Alacrify Ltd

Clicky - A Great Alternative to Google Analytics


28th January 2011

Clicky - A Great Alternative to Google Analytics

We are addicted to website traffic stats. I guess it is a occupational hazard in our line of business where one of the key measures of online success is the number of website visits and visit duration.

The undoubted and, at the moment, indisputable king of the stats trackers is Google's Analytics. It has set the bar for peoples' expectations of what stats can show them about their website's performance. And it's a great leader, integrating as it does with Google's Adsense/Adwords advertising accounts and so on. However the complexity of the stats that Google presents often confuses as much as it enlightens.

Google Analytics GraphAs with all Google's services, the actual mechanism for counting a "visit" and tracking visitors' behaviour is ultimately a trade secret and shrouded in mystery. There's lots of general writing about how it works, and lots of speculation from other web developers, but ultimately it's a black box and inscrutable to the naked eye. This is all very well until, that is, you are asked to deliver an on site stats recording system for a client that isn't Google. The likelihood of you reporting the same figures as Google is just about nil, but that's another story.

The bit that interests me at the moment is the fact that you need to spend a long, long time reading up on Google Analytics to understand what they mean in order to be able to explain to clients what meaning they can really derive from Google's default reports.

Google Bounce Rates - A Definition?

Bounce Rate is a good case in point. It's a measure only of how many people land on a page and then vanish from the site without looking at anything else.

OK, it sounds simple enough, and in fact to the casual observer it seems like a negative experience. The visitor disappeared after one visit. Surely that's a bad thing.

Well, maybe. The truth of it is that all of our websites are highly optimised for search engines, so if the visitor arrives on the site from a search engine search,  they should land on the most appropriate and helpful page on the website; one that completely relates to their topic of interest. They may not need to visit another page, as they get what they wanted on page one.

Also, in almost all of our websites we now have full contact details for the business or website owner on every page, so if the visitor is looking for a means to contact the site owner, they can do so immediately without even going to a contact form or contact page.

In both these cases a single page visit (defined as a bounce by Google and others) may be a completely satisfactory and highly economical and effective visit. The visitor came, found what she was looking for, and left. Job done.

Get Clicky!

Get Clicky!This week we started to trial a service offered by another stats company called "Clicky" to see whether there it offers enough to be a really genuine competitor with Google. And our brief experience so far suggests, quite definitely, "Yes, it is."

Get Clicky! Website Visitor Statistics Analysis

Firstly it has a much more user-friendly interface, drawing together information in sensible, inter-related sections that have simple and obvious meaning right from the start.

Everyone wants to know the basics visitor numbers and page views, so they're dealt with of course, but most site builders and owners also want to know, "How'd the visitors get here?" and "What happened next?". Clicky provides this information in a lovely little "link tracker" section on the site, showing inbound and outbound links that allow you to see clearly the visitors' paths on to, and away from, the website.

This is only the start of it though, and although we've only just begun to use the service I can't see a reason to stop.

There are some real goodies on offer here, like real time visitor visibility, full visitor action tracking, easy removal of your own site visits from the stats records. The only possible downside it that it is even more addictive than Google!

Get Clicky web analyticsClick here to Get Clicky! and see it in action for yourself. They offer a FREE trial too.

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