If you have been running your site for awhile, then you know how important it is to track your visitors with some sort of web analytics. Knowing where your visitors are coming from, and what keywords are bringing yout the most traffic is essential to ensure a growing blog.
Google Analytics is the best known web analytics software out there. In the past, this is what I used on all my sites. It’s free and very powerful. However, I always felt it was lacking in many ways in terms of ease of use and displaying my data how I wanted to look at it.
I’ve also tested a few Google analytics alternatives like Piwik, Woopra and Mint, but when I came across Clicky several months ago, I fell in love right away. Not only does it address all the issues I had with Google Analytics, but it is a pleasure to use as well.
[jbox color=”yellow” title=”Clicky Overview” icon=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/clicky-logo.gif” border=”3″ radius=”10″ shadow=”0″]
Real-Time web analytics for tracking your website visitors.
Creator: Roxr Software Ltd
Price: Free for 1 site. A Pro account is $9.99 a month for 10 sites.
Official Site: GetClicky.com
Below are the 7 reasons why I like Clicky better than Google Analytics.
1. Real-time Analytics
This is the biggie for me and I still don’t understand why Google Analytics hasn’t added this capability already. When I want to check my site’s stats, I want to know what’s going on today, not yesterday.
With Clicky, your stats are updated in real-time so you always know what’s going on with your site. If your site experiences a sudden spike in traffic, you’ll see it as it happens, and know where your visitors are coming from.
There’s even a Spy View, that gives you a cool little overview of the visitors that are currently on your site. Once you experience real-time stats tracking, you’ll never want to go back the old way of viewing your data.
2. No Footprint
When you stick your Google Analytics tracking code on your site, it includes your GA UA code. This identifier uniquely identifies your Google Analytics account and can be used by others to track down every other site you own that’s using Google Analytics as well. Take a look at reverseinternet.com and tell me if that doesn’t scare you a bit.
While Clicky does include an ID in its tracking code, it’s unique to a particular site. So there’s no footprint that links one of your sites to any other site in your account.
3. Better Interface
I really like the way Clicky is laid out. The account dashboard gives me a nice overview of all the sites in my account. When I drill down to a specific site, each site’s dashboard has all the information I want to see in one place.
You’ll find basic info like (number of visitors and average time per visit), the top incoming links, top pages, and top search keywords. What I like most is that Clicky compares your current day’s stats to those of the previous day at the same point in time. You’ll see this reflected in the graphs and values for each metric that gets displayed.
Another view that I find particularly useful is that I can click on a particular page of my site and see exactly what searches people are using to get to that page. This allows me to uncover new keywords to rank for as I’ll often see long tail keywords show up here that I had never even thought about before.
4. Full-Featured Mobile Version
Clicky has a really good mobile version of it’s site. There’s no app to download. Just visit http://i.getclicky.com and login. The mobile version is very slick and contains the full Clicky functionality (minus the graphs). This makes it simple to check your Clicky stats from your phone, no matter where you are.
5. Clicky API
Clicky includes a full featured Stats API that lets developers get access to all the available Clicky data in a wide variety of formats. While this might not interest the non-programmers out there, it does enable folks like Yoast to develop third party tools like the Clicky WordPress plugin.
Not only does the plugin make it easy to integrate Clicky tracking on your site, it has other cool features like naming your commentors in your Clicky reports.
6. Video Analytics
Got videos on your site? Clicky can capture analytics for those as well as it has built in support for Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, and HTML5 video. This allows you to track things like the average time spent watching a video which lets you know at a glance how engaging your videos are.
7. Better Bounce Rate Metric
This is a controversial one. Most web analytics define bounce rate as the any visitors who visit one page of your site and leave. But is that really a good metric? The Clicky guys don’t think so. Instead they define a bounce to be one page view and the visitor stays less than 30 seconds on your site. I like their explanation and I agree that this is a better way to measure your bounce rate.
Are you happy with Google Analytics on your own sites? If not, I would seriously take a look at Clicky as a viable alternative.
I currently have a Pro account of Clicky, so I’ve installed it on my 10 most “important” sites, including this one. Some people may balk at the thought of paying for web analytics, but at $60 a year ($5/month), I think it’s a reasonable amount to pay for the data that it provides me.
Clicky also provides a wide variety of other plans, including a free plan where you can try it out on a single site. I would recommend doing that first to see if Clicky works for you.