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Announcing the Top Rated Heatmap and Session Recording Software for 2019

Elizabeth Sullivan-Hasson
June 26, 2019
Awards, Marketing

Announcing the Top Rated Heatmap and Session Recording Software for 2019

Today, we awarded the 2019 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Heatmap and Session Recording Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are the most trusted in the industry because they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user feedback and satisfaction scores. Top Rated awards are the voice of the market and are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, or status as a TrustRadius customer.

Here are the winners:


Hotjar is a heatmap and session recording tool that enables marketers to see and understand their website’s conversion funnel. It allows marketers to replay user activity, tag recordings and take notes, as well as suppress user actions that are not meaningful. Hotjar also features a survey tool, which allows UX designers to reach out and quickly gather feedback from site users about their behavior. Hotjar offers pricing for individuals and agencies, and includes a special plan for startup companies. 

It is used by marketers and UX designers across companies of all sizes. A majority of  Hotjar users on TrustRadius work in small business and marketing agencies (53%). These users appreciate the interpretability of Hotjar’s recordings and heatmaps, and how it can be used to pinpoint underperforming elements and areas for improvement on a website.

“I use Hotjar to get visuals of how visitors behave on websites; how far they scroll, where they click, how they move on the page, and much more. From here, this information can be used to modify websites to improve conversions. I use it on my website and also on my client’s websites too. The problem addressed is to confirm to clients how their site could be improved. Often times, they need to see it so they believe what I tell them… Anyone who has created a website and wants to learn how to improve it for conversions, this is the perfect tool.”

Sanjit Mandal | Digital Marketing Strategist | Marketing and Advertising Company


Smartlook is offered as an “always-on” visitor session recording tool with heatmap and automated event tracking capabilities. Smartlook may be used for both websites and mobile apps, and automatically gathers qualitative data for funnel analytics and conversion tracking. Smartlook presents an attractive option to small businesses with its modest pricing, and free plan supporting 1,500 sessions per month.

A strong majority of Smartlook users on TrustRadius are small business owners or employees (88%). Smartlook users  from all business sizes consistently praise its customer journey mapping capabilities and ability to clearly highlight problem areas or errors on a website.

“I am using Smartlook to optimize my website. I can’t afford to spend hours figuring out how to make my website most efficient. I need great tools that allow me to view how visitors are using my site, where they are having trouble and how to best optimize for their use. Smartlook lets me quickly gather that data and find holes in user experience and optimize my website. For a small, local business, this is essential in creating a great customer experience and converting people that visit your website into actual customers. I need them to be able to find everything they need on my website quickly and efficiently and Smartlook really helps me achieve that.”

Kat Merriman | Owner | Photography Company 


VWO from Wingify is an A/B testing tool that includes heatmapping and user recording capabilities. All plan levels of VWO include session recording and playback, as well as heatmaps, clickmaps, and other site visitor analytics and visualizations. VWO also includes site user pop-up surveys, and has a strong hypothesis testing focus to support experimentation planning. It offers users extensive multivariate testing capabilities. VWO is used primarily by digital marketers or web / UX designers. 

About half of VWO customers on TrustRadius come from midsize companies (52%). They describe using session recordings in website bug tracking or in attempting to understand how site visitors are lost. 

“We use [VWO] for A/B Testing, Customer recordings, Heatmaps, reducing page load times, and making decisions. We find that we can show through their data why a customer will or won’t behave a certain way. This allows us to stop making business decisions off of hunches and start taking action based on data that will move the needle for us and provide an overall better customer experience. That has translated to better sales for us.”

Ryan Bennion | Digital Marketing Director | Electronic Manufacturing Company

Congratulations to the winners of the Top Rated Heatmap and Session Recording Software Award!

What is Heatmap and Session Recording Software?

Heatmap and session recording software is a class of page analytics software used by developers and UX designers. It is used to report how visitors engage with a website or app. These are essential tools for digital content creators and businesses who need to know if they’re losing engagement due to buggy elements or a confusing website layout. User session recordings and heatmap tools aim to help companies identify their site visitors pain points, whether that be from a site bugs or a non-intuitive site design. These tools help users find things like broken buttons, hidden CTAs, confused mouse patterns, click-rage, etc. Heatmaps can also produce insights about which site elements marketers should focus their time on, i.e. what images or products excite potential buyers, and so on.

 A full session replay consists of primarily qualitative impressions (e.g. mouse motions), however a great deal of session activity can be abstracted into data. That’s why some heatmapping and session recording tools are included with A/B testing software within analytics driven software packages. These may present a better overall option for developers who are quantitatively evaluating layouts and site designs, conducting website personalization for specific audience segments, or mapping a conversion funnel. A number of heatmap and session recording vendors also offer polls, audience queries, and other means of asking customers what they’re doing and what they’d like to see from your site in future visits.

Top Rated Criteria

Products included in the 2019 Top Rated Heatmap and Session Recording Software list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap as of June 3rd, 2019. To qualify for the Heatmap and Session Recording Software Top Rated Award, products must have at least 10 reviews written within the past year, a TRScore of at least 7.5 out of 10, and must receive at least 1.5% of the traffic in their category.  Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the TrustMap based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.

About the Author

Elizabeth Sullivan-Hasson
Elizabeth is a Research Analyst at TrustRadius where she focuses on tracing the evolution of business software and finding new ways to synthesize and visualize reviewer data. Elizabeth has a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MSc in International Development from the London School of Economics. When she’s not in the office, Elizabeth enjoys exploring new cities, hiking, trying out new recipes, and diving into sci-fi novels.

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