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A few weeks ago I was tagged in something on LinkedIn by Neil Benson, asking if I would do a 30 day series on Microsoft Clarity. I’d not even heard of it, but it was only launched on October 28th, 2020… so I think I can be forgiven 😉. Clarity is an analytics tool, providing the ability to track how users/visitors interact with and engage with a website. Doesn’t that just sound like Google Analytics? Well, yes, it does… but let’s take a look and see why Microsoft Clarity is in fact quite different.
OK, but first…. what is actually the same?
Google Analytics is free and what is exciting for a Microsoft product, so is Clarity! There is no cost at all, and according to Microsoft, no caps on the traffic visits to your site. So no matter if you are starting out with a site getting just 10 visits a day, or you have a website generating thousands of visits per day, you won’t be charged anything for the privilege of using it. I’ve no idea who first said it, but there is an argument, that if you are not paying for the product or service you are using, YOU are the product. At this point, not sure if this is accurate in terms of Microsoft Clarity, or if it will remain free indefinitely…. but for now, it is.
The installation of Microsoft Clarity on your website is done in the exact same way as Google Analytics, by adding a script with tracking code into the code of your web pages. I’ve got a post that will walk through how to do this, but it’s pretty straight forward. You can also use Google Tag Manager to make sure the tracking code is triggered by visits to your site, which is a great way to make sure all of your website code scripts can be managed from one place.
For organisations working with marketing companies or consultants, the ability to collaborate is important. Team members can be set up in Google Analytics, providing the right kind of access to the data as required. Microsoft Clarity also has this ability, although right now it only allows two types of access, either Member or Admin. Admins can do everything, while Members can do everything that is not within the Settings section of Clarity. So that means no changing of roles, adding or removing team members, removing projects or just managing settings in general.
Both tools provide you with analytics about your website. You can see your total sessions, users, page load time, pages per session and bounce rate. You can filter and review data by country, browser and operating system, and by entry or exit URL. So there are many things that you will find in both Google Analytics AND in Microsoft Clarity.
Oh because there is so much more! And the point of Clarity is different to that of Google Analytics. Clarity is providing actual recordings of site visits, including the number and placement of clicks on a page, and how far down the page a user is scrolling. Insights like this provide web masters with the ability to see which pages are under performing, or if/when visitors leave pages… was it for the same reason other users are leaving. What are the trends that are being captured that indicate dead links, or web copy that is too complex or difficult to understand? Are there pages that just don’t provide answers to a users questions?
In a nutshell, you should be using Google Analytics AND Microsoft Clarity. Clarity is less than a month old at this point, but already I can see the value it brings. I’m putting together an initial series of videos and post, with more to follow as new features and functionality are introduced. I hope it helps!
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