The Ultimate Webmaster’s Guide to Using Microsoft Clarity

Microsoft Clarity provides details on how visitors use your website. Clarity, however, isn't the same as Google Analytics. While both are website analytics platforms, they have different features and require different steps to use.
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Microsoft Clarity provides details on how visitors use your website. Clarity, however, isn’t the same as Google Analytics. While both are website analytics platforms, they have different features and require different steps to use.

Move over Google Analytics; there’s a new website analytics platform in town. On October 28, 2020, Microsoft released its platform to help webmasters measure visitor engagement. 

What Is Clarity?

Clarity is a free website analytics platform offered by Microsoft. It’s powered by advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. Microsoft released Clarity in 2018 to a group of beta testers. 

Since then, Microsoft has quietly worked to improve its new website analytics platform. Clarity is now available to the general public.

According to Microsoft, Clarity helps webmasters understand visitor behavior to optimize their websites for a better user experience (UX). 

The platform’s AI and machine learning algorithms track visitor behavior while simultaneously displaying it in an easy-to-use reporting interface.

Clarity doesn’t just reveal how much traffic your website generates; it shows how visitors use and interact with your website. You can then apply this engagement data to make your website more comfortable and more enjoyable for visitors to use.

Benefits of Using Clarity

Using Microsoft Clarity, you can see how visitors use your website on a deeper level than that of Google Analytics. Clarity will record the sessions of your website’s visitors. 

Each recorded session shows the visitor’s entry page, the visitor’s exit page, the session duration, how many clicks the visitor made, the visitor’s country, and the type of device he or she used.

More importantly, perhaps, Clarity allows you to playback sessions from the visitor’s perspective. When playing back a recorded session, you’ll see the visitor’s cursor move on your website and where the visitor clicked.

You can also filter recorded sessions in Clarity by rage clicks, dead clicks, excessive scrolling, and quick backs. A rage click is a series of two or more clicks in rapid succession. 

A dead click is a click that doesn’t trigger a response from your website. Excessive scrolling occurs when a visitor scrolls through your website faster than expected. 

A quick back occurs when a visitor quickly leaves a page on your website and returns to a previous page.

In addition to sessions, Clarity offers heatmap tracking. You can choose from either click-based or scroll-based heatmap tracking. 

With click-based heatmap tracking, you’ll see which areas of your website generate the most clicks. The more clicks an area receives, the brighter it will be displayed on the heatmap. 

Scroll-based heatmap tracking works similarly but uses brightness to denote scrolling actions rather than clicks.

Of course, Clarity tracks many conventional engagement metrics as well. 

You can see:

  •  The number of pages visitors access per session
  •  The amount of traffic your website’s pages generate
  •  The average length of time visitors are active on your site relative to their time of inactivity
  • How far visitors typically scroll
  • Referring websites, and more.

Clarity won’t slow down your website. Microsoft specifically designed it to have minimal impact on load times. All the data collected by Clarity is stored on Microsoft’s servers, so even if your website generates a boatload of traffic, Clarity won’t slow it down.

How to Install Microsoft Clarity

To install Clarity on your website, visit clarity.microsoft.com and select the “Get started” button.

You’ll then be prompted to enter your website’s name and URL, followed by selecting an appropriate category for it. On the next screen, Microsoft will provide instructions for adding the JavaScript tracking code.

You must add the JavaScript tracking code to your website to install Clarity. Using your preferred web builder or content management system (CMS), open your website’s code and locate the tag-enclosed “head” section. 

Next, copy the JavaScript tracking code from the Clarity installation page and paste it into the “head” section.

After adding the tracking code to your website, you must wait for Microsoft to recognize it. 

This process can take up to two hours. If you still don’t see your website in Clarity, log out and back into your Microsoft account.

Tips on Using Clarity

The default timeframe for which Clarity records engagement data is three days. In other words, the data you see in Clarity comes from the sessions and interactions performed by your website’s visitors within the last three days. 

You can choose an alternate timeframe, though, by selecting the “Filters” button and choosing “Custom.”

Clarity offers dozens of other filtering options besides timeframe. If you’re trying to optimize your website for mobile visitors, for example, you can filter by mobile and tablet devices. 

Clarity will provide a more accurate picture of your website’s mobile usability by removing data from desktop and laptop visitors.

At the top of Clarity is four tabs for the platform’s various reporting features. Selecting the “Dashboard” tab will take you to Clarity’s homepage, where essential engagement data is displayed. 

The “Recordings” tab is where you replay sessions from visitors’ perspectives. You can view click- and scroll-based heatmaps by selecting the “Heatmaps” tab. 

Finally, the “Settings” tab has information about your website as well as the tracking code.

On the “Dashboard” tab, you can see the percentage of sessions that encountered a JavaScript error. Even though it’s JavaScript, the Clarity tracking code shouldn’t cause any errors. 

Nonetheless, visitors may encounter one or more errors during their sessions if your website uses JavaScript. To view the percentage of sessions with at least one JavaScript error for your selected timeframe, refer to the “JavaScript errors” section on the “Dashboard” tab.

You don’t have to choose between Microsoft Clarity or Google Analytics. You can use both analytics platform to track engagement on your website. 

Clarity supports integration with Google Analytics. When integrated, Clarity will send data to your website’s Google Analytics account. 

Regardless, Clarity is an invaluable analytics platform. It delves deeper into how visitors behave on your website by featuring session playbacks, heatmap tracking, custom filters, and more.

Microsoft Clarity Alternatives

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