The following article is a guest post by Steve Rendell.
Before I start this blog post, let me just be clear, I am a huge fan of Google Analytics, I think it is a superb tool,but, recently I have been thinking more and more about the idiom “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and particularly its relevance to my small web portfolio of sites. Until last month, all my sites were linked into Google Webmaster, all my sites were using Google Analytics, and for my information sites I am showing Google AdSense adverts. I also derive a large proportion of my online traffic from yep you guessed it Google.
Now this isn’t a bad thing as such, but diversification is very important, and I wanted to make steps to begin breaking that reliance on Google, so decided to test out other website analytics package. After some extensive testing, I settled on a product called Clicky Analytics – which actually offers web site owners, like you and me, an even fuller suite of functions than the one provided by Google. It does cost a small fee, but for the amount of functionality you get, it’s a no brainer. Google Analytics is free but it is also a way for Google to buy massive amounts of web traffic data in exchange for some pretty charts.
Here are my top five reasons why I think you’ll be happier using Clicky Analytics instead of Google Analytics.
Spy on your visitors
Now this sounds a bit creepy but it isn’t. What it is is a realtime feed of visitor interactions on your site. You can see how they found your site, what page they are on, what other pages they have visited
as well as the ability to chat with that visitor directly (if you have oLark enabled). This is super useful for helping convert visitors into buyers, or just for on the fly market research.
Fully featured mobile version
Not only does Clicky offer a fully featured generic mobile interface to their site (as well as a iPhone specific interface), they also offer a slick and clever iPhone/iPad native application for monitoring
your websites. It is really smart to be able to check your statistics out on the go, as well as the ability to receive notifications when your visitor count exceeds a specific number.
Improved Bounce Rate Metric
One thing I found frustrating with GA is way that the bounce rate is calculated. If someone comes to your site, and leaves from the same page that is considered a ‘bounce’. A high bounce rate means in
Googles eyes that your site is of lower quality, and it may lower your ranking in the SERPS. Clicky Analytics defines a bounce to be one page view and the visitor stays less than 30 seconds on your site. I like their explanation and also tend to agree with them, that this is a much better way to measure visitor bounce.
No Traceable Footprint
When you install Google Analytics on your website, it will include your GA UA code. This is a unique identifier that can be used by other people to easily see all the websites that you own and have installed Analytics on. If you like to you can do a reverse search on sites such as eWhois for free. When you use Clicky Analytics there is no common ID used across your accounts, so you can gain some comfort from the fact that each site is isolated
from the others.
Better Interface and UX
I love the look of the new Google Analytics, but hate the navigation. Every step seems to take multiple clicks to accomplish; it is thoroughly frustrating using it. Clicky Analytics on the other hand is a simple, very well laid out interface with all the information that I require displayed immediately as I visit my dashboard (obviously configurable), and with the ability to dig down into my data also within a click or two, it is a pleasure to use compared to the convoluted new interface from GA.
This blog post was written by Steve Rendell who runs Paper Free Billing, providers of simple and effective invoice software for small businesses.