A Review of Clicky Analytics (and Why it Beats Google)

36 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours.

Clicky vs Google Analytics

Could there really be something better than Google Analytics? I’m starting to think so – it’s called Clicky Web Analytics.

This analytics alternative has been absolutely been blowing me away over the last few weeks. It’s got a lot of features that I’ve always wondered why Google Analytics was lacking.

Today I’m going to review Clicky as best as I can based on the ways I’ve been using it. I highly recommend you consider giving them a look if you’re not satisfied with your current statistics provider.

Let’s jump in.

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means that if you sign up to Clicky through a link on this post I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please remember that I never promote anything unless I have used it and loved it myself. Thanks!

How I got started with Clicky

A few weeks ago I launched a new responsive design for Blog Tyrant and was in the market for a new heat map software so I could track where people were clicking on the new theme.

As always, I asked my Twitter followers and got a quick response:

clicky review

I decided to jump on board and after a quick browse of the features purchased their second package which included the heat maps and a bunch of other things.

Since then I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into this new analytics software and getting a lot of out it.

Clicky review: the main features I’ve been using

As mentioned, I’ve been using Clicky for some pretty specific purposes so this review probably won’t cover absolutely everything that they do.

My goal with these types of reviews or blogging tips articles is not to completely cover the topic – I just want to introduce you to something that is working for me so you have a place to begin your research.

The following points are the things that I love that I can’t really get from Google Analytics.

1. On-site heat maps

One of the coolest things you’ll notice about Clicky is that their heat maps are really functional and smooth, unlike some other heat maps providers.

You also get to view the heat maps directly on your website by installing a little bit of code into your back end.

heat map clicky

The above shows you the last couple of weeks of clicks on the homepage of Blog Tyrant. It is so nice having the heat map installed directly on your website as you can just visit a page or post, click the little icon down the bottom and view it right there.

I should also note that you can segment your heat maps by split test which gives you some incredible useful information about where people are clicking on your different versions.

2. That little button that appears on your site

Speaking of that little button – that is one of my favorite features. Once you’ve signed up for Clicky they’ll give you a short code to whack on your site and you’ll start to see a button like this.

clicky button

And it’s great because the icon that you click to show the heat map, select the date range, etc. is only visible to you when you’re logged in to Clicky. No one else can see it. But it means that you don’t need to go to another website in order to see a bunch of your favorite stats.

3. Real time information about all your visitors

One of the most frustrating things about Google Analytics is that the stats are all delayed by at least 24 hours (except for a couple of bare minimums).

Clicky, on the other hand, has a massive amount of live stats so you can see exactly what is going on while a post is going viral or you are running some advertising campaign.

clicky live stats

Again, click that little button that only you can see and you’ll be able to view huge amounts of information about how many people are on your site, where they come from, what searches they made to arrive there, what websites referred them and what path through your site’s content they took.

So sexy.

Did I mention that we’re still only looking at the stuff that you can view on your own website without even needing to visit Clicky’s website?

So sexy.

4. A simple interface displaying today’s stats

One of the most common things I’ve heard about Clicky is how much people love the interface. It’s simple and you have all the main stuff that you need right in front of you when you open the website.

clicky interface

Contrast that to Google Analytics which, to me, has really weird ways of labelling things. I’ve been using it for years and I still click around in their sidebar for ages before I find what I’m looking for.

I love that you can just click today, yesterday, two days ago, last week, etc. and see all the stats right in front of you whereas Google has the ‘compare date range’ function to fiddle around with.

5. A better way of measuring bounce rate

When someone bounces from your site it means that they landed on your blog and then left without taking any action (like clicking to read another post).

Clicky, however, thinks that this measurement is not entirely useful because if someone stays on your site reading an article for five minutes and then leaves it’s hardly fair to say that that article is not engaging.

I tend to agree.

It should be noted that if you are a bit technically savvy you can change how Google Analytics measures your bounces but if you prefer Clicky’s way of measuring things you might just like the have a crack.

6. Video and Twitter analytics

If you’re starting to get into video marketing then you’ll want some analytics to see whether your hours of filming are making waves.

video analytics

Of course, there are other providers who do this but it’s awesome that Clicky has a feature that will track how long people watch your videos, when they pause, etc. right from your regular analytics page.

The really cool thing about the ‘pause/seek monitoring’ is that it will give you an idea about any bleeds that you have – places where people are getting bored or stuck.

They also do this with Twitter mentions which means you can monitor what people are saying about you or your brand and have a better picture of what is affecting your presence on social media. This is particularly useful for businesses or brands that need to respond to customer questions or complaints.

7. Search rankings position for each visitor

This is really cool. Clicky will tell you what ranking you were in Google when someone clicked through to your website. Have a look.

search rankings

Unfortunately you still get stuck behind Google’s bloody secure search blocking but you can still get some interesting data about your rankings positions. Again, there are other services that do this better but it’s nice to have it inside your analytics provider.

It’s nice to know that all of your blogging SEO efforts are paying off.

8. Live links

One of the nice ways to use Clicky as a monitoring tool is with the links section that allows you to see what links you are getting on a real time basis.

links

This tool is great because it allows you to see where people are arriving from in real time (unlike Google) so you can monitor any news stories or big new mentions that you’ve had around the web. It’s always nice to know what’s going on so you can go and interact, respond, etc.

A summary of Clicky vs Google Analytics: my review

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Google Analytics is rubbish – it’s not.

It is a very good free solution for people who are just starting out and maybe just want to start a free blog and get some insights.

But if you are starting to take your online business a bit more seriously then Clicky might be a better option. There is a free version but the Pro+ and the Platinum give you many more features that are extremely valuable.

Don’t delete your Google Analytics account just yet – test this all first. Plus you have a lot of old data in there.

I’d be very interested to know what you guys can achieve with Clicky and whether the heat maps and split tests can bring you insights that take your blog in new directions.

Resources to get more from your analytics

I’m sure if you’ve been blogging for a while you’ll have heard how important analytics can be to your business.

That’s great.

But in actual fact it can be really hard and complicated to get insights out of those statistics without driving yourself crazy or actually coming to incorrect conclusions.

Here’s a list of resources that you can tackle over time that will hopefully teach you how to really get the best information from your masses of stats.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but I think it can give you a good starting point if you’re just starting to dive into your analytics.

Do you use Google Analytics or Clicky?

I’d be really interested to know whether you use Google Analytics, Clicky, or perhaps some other service. Here’s what I really want to know: what feature do you love or hate the most about your analytics provider?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

Top photo © Abidal | Dreamstime.com.



Ramsay WROTE THIS

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36 Comments... Leave yours.

  • chris

    Funny timing given our email conversation yesterday. I’ll check it out.


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Yeah I was thinking that as we chatted. Had just finished writing this one out.


  • Esteban

    Interesting… Will give it a try.

    I personally use my own stats server running Piwik: http://piwik.org/


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing!


  • Sietse

    Good post! Have been looking at Clicky for quite a while and never really thought of making the switch from Google Analytics, but your article pulled me over the edge.

    I registered right away, going to see if it’s something that is of better use than Google.

    Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Please let me know your thoughts.


  • Noufal Binu

    Useful review for me, So first time hear about clicky analytics, It is cool but some options not available like Google analytics, however I like this simple user interface. I think It is trusty? So i think permanently move my Google analytics to ‘Clicky’ , Thanks.


    1. Ramsay

      Don’t move away from Google until you are sure. Test it first.


  • Nigel Merrick

    I’ve been using Clicky for several years now, and love it. You have to watch out for the addictive nature of the “spy” function, but it’s helped identify new incoming links quickly, gives you good insights into how people are interacting with the site, and just seems a whole lot more intuitive than Google Analytics (which I still use, nui


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for shar

      ;-)


  • Greg

    Demoting content, and now Google? This is all too much for me.


    1. Ramsay

      Perhaps you should read the posts bro.


      1. Greg

        Dude you make them way too skimmable :)


  • Beth

    Ramsay, I’ve been using Clicky for awhile now and I love it! I don’t even bother looking at Google Analytics any more. Clicky really helps me see what posts are drawing people in and what areas I should concentrate my efforts. Love it!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing!


  • Ben

    Intuitive, user-friendly and worth the very modest monthly fee. Only reason I touch Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools now is to get actual keywords that they block everywhere else. If you’re on the fence I also highly recommend it.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for commenting!


  • Bob Tabor

    Thanks for this review … I’m in the middle of trying to tweak things and this caught my eye. I haven’t used clicky yet, but I have used another service that had real-time visitor stats (GoSquared). My question is this … how is this real-time information “actionable”? I’m not asking to be a jerk, I seriously am curious. After the newness wore off, I felt no better informed than before. So, if you ever get a chance, I would love to hear your process of how to analyze that real time data to make an improvement on your site.

    Furthermore, I think I understand the value of the heat map, however even this makes a big assumption: people move their mouse cursors to follow their eye movements. If something catches my eye, I move my mouse cursor there. But, is that true? Is that how people really react to the parts of a website. I typically keep my finger on the scroll wheel and scan the page as I move up and down.

    Don’t get me wrong, Google Analytics is a mess unless you have hours and hours to pour through stats. I’m just beginning to question the value of stats AT ALL. I know that sounds like heresy. Furthermore, I’m beginning to question the value of A/B Split Testing, and all the other little systems we’ve cooked up to measure all this stuff. I’ve been doing this (pure-play web business) for 13 years … I’ve yet to get a meaningful ROI from any of it.

    The thing that impacts my site the most?

    (1) Sharing my work (roughly 50% of what I do) for free, and charging for the other 50%. Particularly sharing it on websites that get a lot more traffic than I do (in my case, that would be a large software vendor).

    (2) Releasing new content every day, both free and paid. Both blog posts and videos (which is what I sell).

    (3) Email blasts (but even those have become less effective over the years)

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this … since you’re in the mode of questioning everything right now with your recent blog posts (which are really good, btw) I thought I would ask a fundamental question … do we really get the benefit from knowing the stats that all the “experts” claim? Is the emperor wearing any clothes?


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Bob.

      Great comment.

      I guess the main thing about live stats is that you can see what’s being said about your website in real time. So if another website links to me I can go over and interact as it’s happening.

      It’s also nice to monitor live stats when you are running advertising campaigns and the like – with Google Analytics you have to wait 24+ hours to confirm traffic levels and landing pages, etc.

      As for the heat maps, that tracks clicks. So you can see what people are clicking on. For example, I discovered that on one of my tutorials people were clicking on the screen shots thinking that they were the actual buttons on the other website. So I was able to increase conversions by making the images links as well.

      Hope that helps.

      Ramsay


  • Elena

    Is it really worth the $15-20/mo investment? How do you see a payoff of this tool for the $$ spent?


    1. Ramsay

      It means that I’m not guessing about areas of my site that are working. I can see where people click, their flow through the site and split test outcomes.


  • Isaiah Jackson

    Hey Ramsay, thanks for the review of Clicky, I find that the most powerful feature may be the use of the heat map tracking. That alone will help boost conversions simply because you would know where people are clicking.

    Thanks again for the review,

    – Isaiah Jackson.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that’s my favorite at the moment too.


  • Lewis

    Hey Ramsey, thank for including me in the “Other Resources” section!

    I’m glad Clicky is catching on with other popular bloggers, having used it for a couple of years now I can attest to what you say…..so sexy!

    Cheers,
    Lewis


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome article!


  • Steve

    I’ve finally got my cheeky face featured on a decent blog!! Thanks for the mention Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Thanks man.


  • chris

    Ramsay, I was checking out Clicky and saw this on their site regarding heatmaps, “Last, if your site has a responsive design, data will not be accurate at all. In the future, we may add an option to specify the pixel thresholds that your site changes design so we can segment out the proper clicks for each layout.”

    What sites AREN’T responsive any more for ipad, iphones, etc.? This is a deal-breaker for me as a huge percent of my traffic is on mobile devices. Am I missing something? Does Crazy Egg suffer the same?


    1. Ramsay

      I think the data is still pretty good if you have a specified max width setting. I’ve got a responsive design and it still reads pretty well. Sometimes it’s a little bit off but you get the idea.


      1. chris

        Thanks, this helps.


        1. chris

          …signed up for the pro plan with the heatmaps.


  • Bixel Street Media

    Okay you sold me – I wasn’t too fond of Googles interface but I love Clicky you made me switch – and I love it!


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you’re liking it!


  • Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon

    Really interesting post. Thanks for sharing.


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