytics, calling it a Google Analytics killer.

It’s not, it is a very different application than Google Analytics.

What it is, is a hot jar killer, or at the very least a worthy competitor to all those different companies I just mentioned.

A because it’s Microsoft.

So you know that, you know, while the product itself could be discontinued, the company’s probably not going anywhere.

And be it’s very, okay to complain about that.

So what is this thing? And how do we use it with our website? Let’s go ahead and move things around here.

Okay, so what you’ve probably noticed in Google Analytics is that there’s actually not a whole lot of useful stuff in Google Analytics for looking at your site, what you need is something that can track the interactions that users are having on your site.

So that’s where clarity comes in, setting it up, very straightforward.

It is like every single other tracking program, is you just put your tracking pixel on your site, I used Google Tag Manager to do it.

And it was pretty straightforward.

Let’s go ahead and connect my site here.

And I’ve got my Google Analytics integration there.

Now, let’s go to the dashboard and see what this does.

You do get some basic analytics, and that’s nice.

You can see, you know, sessions and things like that.

But again, there’s no things in here better specify like goals, and goal completions and all that stuff, you’re not going to get that level of detail.

What you do get, though, is a lot of UI stuff, user interface stuff, dead clicks, where people are clicking on parts of the page that they think should do something and don’t, you get rage clicks, which I appreciate people just rapidly clicking on the same space, excessive scrolling.

These are good indicators that people are lost, right? There’s something wrong with your site.

And then you get to scroll down and see pages that people have gotten back on page with the JavaScript errors that you might want to fix up.

Like, all the other user experience tools, you get recordings and heat maps.

So recordings are pretty straightforward.

You go in, you tap on the recording, and then you get to watch somebody navigating your website and see what it is that they do.

And this will give you hints, you know, for example, like, Oh, this person, maybe isn’t reading the first part of the article and things like that, by skip forward here.

There.

What are they doing? Oh, they’re trying to copy and paste, it looks like, yep, they’re trying to copy and paste text from my site.

That’s interesting.

And then, in addition to recordings, of course, get the heat maps, right, where are people clicking on your page and get a chance to see those clicks, what people are doing on your site? Let’s go back to our dashboard here.

As far as I can tell, there aren’t any significant limits or restrictions yet, but even if they were just out of the box, this isn’t bad, right? It’s simple.

Its straightforward.

It tells you very quickly, hey, there’s either things wrong with you, or there’s not.

I’m not terribly concerned about the dead click stuff, as we were seeing, just now, people were actually trying to copy and paste text, which is interesting.

I think I’ll just give some thought about about that.

And then things like JavaScript errors, okay.

That’s something I need to fix.

Right? If there if people are running into issues on my site where JavaScript is spinning up on them, I probably need to go ahead and do some investigation and tune that up.

Again, with any of these diagnostics, you can either click in on just that part of the audience, right? You can see like 15% of those people who had JavaScript errors have chrome issues, or were in Chrome.

Let’s go ahead and look at Safari, Apple users only had 8% of that.

So Safari fares a little bit better.

But this is a really handy tool.

Now here’s the catch with a tool like this.

It as with everything is spitting up a lot of information.

So the number one thing we have to do is be very clear.

What is it that we’re trying to find out? Are we trying to find out that conversions are down on a specific page If so, you know, find that page and our list of pages Or just use the filters to identify which particular pages you might want.

And you can see there’s tons and tons of different filters you can use.

Are we looking for user experience problems? are we dealing with a retention problem where people are leaving quickly? For example, we have this quick box here where it is people who navigate to a page and then left quickly.

Okay, let’s take a look at that.

What pages are they? To start with? And then you can watch the recordings and say, Ah, you know, they either based on what they’re doing on screen, they either data they didn’t find what they were looking for.

So with a tool like this, we’ve got to be clear about what it is that we want to know.

And what it is that what our goal is, what decisions we’re going to make, because it’s a fun tool, right? You can spend a lot of time in here, because it wastes a lot of time.

And if you don’t have time to waste, have to be very clear about what decision you want to make.

When you look at each of these things.

What is the decision that is in here? Dead clicks? Right? Your decision you’re trying to make is, do I need to add navigation to my site? because something is unclear, right? Do I need to change the formatting to make it clear what the clickable objects are and what are not? A lot of sites tend to like to, you know, change the color or or mask the color of hyperlinks, okay, maybe that’s not the best idea if you’re getting a lot of dead clicks.

And in order to understand that, and this is where this product can run into trouble, we need to understand the priority of the pages we should be looking at and what issues those pages have.

So let me give you an example.

Let’s put in our URL, newsletter.

Okay, we’re gonna apply that.

And this is my newsletter page, right? Six of the six of these.

Let’s click on that.

Now.

This is the landing page, right? This is therefore very important page to my site.

I want to very specifically look at this page and go Hmm, are there things here that I should be worried about that are blocking conversion.

But if I didn’t know that this tool would not tell me that I needed to be looking at this particular landing page.

So you’d want to know that going into this, hey, we’ve got a landing page conversion problem, maybe there’s something that we can take a look at in here that tells us our landing pages are running into trouble to get to that conclusion into work in the in Google Analytics data that will help you understand Okay, these are the priority pages to investigate, then come into clarity and say, Now let’s investigate those pages to understand why things are happening.

It’s sort of like a essentially watching a focus group, right? Or a one on one user interview.

You can see why they’re doing the things they’re doing on that page.

But analytics will tell you what pages to look at.

Because otherwise, you’ll waste hours in here by just clicking around with no clear conclusions.

So to answer Carolyn’s question, what’s better than Google Analytics for actually on your website, Microsoft clarity.

As long as you don’t have any administrative or legal or regulatory, regulatory restrictions on installing it, I would go ahead and install give it a spin.

It doesn’t cost you anything.

setting it up is as simple as setting up any other tool.

And I think it’s a nice complement to Google Analytics.

I think, especially since Google took away you know what little click tracking they had, I think this is a great companion to Google Analytics, and use both of them get follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter.

I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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