What is Microsoft Clarity and how can it help your website?

by | Mar 25, 2023 | SEO | 0 comments

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What is Microsoft Clarity?

Microsoft Clarity is a tool that helps you see how people use your website. It can show you videos of their visits, heat maps that indicate where people click the most, and even some smart insights based on machine learning. It launched fairly quietly a few years ago, but was largely ignored. Mainly because most people were already using Google Analytics and presumed it couldn’t give them anything extra.

Clarity records what people do on your website, like where they move their mouse, what they click on, and how they scroll through the page. It also keeps track of how the website looks to them.

It’s free forever, has no limits on website size, and could be a really useful tool in seeing how people interact with your site.

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Why should I use Microsoft Clarity?

Microsoft says:

The unique features of Clarity that help you understand user behaviour include:

Simple and easy customisation makes Clarity best for your business.

Clarity won’t get in the way of your site’s performance.

Data is analyzed and ready to view in near real time, so you don’t have to wait.

No sampling.

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What does this mean?

Simple and easy customisation makes Clarity best for your business

While Clarity won’t replace Google Analytics, it does give you a little something extra. It’s easy to set up, simple sign up for an account and register your website, verify it (there’s a WordPress plugin, among others to help you do this), and start seeing results in a few hours.

There’s a walkthrough to help you sign up and complete the steps you need to see more from the users of your website.

Clarity won’t get in the way of your site’s performance.

People who visit your website won’t notice any change in how fast it loads or how well it works. Clarity’s JavaScript code works quietly in the background, without slowing down the website’s loading speed.

Data is analysed and ready to view in near real time, so you don’t have to wait

While Google Analytics makes you wait anything up to 24 hours to see results (unless you are watching in Real Time), Clarity offers immediate analysis of your visitor’s behaviour. You can watch sessions live and see what visitors are doing on your website.

Sent out an email? Watch the clicks come in, see the heatmaps that show you where people clicked on a page, see where they exited – all in real time; even watch a video showing what they’re doing right now. .

No sampling

Microsoft Clarity is GDPR compliant, and while it stores the usual data most analytics programs store, it doesn’t keep sensitive user data.

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How do I get started with Clarity?

Sign up

Simply sign up and register your website.

Verify your website

Depending on whether you have access to your website’s code or not, there are a few ways to verify – manually install the code, use a 3rd party integration, or send the code your your website developer for them to add the code for you.

Microsoft Clarity installation

There are a number of third party apps and integrations, including WordPress, Wix and Squarespace:

Third party systems that integrate with Microsoft Clarity

Set-up your preferences

There’s a simple checklist to go through to get your website set-up and ready to show data.

Microsoft Clarity set-up checklist

Once you have completed this, it takes a few hours to start seeing data.

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What data can I see in Microsoft Clarity?

The Clarity dashboard gives you a lot of data about your site, so it’s worth getting to know it.

Website Users and Sessions

The default setting is data from the last 3 days (however, Clarity can’t give you data from before you started using it) but you can change this to a timescale of your choice.

Microsoft Clarity Users and sessions

  • Sessions is the number of visits to your website pages during the chosen period of time, from all visitors.  A single user can open multiple sessions on the same day or over several days, weeks, or months. A session ends if the user is inactive for 30 minutes.
  • Bot sessions are excluded – these could be search engine bots or other bots collecting data from your website.
  • Live users is how many visitors are on your website right now.
  • Distinct users is the actual number of unique visitors to your website.

Microsoft Clarity sessions

  • Pages per session is the average number of page views a user has visited over the time period selected.
  • Scroll depth is an average of how far down your pages a user has scrolled. (For example, if you’ve linked to a blog post on social media, are people reading the whole blog post, or just a couple of paragraphs before they leave?)

Microsoft Clarity time spent

  • Time spent shows the average time spent on your website in a session. Active time is when someone was actually reading or interacting with your website. Inactive time is when a person still has your site loaded, but it could be in another tab or hidden on a mobile browser.

Dead Clicks

Microsoft Clarity dead clicks report

  • Dead clicks happen when a user clicks on a page but nothing of significance happens. It could be as simple as a user scrolling on a mobile, but it could also be a broken link or a pop-up error so it’s important to investigate.

Rage Clicks

Microsoft Clarity rage clicks

  • Aptly named, rage clicks show where someone has repeatedly tapped on an area of your site – we’ve all done it when that link won’t load and you should keep an eye on it for links that aren’t working or slow to load.


Microsoft Clarity referrers report

  • Under Referrers you can see where the visitors to your website have come from.


Microsoft Clarity Quickbacks

  • Quickback sessions are where someone has clicked on a link on your site and then quickly returned to the previous page. It could be that the link didn’t explain properly what the user would find when they clicked it.

Popular Pages

Microsoft Clarity popular pages

  • This area shows the pages that people are visiting on your website.
  • Turning URL parameters on will show any tracked campaigns you have running (for example in email).

Devices, Browsers, Countries and Operating Systems

Microsoft Clarity operating system report Microsoft Clarity countries report Microsoft Clarity Browser report Microsoft Clarity Devices list

  • These should all be self explanatory and familiar from other Analytics systems.

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Microsoft Clarity Heatmaps and what they can tell you

A Heatmap is a way to see how people use a website by showing where they click and scroll the most.

With Clarity, you can track how people use your website on their phones, computers, and tablets, and the tool will create a Heatmap automatically. This data helps you figure out which parts of your website people use the most and where there might be room for improvement.

The Heatmaps tab on the dashboard gives you an amalgamated view of the visitors to the pages on your website.

Microsoft Clarity heatmaps section

Clarity’s Heatmaps are made instantly, without any waiting time. You can see the results in just a few seconds.

When Clarity combines all the data from visitors to your website, it can show you patterns and trends in how people use your website. This information helps you figure out which parts of your website are most popular and effective.

There are three types of Heatmap – Click, Scroll and Area.

Click Heatmaps

Microsoft Clarity Click Heatmap

  • When you click on a heatmap in Clarity, it shows you where people click on your website. It also tells you which elements are clicked on the most, and how many clicks they get.Clarity’s click maps use a smart technique that focuses on the elements that people click on, rather than just their exact mouse position. This makes them very accurate, even if the website changes size or layout.There are different types of click maps in Clarity, including ones that show all clicks, clicks on elements that don’t work, clicks when people are frustrated, and more.

Scroll Heatmaps

Microsoft Clarity Scroll heatmap

  • Clarity’s Scroll Heatmaps show how far people scroll down a page, with red being the most popular and blue being the least. This data can tell you:
    • What percentage of users scroll to a particular section on your webpage.
    • The “average fold” – this is how much of the webpage people can see before they start scrolling, and it varies depending on the user’s device.

    Scroll maps are especially useful for showing which parts of a webpage get the most attention and which ones get overlooked. The average fold is calculated to give you an idea of what users see before they start scrolling.

Area Heatmaps

Microsoft Clarity area heatmap

  • Clarity’s Area maps show you how many clicks all the elements within a selected area of your website receive. This feature allows you to choose a specific section of your website and see how many clicks each element in that area gets. Unlike a click map, which shows clicks for the entire webpage, Area maps give you a more targeted view of clicks within a specific section.

How can Heatmaps help my website?

Heatmaps can enable you to understand how people use your website, and provide a baseline for you to compare changes over time. They can also help you identify what parts of your website are valuable and which ones aren’t, especially if you have limited resources.

By showing you where people click on your website, heatmaps can help you identify what content is resonating with your audience and validate which content is ranking well on your website.

Scroll depth can be especially valuable for mobile screens. It shows you how far people are scrolling down your website, which can help you determine the optimal line length for your pages. This information can also help you evaluate if your pages are too long or difficult to navigate.

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Microsoft Clarity Recordings and how they can help your website

Microsoft Clarity Recordings demo

Session recordings are a way to see how real people use your website. They record everything that visitors do on your website, like clicking buttons, scrolling down pages, and visiting different pages. Clarity stores these recordings for 90 days, so you can watch them later and see what visitors love about your website and where you can make improvements to increase conversions.

Session recordings can help answer important questions, such as:

  • What are visitors trying to do on your website?
  • What content is most important to your visitors?
  • What’s working well on your website?
  • Did visitors miss any important information or calls to action?
  • Where are the frustration points for users?
  • Are there any broken parts on your website?
  • What can be improved on your website?

You can pause, rewind, and forward recordings.

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You’ve convinced me I need Clarity for my website, what now?

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