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Using Mouseflow to Improve Your Online Ad Campaigns

A Guest Post by David Vogelpohl at Marketing Clique.

The scenario is common. You launch a meticulously planned campaign, carefully targeted to your audience, crafted in its pitch, and driven to a landing page that makes your heart stop….. but nothing happens. You sit there staring at stats like bounce rate, time on page, and even heat maps, wondering what could possibly be driving away all these hard bought clicks. The problem is these stats lack context and order and are blurred averages leading to blurred insights. Sure you could A/B test landing pages based on your blurred view, or you could use Mouseflow to see exactly what it’s like to be a visitor. With Mouseflow, you will be able to sit next to your visitors as they enter your site, engage with your landing page, and take the journey to being a paying customer. Along the way they’ll stumble, not find what they need, look fruitlessly for help, click on things that don’t work, and quickly blow past reams of content you thought were super important. You’ll experience this with the visitor and be able to use these insights to improve what you do to turn more paid clicks into paying customers.

Step 1: Making sure Mouseflow is ready to go

You’ll want to install the Mouseflow code on as many pages on your site as possible to capture the full experience of the visitor as they traverse your website. Most importantly, you want to set up conversion tracking within Mouseflow. To set up conversion tracking, you can point your developer to this resource article on Custom Variables / Tagging with Mouseflow. Tagging is basically the use of Javascript to tag a video recording with variables. For example, if you have an ecommerce site, when a conversion occurs, you might tag a recording with variables like purchase confirmed, order amount, product ID, etc. If you have a B2B site, you might tag recordings with variables like lead form submitted, lead score, etc. The reason you’re tagging recordings is so that you can filter recordings by visitors who converted vs. didn’t convert, bought a specific product, and so on. The power in Mouseflow is being able to segment recordings based on user behavior and tagging is how you accomplish segmentation. You’ll likely need the help of a developer to implement the conversion tagging. If your development team is busy, consider hiring a development firm that specializes in analytics tracking like my company Marketing Clique. Implementing conversion tagging isn’t a big development project, but can have a huge impact on the ROI of your online ad campaigns.

Step 2: Configuring your online marketing campaigns

Again, sticking with our theme that segmenting recordings is the key to success with Mouseflow, we now need to take some steps to make sure your online marketing campaigns support recordings segmentation. There’s actually only one thing you need to do to configure your campaigns to support segmentation and it’s something you should be doing anyways… UTM tracking links. UTM links are links containing variables which allow you to define the source, medium, term, content, and campaign name of the location where you post the link. UTM links are universally recognized by most analytics platforms like Google Analytics and of course, Mouseflow. You can use this handy UTM Link Building Tool by Google to quickly build UTM links to use as destination URLs in the ads you place on Adwords, Facebook, AdRoll, or any other link based ad platform. Once you start using UTM links, you can now segment recordings in Mouseflow using criteria like “visitors from Facebook ads who converted”, “visitors from a specific keyword in Adwords who didn’t convert”, and so on. This level of segmentation is where you start to get really interesting insights from your Mouseflow recordings.

Step 3: Setting up your reports

Now that you have conversion tracking setup in Mouseflow and UTM links on the destination URLs of your ads, you can start to view your segmented recordings in Mouseflow. Start by logging into Mouseflow and clicking on “Recordings” in the top navigation. Once you load the Recordings report, now you need to filter the recordings to help you segment by visitor type. To filter the reports you’ll need to use the “Search for Variables” function (right sidebar) and the “Search” function (top left) on the Recordings view in Mouseflow. Search Variables – Filters by the conversion attributes you set in step 1 (e.g. sale made, lead generated, product ID, etc.)
Search Function – Filters by words in the URL string including your UTM parameters. Listed below are 3 filter examples based on different scenarios.


Visitors who came from Facebook and bought something:

Facebook Visit




Visitors who came from a specific campaign and bought a specific product:

Product Visit



Visitors who came from a certain keyword, became a lead, and had a certain lead score:

Keyword Visit


Don’t forget that the information you enter in the “Search for Variables” and “Search” functions should be terms you use in your UTM variables and conversion attributes. As always, test to make sure the reports and tagging are working before you launch your campaigns!

Step 5: Optimizing campaigns based on recordings

After you launch your campaigns, you’re ready to start peering over your visitors’ shoulders to get insights into how you can improve your conversion rates. Again, the key here is segmenting your recordings and watching them in the right context. There are an infinite number of ways you might want to segment your recordings, but there are two primary methods of segmentation

I recommend when optimizing campaigns.

1. Visitors who converted

2. Visitors who didn’t convert You can also segment by order ID, lead score, etc. to get different insights into different types of visitors. Once you segment your videos you’re ready to watch the recordings. The main purpose in viewing recordings during an online marketing campaign is to get insight into how you might modify your landing page and website to increase your conversion rates.

Here is a list of some of the top things I look for when watching recordings:

1. Do I have content that is being ignored?

2. Is the visitor focusing attention on the calls to action?

3. What order is the visitor reading content or viewing web pages?

4. Are visitors having any user experience issues?

5. Are visitors having trouble finding information?

6. What is the last thing someone looks at before they convert? Once you identify what you’re looking for, now it’s time to watch some recordings. I personally like to watch between 10-20 recordings per segment to get a good feel for the average behaviors. After watching the recordings, you now need to come up with a theory on how you can improve your landing pages based on the recordings. Armed with this insight, you can now implement a landing page A/B test to see if your theory is correct.

Conclusion: The power in using Mouseflow to improve your online ad campaigns is in the incredible insight it provides and your ability to execute on those insights through purposeful A/B testing.

Pro Tips: Listed below are a few of my favorite pro tips when using Mouseflow for optimizing online ad campaigns…

1. Use this Adwords Traffic Filter in Mouseflow to only record visitors coming from Adwords.

2. Modify the filter in item 1 by changing the “gclid” variable to a variable that matches up with a different source of traffic based on the referrer data. In other words, you can restrict recordings from other sources of traffic than Adwords

3. When you filter a Recordings report as detailed in Step 3 above, you can bookmark that URL to make it easier to check that report in the future.

4. In Step 2 above we discussed how to use UTM links to segment recordings. If you’re doing print, radio, or TV advertising you can use a short URL (or custom domain) which redirects to a UTM link (e.g. redirects to UTM link). Using this technique you can now segment recordings based on people visiting your site after hearing about you on traditional media like TV, radio, and print. Boom.

About the Author David Vogelpohl is the CEO of Marketing Clique an online marketing and development agency located in Austin, TX. As a leader in the online marketing community, David speaks at national conferences like Pubcon, Affiliate Summit, and WordCamp. Since 1996, David has been managing websites and online marketing campaigns spanning almost every type of online advertising medium including PPC, display, retargeting, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and SEO.

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