Clicky Analytics for your website


2013/09/04

I've used Google Analytics for a long, long time. Last week I added Clicky Analytics as well.

I probably wouldn't have done this if it were not so easy to do with CloudFlare. Without CloudFlare, I would have had to add Clicky's Javascript to every page on my site. While that's not terribly difficult, it's enough work to dissuade me from just casually testing something like Clicky.

With CloudFlare, I just turn it on. Bing, done, Clicky is collecting data. Why NOT try something that easy? It could be turned off just as quickly if I didn't like it.

But I did like it and in fact I liked it enough to pay for the Pro version immediately.


So what's different?

The immediate difference is that Clicky is real time. The Big Screen shows you what's going on today and right now:

Clicky Big Screen View

That's usually not important, but it can be when you are experiencing a rush of visitors. Don't misunderstand though: Clicky can show you historical data too:

Clicky Dashboard

The screenshot above shows the last 60 days - well, not really as I haven't had it running that long, but it could. I can drill into this data in a number of ways, inluding getting visitor detail.

Clicky Visitor detail

Bounce Rate

Google's way of calculating "bounce rate" has always ticked me off. If you have a visitor that only viewed a single page, Google calls that a "bounce" and thinks it's an indication that the visitor didn't like your site. It doesn't matter to Google if they took a glance and left immediately or read every word on the page carefully for five minutes; Google says that's a bounce.

Clicky does not. They explain:


Clicky's bounce rate is much different from any other service - in a good way. All other services define a bounce as simply any visitor who viewed only a single page. With Clicky, though, our tracking code will continue to ping our servers while a visitor sits on a single page. This gives us a much more accurate picture of how long the visitor was actually on your site.

Our bounce rate takes this into account. A visitor will only count as a bounce on Clicky if they only view a single page and they were on your web site for less than 30 seconds. We figure, if someone is there for at least 30 seconds, they were at least mildly engaged and should not count as a bounce.

Because of this, while Google regularly shows my bounce rate as over 80%, Clicky shows it well under 30%, maybe even lower. That makes me feel a lot better: Google had me convinced that most visitors didn't like this site very much!

The same concept applies to "Time on site"; Clicky tracks it with pings.

Bot filtering

Clicky says that they also filter out bot traffic. I do not know if Google does the same, but CloudFlare does count those visits separately, so I could analyze all that if I cared.

Visitors without Javascript

Clicky says they track these people too. They say:


We can't log page titles or referrers for these visitors, but considering we can log them at all gives Clicky a major advantage over competing services.

Searches

This is an interesting report. For http searches, it shows what people were looking for and tries to show you what position in Google search they found your link. In the report shown here, one searcher dug all the way down to page 53 - that's dedication!

Clicky search data

By drilling in, I can find out that this search originated in India, that they used Google Chrome on Windows 7 and stayed for 57 seconds. I think I could get the same information from Google, but it would take many more clicks.

Clicky search detail

Cute, but useful?

I'm not completely sure about that. I signed up for a year, so will certainly have enough time to judge. If it is, I'll renew or switch to the free version if it's just a little useful. We'll see.



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