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What is a mouse tracker?

A mouse tracker is a tool that allows you to track, collect, and collate user information relating to the position of website users’ mouse cursors. The purpose of mouse tracking is to gather comprehensive data around what your website users are doing, helping you decide how to optimize site usability and design.

You can use click trackers individually or in conjunction with a mouse tracking tool. Click trackers measure which of your internal links get clicked.

Mouseflow performs both functions, giving you a complete view of how users interact with your website.

How does mouse tracking work?

Mouseflow’s mouse tracking works by inserting a few lines of JavaScript into your website code or installing it via one of the existing integrations like Google Tag Manager, Segment.io or through your CMS like WordPress or Shopify.

Once installed, this code then automatically tracks clicks, interactions, heat maps and records sessions.

You can use mouse tracking on all pages of your website, including the shopping cart and checkout pages.

What can I use a mouse tracker for?

You can use mouse trackers for a wide variety of functions. However, most businesses use them to help optimize the user experience.

Common uses for mouse trackers include:

  • Conducting usability testing. Mouse tracking can help interpret user focus and intent, which parts of your pages users are giving attention to, and whether your pages meet users’ expectations. Mouse tracking can help you better position key information and calls to action on your pages.
  • Evaluating and updating web design. In addition to usability, mouse tracking can help you to gauge the effectiveness of your web design. For example, you can view if users travel across the screen looking for links to specific pages or struggle to deal with your site navigation. Long-term, you can build up a picture of changes you can make to improve usability and drive conversions.
  • Real-time adaptation. If your website features dynamic elements, you can use mouse tracking to show users more of what they might be interested in. For example, if users hover over a specific product on an e-commerce site, you can use this to generate a “You may also be interested in…” carousel.
  • Security. You can use Mouseflow to track user activity from behind log-in or paywall pages. From a security perspective, you can use mouse tracking to learn user behavior and trigger alerts if behavior within a user account is significantly different than usual. You can then ask for account verification to ensure the user is who they say they are.
  • Measuring educational engagement. Mouse tracking is widely used in online learning platforms to help optimize the learning experience and enhance ease of understanding. In tutoring settings, mouse tracking can also identify students’ off-track and non-study behaviors or actions.
  • Seeing through your users’ eyes. When you watch exactly what they see, you can quickly spot an alert that is hiding a CTA, a link that is not visible in a particular step of your flow or other barriers hindering your users in doing what you want them to do.

Why and when you should use mouse trackers

Using mouse trackers is the only way to ensure you get a complete picture of how users interact with your website pages. While click tracking alone has some value, mouse tracking adds context, showing you what happens before users click something or leave your website. Having this data allows you to organize vital elements of your pages and ensure the most critical information is in the places users look most often.

The extent to which you use mouse tracking software is up to you. However, we would recommend using it on, at least, all of your main landing, content, and commercial pages.

When you use Mouseflow, the JavaScript code we add will track user behavior across the whole site. Still, you probably don’t need to spend time looking at heatmaps for your Privacy Policy!

Mouseflow’s dashboard also allows you to apply a range of filters, helping you drill-down into specific user frustrations and potential design and usability issues, and take specific actions to optimize your pages.