Mouse Tracking

Mouse tracking is a way of recording a user's interactions on a website. The method is used for testing the usability of the page.

Implementation

Mouse tracking can be carried out in a laboratory with special IT systems. It is also possible to perform remote mouse tracking, for which a local tracking software must be installed. Another variant of mouse tracking is also used: a JavaScript code is included in the website to be viewed, and this establishes the connection to a mouse tracking service provider. This connection is then used to record the user's behavior, in particular the cursor movements, clicks and scrolling behavior. The data is recorded and can be evaluated later.

Types of mouse tracking

There are different types of mouse tracking:

Heatmaps

If you take a photo of a house with a thermal camera, it shows where the most energy is lost - the redder the photo, the more energy is lost. Heatmaps use the same principle: they shows which elements of a page are viewed most often. The redder the certain areas are marked, the more the user looks at them, so it is possible to find out which elements are not perceived or noticed by the user.

Scrollmap

The Scrollmap shows how far down the average users scroll before they leave the page or click on a link. At the top of the page, where the perception is 100 percent, the whole page is colored. The further down you go, the brighter the colour becomes depending on the proportion of visitors who see this part. This allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether certain conversion elements are placed correctly or should be placed further up, or whether the most frequently seen area contains unimportant elements.

Mouse Movement Heatmap

Mouse movement heatmaps record the movements of the user's cursor. This is at least an approximation of the order in which the individual elements of a website are perceived. A need for action arises, for example, when the user first perceives the unimportant elements.

Clickmap

A clickmap shows which parts of a website have been clicked by the users. If the clicks of many users are superimposed on each other, it is possible to find out which places are mainly perceived and clicked on by the average user.

Pros and cons of mouse tracking

Tracking the mouse movements of users has the advantage that real user behavior is analyzed. This means that the data is completely natural data and provides accurate information about the user behavior. This solution can also be implemented very cost-effectively. There is no need to pay test persons or rent a usability laboratory. Cloud solutions for mouse tracking are already offered for around 5 to 15 euros per month.

The main disadvantage is the time required. With many providers of mouse tracking services, the user can see in videos how the individual user behaves. However, this is time-consuming. Another problem is that the data must always be linked to other tracking data and/or an Eye Tracking examination to produce a truly meaningful overall picture.

Software solutions

There are a number of software solutions that can be used to perform mouse tracking, e. g:

  • Crazy Egg
  • Mouseflow
  • m-pathy
  • Clickdensity
  • ClickTale
  • ClickHeat
  • etracker
  • clickmap

Significance for Online Marketing

Mouse tracking is an important tool in online marketing for website operators to optimize their conversion rates. It reveals which areas of the website users see most often, and which important elements of the site are overlooked. As a result, the website operator can find optimization potentials which can then be implemented. Mouse tracking is just as relevant for shop owners as it is for bloggers or affiliates and email marketing. Mouse tracking can also be used to find out the best design for newsletters.

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