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Form Analytics; Hotjar vs Formisimo

Conversion Rate Optimisation

I was recently asked,

“Why should I use Formisimo? We use HotJar who offers similar form completion analytics, but they also have heatmapping and mousetracking movies.”

Good question!

  • Formisimo tracks 57 metrics, Hotjar tracks 9.
  • Formisimo presents your data in 9 different reports, allowing you to investigate user pain points.
  • With Formisimo you can split data by date ranges or look for trends by week and month.
  • Formisimo reports include industry health scores.
  • Formisimo’s JavaScript-based tracking code loads faster than Hotjar’s.

It’s a question I’m more than happy to answer. In fact, when I received this email I thought, what a fantastic opportunity to compare Formisimo directly with a competitor.

After sending my reply, I realised I should address this publicly too. And so here comes the blog post, inspired by one keen reader and designed for all of you who aren’t quite sure why Formisimo beats out other form analytics solutions. It’s not my intention to do anybody down but to show you the extra value you could get with dedicated form analytics, which we’re the best at.

A quote from Peep Laja

And if you’re not sure that you need form analytics at all, this other post is a good starting point, Form tracking and contagious yawning in tortoises, are they important?

Dedicated form analytics vs topline analysis

Form analytics “that actually works”

When I think of Hotjar, I don’t really think of form analytics. Hotjar is a suite of tools so although they offer form analysis, the information is quite shallow. Formisimo is a dedicated form analytics tools, it provides granular insight into user behaviour in forms.

ConversionXL created a list of 53 top conversion optimisation tools. If you filter by Form Analytics, Hotjar is included, but neither of the expert reviewers mention Hotjar’s form analytics. Formisimo, on the other hand, is Peep Laja’s choice for form analytics.

“Formisimo does a very good job at providing in-depth information that really helps with optimization efforts.” – @PeepLaja

He goes on to say in his review,

“[Formisimo’s] form analytics actually works, esp when compared to some mouse tracking tools that have form analytics as one of the many features (and often failing to work).” – @PeepLaja


Fast loading tracking code

The installation process for Formisimo and Hotjar is not so different. We both use snippets of JavaScript to track and send data back to our servers. However, Hotjar’s snippet is much larger, which makes sense, they track other things than form analytics. This means it loads on the page more slowly.

Our tiny JavaScript is delivered using Cloudfront, the Amazon content delivery network, so it’s millisecond fast, 41.7 milliseconds to be exact. Hotjar loads 50% more slowly at 66.7 milliseconds.

All your data tracked, all the time

Hotjar do not track all your data, they provide on-demand snapshot reports, “whenever you need them”. To track all data all the time across their suite would cost them a lot of money so they avoid this. Hotjar also only use a sample of site data to generate reports, rather than all of it.

Instead of limiting your data to averages, we process all your data, which means your reports are more detailed.


Granular reporting not overviews

Because we track all your data all the time and use all of it to generate your reports, we’re able to provide far more granular insights and allow you to interrogate your data.

We produce 9 reports on user behaviour in your form:

    1. An overview of your form’s performance, showing visits, starters and conversions.
    2. Real Time Statistics. See users interacting with your form at any given time – great for campaign launches.
Real Time Statistics in action
  1. Completion Time which shows median time and outlying stats.
  2. Fields Before Submission.
  3. Field Times, a report that highlights confusing and lengthy-to-complete fields.
  4. Popular Dropoff.
  5. Most Corrected Fields, which includes the type of corrections being made i.e. deletions and cursor movements
  6. Problem Fields, a report that brings the worst performing fields to the top.
  7. Conversion funnels.

All reports are interactive and include the ability to segment by device type and by any date range or look for trends over weeks or months. You cannot split up Hotjar reports over date ranges or look for trends over periods due to their limited data storage (see below).

We also score your form fields with health scores, so you can address the worst performing areas first. Health scores are calculated per field by comparing the performance of the field to your site, your industry and the Formisimo average.

Form field health scores

Hotjar, by contrast, provide a 1 page report on form analysis. The report is displayed by form field, left to right, with performance metrics laid out underneath, which are:

  • Time spent in field.
  • Percentage of refills.
  • Percentage of times the field was left blank.
  • Number of interactions.
  • Drop off percentage for each field.

It’s neat, but simple. You can’t go any deeper than this overview.


We split tracking for forms that are set out over multiple pages e.g. checkouts. An overview of the performance of each part of the form can be viewed together in a conversion funnel. This gives an easy-to-understand view of the flow between each part and the ability to dive deeper into each section.

The multi-form funnel overview report

Data Storage

Hotjar only store data for a limited amount of time, usually just 3 months. Hotjar’s most expensive plan gives you access to your data for up to 6 months, another cost cutting measure. Formisimo, on the other hand, never deletes your data without your say so.

Resource centre of optimisation ideas

Our core product is a detailed reporting tool. The insights gleaned from your reports can help you transform your forms. We know that generating ideas is easier said than done though, which is why all our customers have access to The Ideas Centre.

Formisimo Ideas Centre filter and content

The Ideas Centre is where you’ll find practical guides for using analytics and interpreting your reports. It also includes more information on optimisation and best practice to help you develop theories to test. There you can filter the articles by subject area, time-to-read and by the key problem that you’re trying to fix.

My advice, try us out. You can get full access to Formisimo on a no-obligation trial to see how you could improve conversions on your site.

Of course, you could also choose DIY over off-the-shelf form analytics.

image representing average form conversion rate uplift from using Formisimo From 0% to 24% Form Conversion Uplift Get the insight that increased form conversions by 24% (and rising)
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