With the key players in the web analytics space taking most of the attention of both marketers and analysts, some vendors are left in the shadows. I was in the industry for at least a couple of years until I was asked to look at a
website that was using a free web analytics tool – Clicky Web Analytics.
I was intrigued. I hadn’t heard of this web analytics provider before, it had a free version which made me immediately want to make comparisons against its biggest, free rival – Google Analytics. I thought I’d share my reactions in the below post.
– Please note, this review is very top level. I wasn’t able to access all the features on Clicky because for some reports you need a login (which I don’t have) and also this is the free version meaning I didn’t see everything! If anyone wants to add their own comments, please feel free!
Despite my lack of knowledge on the company, Clicky actually has an apparent client base of 588,677 (number of websites globally where the tool has been deployed), so clearly it must make quite an impression!
Clicky – Overview
Once you login to the tool, you have a default dashboard view of your websites stats, which as you’d expect, can be dictated by your own date selection. The below screenshot gives a little insight into what this dashboard actually looks like (excuse all the blue ink – was taken from a clients site!).
Everything you’d expect to find in the dashboard is there to hand, giving you a quick snapshot about how your website is performing from a top level. Some of the dashboard components also give you the option to expand or drill-down further into the data which is nice.
The navigation of the tool is horizontal at the top with all your key website metrics displayed. Some interesting ones to note are: the Big Screen (whole page dashboard which looks good!), Uptime report (sadly I need a login/need a full pro package to look at that), and Spy report (real time analytics reporting).
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The free version offers a Links report which shows all the third party websites which are sending you traffic. This report is great because it actually tells you the actual page on the third party site where your link is located, rather than just the domain. This report is particularly granular and also shows any major holes in your site where users are clicking outbound links on your site and leaving.
Clicky also has a default metric it calls ‘actions’ – this metric reports on any individual user activity such as downloads, video views, custom events and any clicks on outbound links. This is useful compared to Google Analytics where typically you need to individually tag PDF links with on click event tracking, which can get quite tedious.
Another strong benefit to Clicky is its powerful search report which gives you the search data which brought users onto your site, but also shows your rankings for various keywords using a nifty integration with Sheer SEO. This enables you to track individual users coming into your site on particular ranked terms and look at the user journey from an individual level.
Very Reasonable Pricing
If you are considering using Clicky Web analytics then you can install the free version on your site, and if you’re an SME with a threshold of 3k pageviews per day, this is very feasible. My suggestion would be to try it out and see how you get on with it. The tools has very scaleable pricing options, and offers the cheapest paid-for web analytics offering I’ve seen. They also offer a free 21 days trial of the premium web analytics service to boot! Here’s their pricing below:
Clicky – What’s not so good?
Looking at my screenshot, one criticism does come up about the main dashboard is that the ‘Visitors’ component is a bit lengthy and pushes other components of the dash (traffic sources, links and content) below it. If you were to look at 12 months’ worth of data, then you’d be scrolling down for ever! Having this change to a scatter graph layout would make sense here.
Clicky does enable you to create your own custom dashboards, but the technology is slightly behind that of other web analytics vendors – namely Google Analytics.
No eCommerce Tracking!
Apart from a plugin to integrate Clicky with Magento eCommerce tracking, there is no out-of-the-box eComerce tracking solution. Yes, there are goals that you can set up, but you’re going to loose out on revenue, products purchased, and average order value if you’re not using a Magento eCommerce platform. If you’re an eCommerce website be very careful and asses your options before pursuing Clicky.
Too many features are ‘premium’
A lot of Clicky’s key features that in Google Analytics are free include: advanced segmentation, goal tracking, email reports and more. All of these are part of a premium package that you need to pay for with Clicky.
Clicky Review Conclusion
Overall I like Clicky and its a breath of fresh air to see a different, free web analytics tool in the market which is not owned by Google. There’s been a lot of bad publicity about Google in the press lately, namely the case with infringing Safari users privacy. This does make you think before wanting to sign up to Google Analytics.
I’ve had a look at the company information around Clicky and the parent company is based in Portland USA, and the privacy concerns don’t look to be a problem. A few of my colleagues also have suspicions that at some point in the near future, Google will slap a fee on using Google Analytics, regardless whether its the premium version or not. I do have my suspicions about this as well, but having competition in any market is always going to be much better for the consumer.
That being said, there are a couple of caveats to just packing in Google Analytics and switching over. Check the eCommerce situation as well as your budgets to make sure Clicky is for you. The premium version doesn’t cost the earth at all but its still an overhead for an SME, ensure you can get a return from using it. In the worst case scenario, you can always trial the tool to get an immediate feel for it before committing.