Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020

Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020

Exact match domains (EMDs) are domain names that incorporate the exact keywords that you are trying to rank for in Google’s SERPs.

Examples of exact match domains include:


In some industries, people will call their company’s name after the product that they offer, for example, Window Cleaners London.

But in the competitive world of SEO, EMDs are commonly bought by webmasters to gain a quick advantage when it comes to ranking on search engines.

Other studies have shown that having an EMD can help clicks with PPC, given that it targets a particular search enquiry.

The history of exact match domains

Looking back at the evolution of SEO over the past 20 years, having an exact match domain was originally a sure-fire way to rank top of Google.

Even dating back 10 years ago, many SEO practitioners benefitted from just buying an exact match domain, adding a bit of content and getting links from directories and this was enough to secure a page one position.

A new market emerged from domain-name selling. Many entrepreneurs were eager to get their hands on a valuable domain name, whilst thrifty businesspeople held onto domain names hoping to ‘flip’ them at a higher price.

This market continues today, with companies like GoDaddy and 123 Reg offering a marketplace for buying and selling domains, amongst other products.

But webmasters holding onto domains for their potential value has seen the most promising businesses never seen to be made, with websites such as,, offering affiliate sites but not transpiring into major brands.

With long-winded exact match domains starting to rank such as and – Google responded with an EMD update in 2012 to penalize and filter these out.

Is using exact match domains a problem in 2020?

Not necessarily, there is a place for EMDs in 2020 and the right level of SEO can make it successful.

You do not get penalized just for having an EMD and in some cases, you will get a boost.

However, for the larger part, using exact match domains is going to be like walking on thin ice and could make you very prone to Google penalties.

For instance, creating new landing pages becomes an issue and you risk the possibility of keyword stuffing or over-optimization.

Your homepage should be the welcome page for your website and you should have nicely optimized landing pages coming off it and this where a lot of your SEO traffic will go to. The issue is that if your homepage is, using the right words for landing pages becomes tricky. Would you realistically create a page and would Google rank this?

When your homepage is likely to have more links pointing to it initially, there will be difficulty in ranking for other landing pages for that exact match keyword.

However, it is link-building that really becomes tricky.

Whatever anchor text you use, you risk the chance of using too much exact match anchor text – and this is a simple way to get a penalty. There are ways around this, such as using a wide range of anchor text, but finding the balance is tricky and it only takes one link of yours to be shared numerous times to make it look like you are running an exact match anchor text campaign.

The role of partial match domain names

Partial match domain names are a combination of the main keyword you are trying to target and something that is not related. A number of successful brands have used other words with the main keyword such as “hut”, “hub”, “network”, “market”, and so on.

Some examples of partial match domain names:


These brands only use half the target keyword, service or object, such as “sunglasses” or “fashion”.

This approach means that natural landing pages can be created without the risk of keyword stuffing and there is no risk of anchor text causing penalties when the brand name is linked.

Another partial match option is that you take a different word, which is more of an adjective or selling point.

A good example is a price comparison site, Forces Compare, which benefits from having ‘compare’ in its domain, and therefore gets a boost for every product it compares across cards, accounts, loans, and more.

There is also the business provider, Funding Invoice, which benefits from having the word “invoice” in its domain.

Some smart uses of partial matches could involve using words such as “free”, “cheap”, and “best” or locations such as “London” and “California”.

Using the right words by association

If you want to generate brand value, but do not want to risk the chance of a Google penalty, you can use a domain that has an association. You do not gain any immediate benefits from Google, but it will certainly look good from a user’s perspective and gaining a good click-through rate (CTR) will notably benefit your rankings.

This includes the infamous doorbell company,, the dog food provider, and the dating site,

Are some industries better than others for using exact match domains?

Yes, we have to accept that Google treats some sectors very differently and when it comes to very competitive industries such as fashion, insurance and finance, they do not want to give anyone a quick advantage just because they own an EMD.

The best approach is to look at each industry and the SERPs that you are targeting. For some industries such as loans and insurance, there are very few (if any) in the UK search results, where “loans” and “insurance” are mentioned in the domain and they are positioned on page one.

However, if you look at the key term “casino bonuses”, around seven to eight sites on page one have the word “casino” in their domain name – highlighting the importance of researching each industry.

For industries where there is less competition and fewer penalties handed out (and this is particularly in local listings), there is only going to be a handful of people searching for “good plumbers in Orange County” or “pizza places in Brooklyn”– you are more likely to be successful using an exact match domain.

Is it too late to change my exact match domain?

No, if you have started with an EMD and have struggled to get it to rank or have been subject to penalties, you can look at changing the domain and you will still hold a lot of the good SEO you have built up.

Doing a 301 redirect to the new domain will hold 90% to 95% of the SEO value and also have a very quick turnaround time, providing that you have good content and UX to back it up.

A recent rebrand of the company Bridging Loan Hub to Octagon Capital showed that the rankings were restored within two weeks and continued to grow back to their original positions, and higher.

Example of exact match domain sites - Octagon Capital


 Conclusion: Do your research and focus on the brand

Exact match domains (EMDs) still have a role to play in successful SEO and this includes some target industries and local searches.

One has to be careful if they have a large SEO strategy depending on optimizing an exact match domain since this could see initial growth but also be high-risk in the penalty department.

The best advice is to research the industry and see who is ranking on pages one and two of Google. Do they use exact match, partial match or neither?

Either way, Google does not want SEO to be easy and they want it to be earned through other factors such as good design, UX, content, and link-building.

Every time, the most effective and risk-free approach will be to create a keyword-free brand name and build an online brand using good, clean SEO. This should be complemented with other traffic sources such as direct, email, referral and social media to see the maximum effect.

Daniel Tannenbaum is co-founder of Tudor Lodge Consultants.

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Your Comprehensive YouTube Marketing Checklist from BuzzSumo

Your Comprehensive YouTube Marketing Checklist from BuzzSumo

You already know YouTube marketing is valuable – but how can you perfect your YouTube content strategy? It’s tricky: you want to upload videos that promote your brand, but you also need to create content your audience wants to watch and share.

Too many marketers make two big mistakes with YouTube:

  1. They don’t upload videos consistently.
  2. They don’t upload the right kind of video content.

People don’t visit the second-largest search engine and second-most popular website to shop, they hang out on YouTube to be entertained or educated. Here’s how to do it.

Your Ultimate YouTube Marketing Checklist

Follow the steps below to optimize your YouTube content strategy for more engagement and better results.

1. Choose KPIs for Monitoring YouTube Analytics

Before anything else, you’ll want to nail down your key performance indicators so you can track your YouTube analytics and watch your strategy’s performance.

Consider this: view counts are the YouTube marketing equivalent of Facebook reach. Watching your video doesn’t mean much if people don’t click links, share, comment, and embed your video onto other websites.

According to YouTube, its algorithm takes many factors into account when ranking videos – especially how long a viewer stays on its website after viewing your video.

The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction: YouTube Help.

2. Figure Out What Kind of Videos Your Audience Likes

To create an effective YouTube content strategy, you’ll need to start with interesting and engaging content. BuzzSumo makes it easy to find trending and viral video content ideas.

Let’s say we’re working for a website that sells herbal supplements and essential oils. If we type “essential oils” into the Content Search and filter for video posts, we can see that doTERRA videos perform well on YouTube.

Buzzsumo doTerra results

Looking at the first result, we may want to consider making a video about how we source our essential oils and supplements due to the high evergreen score doTERRA has for their video.

We could also head over to the Facebook Analyzer to see what people are sharing. When we filter for video posts and sort by share count, lots of great content ideas appear!

Essential Oils Facebook Analyzer

3. Create a YouTube Content Strategy Calendar

Instead of creating a YouTube content strategy that builds on your blog post topics, create a unique calendar just for YouTube content.

Let’s look at the Facebook Analyzer results for “essential oils” above. We could create a calendar for three months with two videos each month:

  1. Top 3 essential oils for pain relief/5 essential oils to calm your nerves and clear your mind
  2. 7 cleaning products you can replace with essential oils/5 essential oils with antibacterial qualities
  3. Essential oils and kids: are they safe? /Funny essential oil comedy video about husband and wife

4. Perfect Your SEO for Better YouTube Analytics

Unfortunately, you can’t “set it and forget it” with YouTube marketing content. Take SEO into consideration as you upload your content.

  • Titles: Include a long-tail keyword and write something engaging. While YouTube analytics allow up to 100 characters, Google will only display 66.
  • Description: Grab attention with the first two lines and include a few keywords. Optimize below the “show more” for share links and a long-form description with a call-to-action.
  • Tags: Include specific topic and broad category tags. Include some tags your competitors use for related videos to improve your chances of showing up in the suggested videos.

Resist the urge to write clickbait titles.

Misleading, clickbaity and sensational titles and thumbnails impact viewer satisfaction and engagement. Viewers can and often do report videos that are misleading, clickbaity and sensational: YouTube Help.

5. Create Relevant Playlists

For YouTube marketing, think of playlists as the equivalent of categories on WordPress—they supply an extra layer of meta information for algorithms to read.

Create relevant playlists for each category of videos you plan in your calendar. Make sure to include a combination of primary and secondary keywords in the title and description, too.

Dane Golden of Tubular Insights recommends including a curated or user-generated playlist as well.

If people are making videos about your product, what you can do is create a regularly-scheduled “Fan video of the week,” and add that to a playlist of the same name. … Then you can tell that creator, you’re our video of the week, and they may even tweet about it or talk about it in another video.

MadFit YouTube Channel

Source: YouTube | MadFit

6. Take Your Thumbnails Seriously

YouTube is a visual platform. Thumbnails matter as much – if not more – than titles. 90 percent of the best-performing videos display custom thumbnails.

Again, YouTube takes clickbait seriously. The video platform recommends avoiding images that shock, disgust, or mislead your audience in any fashion. YouTube suggests checking feedback in comments to see if your thumbnails accurately represent the video content.

7. Give Your Brand’s Page a Makeover

Show YouTube that you care about your brand’s page.

  • Upload a new profile picture and cover photo that fits YouTube’s dimensions.
  • Include your social media links.
  • Link to your website or landing pages.
  • Write a thoughtful and long description with plenty of keywords.
  • Follow relevant channels to “tell” YouTube what you’re about.

As you watch your page come together, you’ll see why playlists are so important:

MadFit YouTube Playlist

Source: YouTube | MadFit

8. Create a Link Building Strategy

Links help drive traffic to YouTube which is good for the whole platform. Make sure to share your YouTube link on other social media platforms and embed your video into relevant blog posts.

YouTube is good at finding and punishing spam links, so make sure your link building is strategic and deliberate.

Find Trending Video Ideas Now

A valuable YouTube marketing strategy starts with interesting video content. Once you nail down a calendar with some topic ideas, it’s easy to optimize the finer details like SEO.

BuzzSumo can help you find interesting video content that your audience is already sharing with no guesswork. To help, we’re happy to offer you a seven-day free trial to get started with no strings attached. Start analyzing now!

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Comprehensive Guide to Website Usability Testing (With Tools and Software to Help)

Comprehensive Guide to Website Usability Testing (With Tools and Software to Help)

Comprehensive Guide to Website Usability Testing (With Tools and Software to Help)

Marketers know that website usability testing is one of the most effective ways to optimize your site. Whether you’re troubleshooting low conversion rates and engagement or proactively trying to prevent them, testing your site for usability is the best way to diagnose problems (or potential problems) and find the right solution.

We’ve noticed that a lot of the guides out there treat usability testing like a one-step thing. They tell you how to make changes to your website and test them.

But based on our experience working with hundreds of thousands of companies over the past 14 years, we believe conducting a website usability study right requires 3 steps:

  1. Getting a background on how people currently use your site
  2. Identifying usability problems and hypothesizing about the cause(s)
  3. Making changes, testing, and iterating on solutions.

Without the first two steps, those changes are no more than a shot in the dark. You end up with a bunch of data that doesn’t point to any clear-cut problems or solutions. In short, you end up without any actionable takeaways from the testing.

Below, we share the full three-step process for web usability testing that we recommend to our customers. Then we talk about some of the software and tools that can help you accomplish that process and pull actionable insights out of the testing process.

Note: Ready to see how your website’s usability holds up? Get to know your visitors’ click behavior, plus how you can optimize your website for more conversions when you sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days.

Why You Should Test Your Website for Usability

Before we go any further, we want to make sure we’re on the same page about what website usability testing is and why it matters. Simply put, website usability testing is a process of looking into how visitors use your website and then identifying areas of friction or difficulty for them.

While optimizing your website for conversions is a noble goal in itself, there are a few other key reasons why marketers should do website usability testing:

  • Testing for usability helps you better understand what website visitors are doing, including whether their behavior diverges from what you expect or ideally want them to do on your site.
  • Running website usability tests can also help to explain many of the anomalies you might see in your Google Analytics data — adding a layer of why to what users are doing.
  • Usability testing gives you a mechanism for website design decisions and overall user experience in a data-driven way. Instead of guessing your way through the development process, you can design for what you know will encourage users to convert.
  • Lastly, when you test your website’s usability regularly, it enables you to continuously boost conversions and better accomplish website goals.

Website Usability Testing Methods and the Process We Recommend

Now that we have that squared away, let’s get into that three-step process we mentioned before.

Step 1: Run Baseline Heatmaps and Recordings

Before you do any usability testing or make changes to your website, it’s absolutely vital that you take a step back to understand the current state of things.

It’s easy to see low conversions in Google Analytics and immediately assume your call-to-action (CTA) copy isn’t compelling enough. But there are a lot of different reasons for low conversion rates — and changing up the copy won’t solve many of them. For example, your CTA may be placed farther down the page than most people scroll. Or you may have a pop-up that blocks users from the CTA on certain devices or screen sizes.

That’s why gathering as much information as possible about how real users are currently behaving on your website is the first step. It gives you a baseline idea of how people are moving through your website and some insight into why they’re behaving as they are.

Crazy Egg Heatmap Testing

Heatmap reports show you where users are clicking and the frequency of clicks across a page.

To do that, you can run heatmap reports and session recordings on the primary pages you want to test.

  • If you aren’t sure about the path users take through your website, it’s best to go big here — gathering as much data as you can on your most important pages.
  • If you’ve spent time mapping out your conversion funnel and know where the breakdown is happening, you can focus your heatmaps and recordings on the problem pages specifically.

Note: If you aren’t sure where to start with baseline measurements and user feedback, don’t worry. We share our recommended website usability testing software stack later on in this post.

Step 2: Identify Points of Friction and Hypothesize Causes

Once you have a baseline understanding of user click behavior on your website, you can start to identify usability issues: areas where users are running up against friction that blocks them from taking the next step you want them to take.

(For a more detailed explanation of how to interpret your heatmap reports, read our guide to interpreting and using the five reports Crazy Egg offers.)

At this step, you can bring in data from Google Analytics and any other website analytics tools you use. This data can help you narrow your focus on the web pages showing problematic conversion or engagement numbers.

Diagnosing Friction on Your Website

From there, you can diagnose “friction” depending on the type of page you’re looking at.

On your homepage, for example, it’s normal to see visitors taking different paths. You might see some users click on your CTA and convert right away; others will travel deeper into your site to learn more about the company and your products. Some might jump to your blog in search of case studies on how your product works for other companies.

In this case, friction likely looks like users exiting your website from the homepage.

Crazy Egg’s List Report

Crazy Egg’s List Report can show you where people are going when they leave a landing page without converting.

But on a landing page, your only goal is to get users to convert. You want them to fill out a specific form or click on a specific CTA. If they aren’t doing that, there’s friction — even if they don’t exit your website.

Figuring Out the Cause of User Friction

Once you identify that point of friction, you can hypothesize about why users are butting up against it.

  • In the landing page example, you may be offering too many links or navigation menus, giving users too many options other than “convert now.”
  • Alternatively, the sources leading to your landing page could be setting inaccurate expectations about what users will find there — or that they aren’t actually reaching your target audience.
  • On your homepage, users may be exiting the website because you haven’t given them a clear or compelling-enough next step.

If you can’t find a clear cause for why friction is happening on your website, you can run additional, more qualitative tests to get more feedback directly from end users. For example, surveys or session recordings with live feedback can help you dig deeper to identify why users behave the way they do on your site.

Step 3: Make Changes and Test with New Heatmaps, Recordings, and A/B Tests

Now that you have an informed, data-backed hypothesis about why users aren’t converting or engaging with your website, you can start working to change their behavior. The key here is to lay out clear changes you think will help — and then test them one at a time.

Continuing with our landing page example, if you found that users seem to have too many options for where to go from the page, you could test removing the site navigation menu entirely. The testing is important because you don’t actually know that navigation options are the problem until you remove them and see an improvement in your conversion rate.

For example, you might find that removing the menu doesn’t help boost conversions.

In that case, you’d go back to step 2. Your next hypothesis might be that the copy on your landing page isn’t compelling enough to get website visitors to convert. From there, you can test changing the copy to see if that helps to increase your conversion rate.

Successful website usability testing is all about testing and iterating to find the most effective version of each page and your conversion funnel as a whole.

Website Usability Testing Software Stack and Tools

When it comes to testing your website’s usability, having the right software stack in place means you can gather, analyze, and take action on all of your data. If you have the right tools set up:

  • You can avoid having some data siloed away from the rest
  • You don’t have to spend time hopping back and forth from one tool to the next
  • You can seamlessly analyze the data, make changes to your site, and test those changes.

To that end, we recommend these four website testing tools to all of our customers.

1. Google Analytics and/or Adobe Analytics

Google Analytics

Traditional website analytics tools, like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, can help you identify when friction occurs and narrow in on where in the conversion funnel (the specific pages) things are breaking down.

2. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg

With Crazy Egg, you get access to five different types of reports plus options for digging even deeper into each one. Our tool includes user recordings to see what’s happening in each session as well as A/B testing features to take action on all the data.

Note: Get to know your visitors’ click behavior, plus how you can optimize your website for more conversions when you sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days.

3. UserTesting


If you get hung up on identifying why friction is happening or why users behave as they do, UserTesting’s session recordings and user research tool can help you gather more direct user feedback right from real people using your website.

4. Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey

Whether you’re troubleshooting proactively or reactively, surveys can help you gather very specific, targeted feedback from users.

Website Usability Testing: Better Customer Experience and More Conversions

When you test your website for usability issues and other problems, you create an opportunity to provide a better user experience (UX), cut down on friction, and boost your conversion rate.

By combining traditional website analytics tools (like Google Analytics) with a heatmap solution like Crazy Egg, you get access to the most important feedback there is: real user behavior. Then you can make the best decisions to improve your website’s UX and turn more website visitors into customers.

Note: Get to know your visitors’ click behavior, plus how you can optimize your website for more conversions when you sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days.

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hotjar vs fullstory vs crazy egg

A Comprehensive Comparison (Plus Who Each Tool Is Best Suited for)

Marketers today have a lot of website optimization tools to choose from. And, while we’d love to work with every team out there, we know our web optimization platform isn’t perfect for everyone in the world.

That’s why comparing us with other tools (including Hotjar and FullStory) is an important step in choosing your web optimization solution.

Here’s the bottom line, in our view:

  • Crazy Egg is the best option for intermediate and advanced marketers and conversion rate optimization (CRO) pros
  • Hotjar is best for more beginner-level marketers
  • FullStory is the best option for support and user experience teams.

Below, we break down the features, integrations, pricing, and more that led us to each of those assessments.

Note: Rather see for yourself than read a comparison? Sign up and trial any of our plans — it’s completely free for 30 days.

Crazy Egg vs. Hotjar vs. FullStory Features

All three tools we’re comparing here offer heatmaps, but there are additional features at play that vary between them — including the level of depth in each heatmap. Here are the features that stand out for Crazy Egg vs. Hotjar vs. FullStory, along with example use cases of those features.

Crazy Egg Features

Here at Crazy Egg, we’re crazy (pun intended) about heatmaps — or, as we call them, Snapshots. In short, Snapshots show you an overview of how people interact with a given webpage. Our tool offers five different types of Reports:

  • Heatmap Reports
  • Scrollmap Reports
  • Confetti Reports (our signature report)
  • Overlay Reports
  • List Reports.

Heatmap Reports

As the original heatmap software, our Heatmap Report  quickly shows you where people are clicking on your webpage. In addition to showing you which aspects of a page draw the most interest from users, heatmaps can also help you diagnose and test solutions for common conversion problems.

Crazy Egg: Heatmap reports

For example, if visitors aren’t clicking on your CTA, you can use heatmaps to compare results before and after changes in positioning, copy, color, and more. Heatmaps have a ton of uses, as more than 300,000 customers over 14 years can attest to:

  • Seeing which navigation, filter, and sort elements on eCommerce sites are getting the most use
  • Determining which elements visitors engage with the most. Plus, whether those interactions are purposeful clicks (such as clicking on a CTA) or are they unpurposeful clicks (like clicking in dead space).  Clicks in dead space, for example, can highlight confusion on the part of visitors or indicate that they’re searching for more information.
  • Getting a general overview of what’s happening on the page—are the clicks highly concentrated or spread out?

Scrollmap Report

Scrollmap Reports show you how far the average user scrolls down a page — including the most common scroll depth.

Crazy Egg: Scroll map report

Knowing that information can help you identify the optimal length for a landing page, ensure important information isn’t too far down the page (where no one sees it), and find the sweet spot for buttons, forms, opt-ins, and other CTAs.

Confetti Reports

Our Confetti Report  is incredibly powerful and something only Crazy Egg offers. It gives you a more granular look at where people are clicking on your website. It shows individual clicks segmented by helpful factors such as referral source, geography, operating system, and more (including any custom UTM parameters you create).

Without the Confetti Report, traditional heatmaps show only aggregates. They take all of that useful data and average it together to show you an overview of click behavior — which means you miss out on vital context.

Our Confetti report is all about adding context and breaking that down to see who is doing all that clicking. Each dot represents a click, and the color denotes how those clicks break down.

Crazy Egg: Confetti reports

For example: In the screenshot above, we’re looking at how all the clicks in the report break out by referrer. As you can see, most of the dots are red — meaning they came from Quicksprout’s website.

By looking at the Confetti Report through the lens of each referring source, you can determine whether users who came from an email campaign behave differently than those who arrived via Google search results.

The Confetti Reports in Crazy Egg allow you to see the different behavior from the different sources of site visitors
In this screenshot, the Confetti Snapshot is filtered to show clicks from visitors in India.


Here’s another example: In the screenshot above, we filtered to see only the clicks from users located in India. We’ve heard from some of our customers that they used the country filter on their Confetti snapshots to identify new potential markets to target. Those new markets yielded 15-16% revenue growth after the first year for one of our customers.

In all, our Confetti Report offers 22 filters (shown below) through which you can view click behavior data. You can look at click behavior for new vs. returning visitors or break it down by device.

Behavior data in Crazy Egg has 22 filters to choose from

Notably, custom UTM campaigns are included in those available filters — so you can break out click behavior across all of the UTM campaigns defined on your website. That means you can see, for example, whether the messaging of a particular PPC campaign affects where or how often the resulting visitors click on the landing page.

Website Overlay Reports

Overlay Reports tell you what specific number of clicks and percentage of total click behavior occurs on each element of your webpage—that’s in addition to the more relative click frequency data shown in traditional heatmaps.

By clicking on the (+) markers, you can see the exact number of clicks an element received, plus what percentage of total clicks on the page that number represents.

An example of the Overlay Reports

Overlay Reports can also tell you where users are clicking because they expect a link when there isn’t one.

For example: In the screenshot below, there were 53 clicks on “common problems marketers and business owners.” Five times as many people clicked on that text as clicked on the actual link on “getting higher conversion rates.”

An overview of user behavior: many people clicked where they would expect a link

That tells us that the visitors this blog post attracts are more interested in common problems faced by marketers and business owners than in increasing their conversion rates. Knowing that means you can better optimize the blog post to meet visitors needs and to keep them moving through your website.

Similar to the Confetti Report, you can break down all of this information across 22 different filters, including referring source, new vs. returning visitors, device, and more.

List Report

Our List Report is designed for the numbers-oriented crowd. We track everything on your page, and that includes all clicks, whether visible or non visible elements. The List Report shows you the raw numbers of clicks on each element of a page.

Crazy Egg: List Report

List Reports are one of the ways our Snapshots can help color some of the data you might find in a tool such as Google Analytics.

For example, Google Analytics might show that a particular webpage has a high exit rate. By running a List Report on that page, you can figure out why — you can see where those users are clicking to leave the page and adjust the link available, if necessary.

The list report gives you a chance to adjust the link if need be.

Another example involves form abandonment. While Google Analytics can tell you how many people submitted a form, our List Report can show you how many people clicked to start filling it out but didn’t submit.

Other Unique Features

In addition to our Snapshot reports, there are a few other things that set Crazy Egg apart. For one, we think we’ve built a tool that strikes the ideal balance between visuals and numbers.

Our software tracks every visitor to your webpage, then gives you the option to sample your data as needed. Hotjar automatically samples your data — based on their predictive modeling — before it’s even collected.

So, for example: Let’s say Hotjar predicts you’ll get 20,000 visits in a day and you’ve selected their 10,000 daily pageview plan. Hotjar will record data from roughly 420 pageviews each hour (10,000 daily pageviews, divided by 24 hours a day). That means you should have data based on 10,000 visits at the end of the day.

But, if your traffic spikes at noon and you get 8,000 of those visits in an hour, Hotjar will still only record 420 of them—so you end up getting only a tiny sample of the visitors in that busy hour recorded. That’s less than ideal since, in this scenario, you’d want to focus most of your tracking and analysis on that busy hour, when most of your traffic (and likely sales) happen.

The last difference we’ll mention has to do with A/B testing your website. Our tool is the only one of the three that offers built-in A/B testing — but we also offer customers the flexibility to continue working with their existing A/B testing software (more on this when we get to integrations).

Hotjar Features

Hotjar also offers heatmaps, scrollmaps, and live session recordings, among other features. But there are two features of Hotjar’s that really stand out: surveys and funnel analysis.

Both features are built right into the product, and we appreciate the simplicity and visuals of their funnel analysis tool. If you aren’t sure where to begin heatmap testing, the conversion funnel analysis can be helpful in visualizing the funnel and figuring out where the most people drop off.

The survey feature helps add a qualitative level to your website data. While Crazy Egg integrates with SurveyMonkey to accomplish this, there’s something to be said for getting both features in one package.

FullStory Features

Since FullStory’s product is targeted a little differently, their tool places more emphasis on sessions recordings over heatmaps or snapshots of a web page. User recordings make it easier to actively troubleshoot situations with a particular visitor, and they enable you to monitor a user’s entire interaction history with your website.

One quick note about using FullStory: Both Crazy Egg and Hotjar are GDPR-compliant tools — we don’t track individual users. FullStory, however, does track individual users, and it’s the responsibility of those using FullStory (that would be you) to either inform website visitors and comply with GDPR rules or to manually switch this tracking off.

Crazy Egg vs. Hotjar vs. FullStory Supported Integrations

The ability to work seamlessly across the rest of your marketing and user experience stack is one of the most important must-haves for a website optimization tool. At Crazy Egg, we get that. That’s why we’ve added more than dozen built-in integrations, including:

  • Google Tag Manager
  • HubSpot
  • Optimizely
  • Shopify
  • Squarespace

Plus, you can use our simple script to add Crazy Egg to any app that accepts third-party scripts.

Hotjar, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any built-in integrations. That said, you have the flexibility to manually add Hotjar’s script to apps that accept it.

FullStory offers more than a dozen pre-built integrations, geared more toward the support, UX, and product management crowd. They include:

  • Drift
  • Help Scout
  • Mixpanel
  • Salesforce
  • Slack

Similar to the other two tools, you can also manually integrate other tools with FullStory.

Crazy Egg vs. Hotjar vs. FullStory Pricing

The all important question: How much do these tools cost? With all the factors that pricing is based on (from sessions to storage to features), it can be hard to compare plans directly. For that reason, we explain each tool’s basic pricing model and share the plans they offer.

Crazy Egg Pricing

Crazy Egg pricing: Basic is $24/month, Standard is $49/month, Plus is $99/month, Pro is $249/month. You can reach out about custom pricing plans.

At Crazy Egg, our pricing model is pretty simple. As you go up, plans are designed to allow customers to track more pageviews and record more sessions. To that end, we offer four primary pricing plans, plus a fifth option to build a custom plan just for you.

Here are our packages:

  • Basic: $24 per month
  • Standard: $49 per month
  • Plus: $99 per month
  • Pro: $249 per month
  • Custom.

We also offer a 30-day free trial that’s available on all four of our pricing tiers.

Hotjar Pricing

Hotjar pricing is dependent on the number of pageviews you want to collect data for each day.

Hotjar has some of the simplest pricing structures on our list. That said, there are quite a few plans to choose from. They offer three types of plans: Personal, Business, and Agency. Within those, the main factor that changes is the number of pageviews you get per day.

Here are the packages they offer within the business group of plans:

  • 20,000 pageviews/day: $89 per month
  • 50,000 pageviews/day: $189 per month
  • 120,000 pageviews/day: $289 per month
  • 400,000 pageviews/day: $589 per month
  • 800,000 pageviews/day: $989 per month
  • 2,000,000 pageviews/day: Contact Hotjar

They also offer a Basic Free Forever plan and a 15-day trial on the higher-tier plans, too.

FullStory Pricing

FullStory has an Enterprise plan and a Business plan; reach out for pricing.

FullStory’s pricing model is the toughest to compare side-by-side with Crazy Egg and Hotjar. Their plans differ based on the features included in each: Enterprise or Business. Beyond that, pricing data isn’t openly available, so you’ll have to contact FullStory for more detailed pricing info.

FullStory does offer a free plan that gets you up to 1,000 pageviews per day, plus a 14-day free trial of their Business edition.

What Customers Are Saying

At Crazy Egg, we have some really happy customers, and we’re sure Hotjar and FullStory do, too. We think those customers often tell the story best, so we’ll let them take it from here.

What Our Customers Are Saying About Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg reviews: "Changed the way we redesign websites"

“Crazy Egg has offered us the missing piece to our website analytics. Not only do we understand how visitors interact with our clients’ websites, but we also can understand what needs to be changed on the websites to create a better user experience.” – G2 review

Crazy Egg reviews: "Why Isn't All Software This Good?"

“If you need to figure out which elements of a web page are getting clicks, and measure versions against one another, Crazy Egg is the answer.” – Jay Baer, Convince and Convert

Crazy Egg reviews: "Incredible insights in a very short amount of time spent in the product"

“We use Crazy Egg to improve our performance with our ad campaigns (mainly Google Ads), and we use it to inform our team on various site improvements we can make over time to fight off stagnation.” – G2 review

What Hotjar Customers Are Saying

Hotjar reviews: "Excellent Software for Understanding Website Visitor Interaction"

“The recordings are the most useful tool on Hotjar…you are able to see how users interact with your website. Specifically, you can follow along with their user journey through video, seeing clicks and movement.” – Kristen D. on G2

Hotjar reviews: "We like to make people happy... Hotjar shows us how well we are doing"

“We like to make people happy on and Hotjar shows us how well we’re doing.” – Brett Orr,

Hotjar reviews: "Hotjar Best Heatmap Tracking Software"

“I really like that it’s very easy to use, even my clients learn how to use Hotjar because of its simplicity. User recordings are very useful to report to clients that are unaware of their UX designs.” – Carlos I. on G2

What FullStory Customers Are Saying

FullStory reviews: "Pays for itself"

“Our ability to troubleshoot and hunt down bugs has increased substantially since implementing FullStory.” – G2 review

FullStory reviews: Mike Champion of HubSpot

“If I was an investor, I would give FullStory all my money. Just saved me tons of time debugging a customer issue.” – Mike Champion, HubSpot

FullStory reviews: "Support necessity"

“We use it for supporting our customers on a daily basis. We can see what changes were made and where the changes were made.” – Fred R. on G2

Wrapping Up

As we said from the outset, we know Crazy Egg isn’t the right website optimization tool for every company or person out there. The features, integrations, pricing, and customer reviews above are why we believe:

  • Hotjar is best for beginner-level marketers
  • FullStory is the best option for support, product, and user experience teams
  • Crazy Egg is the best option for intermediate and advanced marketers and CROs.

We’re really confident that more experienced marketers and CROs will fall in love with what we have on offer. Namely:

  • Our robust and detailed Snapshots
  • Full data collection and sampling flexibility
  • Flexibility to use our built-in A/B testing or integrate with your favorite tool.

If that sounds like just what you’ve been looking for, come give us a try. We offer a 30-day trial, completely free, that works on any of our pricing plans.

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