Why I ditched Google Analytics for Clicky..

Disclosure : Clicky, my new web stats best friend, offer an affiliate scheme (another reason I like them). So if you are going to sign up.. follow my links when you do it?? 

I’ve got Google Analytics, why would I change?

Everyone knows Google Analytics is free. It’s extensive. It works well. Like all Google applications, it’s interface is dull.. filled with primary colours and non customisable.

Well, I was drifting around the internet a few months back.. and I found Clicky – they offered a free account, so I figured “what the heck, I’ll give it a try”. I installed the clicky JS right after the analytics JS, figuring i’d still have my statistics in analytics (in case clicky couldn’t do what I wanted).

Live data reporting! The killer feature

So for a couple of months, my blog tracked statistics in two places. Clicky and Google Analytics. Clicky’s paid service includes a killer feature that Google lack.. live data reporting (this feature is part of their pro accounts, but new trialists get access to it to trial – it’s worth it… so useful in fact, that I ended up paying for it to be reactivated.)

Analytics is very aptly named, it’s great for analysis of numbers.. after the event. But it doesn’t give a good interface or insight into how users are interacting with the web site as they interact. Clickyoffers a feature called Spy – which allows me to watch (via AJAX) as people click into my site, click on elements and click out.. if nothing else.. it’s great for the voyeur in you.

BUT that’s not all. The data at Clicky is live updated, so you can analyse your results when you want, how you want. if you’re running a feature campaign, running an ad on a site, etc you can SEE people clicking through AND see what they are clicking on.

However that’s not where the joy ends (no, you don’t get a free set of steak knives).. BUT Clicky has API access as well and most importantly, for me anyhow, they reveal javascript functionality so you can generate interactivity logs for interactions that you program.

Javascript API Manipulation

Huh? English please! What this means is, that with a couple of lines of javascript you can get Clicky to log a click into the stats system EVEN when the user hasn’t followed a link or changed pages. This is especially useful in the new “web 2.0” world where AJAX plays such an important role in web interactivity.

An example: the hive mind uses AJAX to gather visitor’s votes on its three questions. These votes were previously untrackable, however inside the Javascript function that fires the AJAX request I have now added a line like:


Now, I can see a visitor clicking on the AJAX buttons and casting a vote, in real-time inside Clicky’s spy. In fact, if i didn’t want live graphing of poll responses, I could have used Clicky’s export capabilities to get away without writing ANY code for the voting system in favour of just logging the click in Clicky and then exporting the values.

Outgoing Link Tracking

Clicky counts my outgoing link clicks and clearly labels them as such, which is absolutely wonderful when you run ads or other campaigns trying to drive traffic from site to site. This is a killer feature in and of itself.

The final point I have to make is that, after paying my $3.99 for a blogger’s account with Clicky – they removed their ads from the top bar and placed them only in the footer (the higher accounts have no das) – and as a result, the Clicky interface is FAR prettier and more aesthetically appealing than my Google Analytics account.

Other Features

Powerful grouping of visitor sessions into actions, allowing you to SEE the path a user took through your site.
Visitor Aliasing: allows you to name particular visitors
Powerful result filtering
Mapping of visitor origins

So, without further ado, i highly recommend that if you have a web site with more than 5 visitors a day that you go and try Clicky.