We have grown accustomed to heat maps over the years. From web analytics click overlays to CrazyEgg. Some companies out there have take it a step further and have gone so far as to not only track where you click, but also where you move your mouse.
Before I talk to you more about 5 (and 1 bonus) mouse tracking tools that I would personally recommend to you, let’s do some myth busting. To be sure, with mouse tracking I mean non aggregated session recordings of a visitor’s mouse movements through a website.
Mouse Tracking versus Eye Tracking… no comparison
One of the big selling points of many of the live click tracking vendors has always been that it is a less expensive alternative to regular eye tracking studies with almost similar benefits.
A Crazy Egg heatmap lets you collect more than 88% of the data you would using a traditional eye-tracking process. At a fraction of the price. With no hardware. Almost no IT involvement. And no strings attached.
As in any research study there will always be at least 2 camps, one for, and one against. According to an article on SimpleUsability.com Google presented relevant data on the topic during the eye tracking conference in 2010.
The article stated that Senior User Experience Researcher at Google, Dr Anne Aula, presented data debunking the myth that Mouse Tracking heavily correlates with Eye Tracking. Google has lots of data, regularly use eye tracking, and would also like to save some money and time by using mouse tracking data to replace eye trackers.
According to Google’s data on the comparison between Mouse Tracking and Eye Tracking:
- 6% of people showed some vertical correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking (that’s 94% with NO correlation)
- 19% of people showed some horizontal correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking (81% with NO correlation)
- 10% hovered over a link and then continued to read around the page looking at other things.
Debunked but definitely not useless
The figures speak for themselves. No basic correlation for over 80% of users. It’s quite simply a non-starter for telling us where people look on the screen – even on highly functional google SERPs.
That doesn’t mean that mouse tracking, data is useless, it just does not compare to eye tracking. Live click tracking can be very powerful as I have demonstrated in a previous article about CrazyEgg. With some new companies also adding mouse movement tracking the stakes just got higher.
So, with that out of the way, let us look a 5 (+1 bonus) mouse tracking tools for you to use.
5 Mouse Tracking Tools
The 5 mouse tracking tools range from mega expensive enterprise level tools all the way down to $18 WordPress plugins that will help you get started. Even if you work for an enterprise sized company, there is still plenty available for small and medium sized business owners to help them learn more about the click and mouse movement behavior of their visitors.
Objectiveness is difficult, but if you are not an enterprise sized company (or even if you are), Mouseflow is definitely a tool to consider. Mouseflow is great tool in the sense that it offers a free plan to help you get started and get to grips with live click tracking data collection and analysis.
Mouseflow will offer you:
- Live mouse tracking
- Click and move heatmaps
- Scroll heatmaps
- In-page analytics
Premium plans start at €15 (or $15) a month. Make sure to try the ‘Try It’ feature on their site, it will give you a cool demo of how it all works.
2. userTrack – Mouse Monitoring for WordPress
- Mouse click and movement heatmaps
- Scroll depth heatmaps
- Watch full recordings of sessions
With this tool only costing a one-time-fee of $30 it is definitely one of the more affordable options out there.
3. Heat Map Tracker: Powerful Live Tracking WP Plugin
Heat Map Tracker is very comparable to userTrack in terms of functionality and that it too is a WordPress plugin. Although the tool also has its own website, it offers the tool there for $49. At Codecanyon you can purchase the same tool for just $18. Regardless of their strategy, the tool was built on a previous plugin named ViberSpy.
Heat Map Tracker, like userTrack, also stores your visitors’ data within your WordPress database. If you are a large company working with WordPress and getting a lot of traffic, consider possible performance impacts of WordPress plugins. Cloud hosted solutions like Mouseflow, Clicktale, or Lucky Orange might be a better option for you. At $18, it is worth a try.
With Clicktale, you are getting the crème de la crème of mouse tracking, mouse movement, scroll heat maps… and form analytics. Where the previous tools fall short, Clicktale and the next tool come into play.
Although Clicktale offers a free, yet limited, version of its tool to make full use of Clicktale you will be paying quite a sum. In the past, my experiences with Clicktale have taught me that a proper and extensive implementation of Clicktale is required to really get your money’s worth.
After the lengthy implementation Clicktale does its work and more. Where web analytics and the other mouse tracking tools fall short Clicktale makes up with form analytics. Know exactly which form field drives abandonment. Don’t track abandonment on a page level, but on a input field level.
Deep pockets, long implementation, but a treasure chest full of insights in return.
5. Lucky Orange
Even though they have a funky name, Lucky Orange is not a dedicated live mouse tracking vendor. Their solution also offers live chat software, feedback surveys and polls, and real time visitor map. With Lucky Orange being a full featured tool it is difficult for me to asses how dedicated their solution is for mouse tracking.
If you have any experience with them, please do let me know.
6. [Bonus] IBM Tealeaf cxOverstat
Back in 2011, before Tealeaf was acquired by IBM, Tealeaf themselves acquired Overstat. Overstat, at its time and now as an integration module for Tealeaf, is the bee’s knees, not because it is much better than Clicktale, but because of Tealeaf’s power as a Customer Experience platform.
Here is a brief explanation of how cxOverstat works within Tealeaf:
It’s ability to work with dynamic websites, and use Tealeaf unique segmentation options and unique event tracking makes it a killer combo.