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Mouseflow brings to mind an old phrase, “You can have data without knowledge, but you cannot have knowledge without data.” Many other web analytics services inundate you with data but starve you of wisdom. Mouseflow, on the other hand, gives users meaningful data about how individuals use one’s website and helps translate that data into real, actionable knowledge. Those who are unfamiliar with the service can think of Mouseflow as a tool which records the screens of those who browse one’s website. It captures everything from the user’s geographic location to the user’s pointer movements, clicks, and scrolling behavior. These recordings are stored online for the website owner to watch. On its website, Mouseflow boasts having such clients as Microsoft, NBC, Office Depot, Philips, Costco, and more. How are these companies using Mouseflow and what are the benefits?
What is Clear to One, is Murky to Another
One critical insight any novice web designer will come to is that what seems obvious to the developer may not seem so obvious to the end user. For example, users may click on a particular text thinking it’s a link when in fact it’s not, or users may have difficulty finding the checkout button which another thought was very easy to locate. Even seemingly inert design decisions such as having a full-page background image may confuse users into thinking they have reached the end of the page and cause them to stop scrolling further down.
Most of these issues have simple solutions. In the case of a page where users consistently stop scrolling down at a certain point, a simple icon with an arrow pointing down can give users the visual cue they need to understand that the page continues further. The real problem is figuring out that the issue exists in the first place. Doing so requires observing how visitors use your website. That’s what Mouseflow helps you do.
Mouseflow at its Best, Conversion Optimization
Mouseflow is at its best when one is working within a conversion optimization framework. When optimizing for conversions, business owners need to understand precisely how users interact with their website. Where do users tend to drop off? Is anything on your site confusing or frustrating visitors which causes them to stop before making a purchase? Even in the case of a successful conversion, business owners can still ask themselves what went right and how can one design the website such that things go right more often.
Mouseflow has many great use cases, but it’s not for everyone, and it’s certainly not a panacea for poor conversion optimization. Like any other service, it’s got limitations. For one thing, session recording can be flawed on some sites, especially in cases where a web page is highly dynamic (meaning it has lots of animation or adjusts fluidly with the size of the browser window). In such situations, clicks may not register in the correct place, or Mouseflow may not render your page correctly from within their platform. However, these problems only occur on some sites and only to varying degrees. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their free trial and see how the service works for you.
Implementation is simple. Anyone who has ever implemented a tracking code of any sort will find themselves in familiar territory. Mouseflow provides users with a code snippet which one must place in the head section of the website. Some business owners will feel comfortable doing this themselves while others will prefer to have their developer do it. Either way, the entire process takes fewer than 10 minutes.
Once up and running, take advantage of the free trial. Don’t be afraid to explore the different types of data including the session recordings, page scrolling data, click heatmaps, and location data. Business owners may learn much from the 30-day trial alone, so there is no reason not to give it a shot. If you have any questions about using Mouseflow to optimize your website, or you know what needs to be fixed but need a little help doing it, give us a call.