After many years, Microsoft has finally introduced it’s own version of website analytics. Clarity is a new visual behavior analytics tool that does things different from Google Analytics.

So far, I don’t think Microsoft’s Analytics program will compete with Google Analytics. On the contrary, Microsoft Clarity may fill holes that Google Analytics and Matomo leave out by default. It won’t be a competition between isogram & clarity, but a beautiful harmonious relationship.

Clarity promises to be different from other analytics programs:

Clarity Insights lean on Microsoft’s decades of experience in Data Science and Machine Learning to identify key trends and patterns in your site activity. These patterns are best surfaced through recordings and heatmaps.–Microsoft

How To Set Up Microsoft Clarity

Setup project in Microsoft Clarity
  • Click on the project and then navigate to the Setup
How to setup Microsoft Clarity
  • Select Install tracking code manually: Below is an example of the code
  • Install the code on your website. If you have a web developer, then send this code so it can be installed. (Don’t use the code below).
  • There are alternative ways to setup Clarity (see Install tracking code on third party platform)
<script type="text/javascript">
    (function(c,l,a,r,i,t,y){
        c[a]=c[a]||function(){(c[a].q=c[a].q||[]).push(arguments)};
        t=l.createElement(r);t.async=1;t.src="https://www.clarity.ms/tag/"+i;
        y=l.getElementsByTagName(r)[0];y.parentNode.insertBefore(t,y);
    })(window, document, "clarity", "script", "XXXXXXXXXX");
</script>

Matomo, CrazyEgg & Hotjar Competition

Matomo’s, another web analytics platform that delivers high value for it’s low entry price. However, some of the premium features such as heatmaps and session recordings require a paid subscription. Google Analytic’s does not offer heat maps or session recordings.

Paid platforms like CrazyEgg and Hotjar already offer heatmaps and session recording. I must admit that I have never used the two services, so I cannot give a comparison of how well they perform. Microsoft has not given any indication on whether it limits the number of recorded sessions and heat maps.

It’s too early in the game to know if Clarity is a permanent or temporary feature or whether it will remain free. Don’t abandon CrazyEgg or HotJar just yet. Take time to analyze the data provided by each platform before making any major decisions.

Matomo (formerly Piwik), had a free heat map, but later made it a premium plugin feature. The cost for Matomo’s plugin ranges from $229 to $689 per year. However, if you have Matomo Cloud heat maps and session recording are free. Matomo’s plugin offers unlimited websites, but is not a stand alone program like Hotjar, CrazyEgg, and Clarity. I am unsure of how long data persist with Matomo or where data is stored.

Hotjar offers a basic plan that’s free forever, but only analyzes 2,000 pages per day. The next Hotjar tier is $39 per month and only analyzes 10,000 pageviews per day. If you need more than 20,000 pageviews per day, the cost for Hotjar Heatmaps and Session recording start at $99 per month.

CrazyEgg’s plans are reasonable at just $24 per month for the basic plan. You can track an average of 986 pageviews per day (30,000 per month) with CrazyEgg’s low cost plan.

Cash strapped businesses and nonprofit could benefit from Clarity analytics because it’s currently free. But there are a ton of questions that should be asked prior to implementation.

Notes About Clarity

Twitter is on fire about Clarity!

Clarity uses Deep AI and Machine Learning (AI & ML) algorithms to power its features. AI & ML gives webmasters more insight to search engine optimize a website and gain insightful knowledge of user behaviors. For web designers and developers the heatmaps can help improve user experience (UX). Web sites that prioritize UX could possibly garner higher conversion rates.

One major note note about Clarity – it may not be right for every service industry (healthcare providers and data sensitive industries should not use Clarity) due to it’s data collection methods.

Clarity Analytics moves beyond standard A/B testing to real time sessions of what users are doing on your website. It maybe possible to discover under performing areas of a website faster. Not only does Clarity provide it’s own dashboard, but it inserts custom dimensions and metrics into of Google Analytics to improve website analytics.

Clarity will more than likely be a new tool to monitor content management strategies and search engine optimization efforts. I’ll come back and let you know the pro’s and con’s of the platform later.