Getting in-depth traffic data for any blog of website is a must. There’s a variety of providers in the space, with Google Analytics dominating, but most don’t offer live stats.
Following a post November 17 about our problems with Whos.amung.us, a couple of people pinged me with suggestions, and Clicky was mentioned more than once. I had previously looked at it, but earlier in this sites history the idea of paying for a service didn’t really appeal to me. This time round though I thought I’d give it a shot, and it comes with a 21 day free trial on the Pro account.
I fell in love so quickly that 4 hours after signing up to a 21 day trial I purchased a years worth of access on their top off the shelf account (up to 100,000 page views tracked per day).
This isn’t something I say about products regularly, but Clicky Web Analytics is all sorts of awesome.
Off the bat much of what Clicky does duplicates Google Analytics, so it may not appeal to everyone. But its the depth, and live coverage of stats where Clicky completely rocks.
My main use case for Clicky was to have access to live stats; that is, knowing who is on the site at any given time, where they are coming from, and what they are coming in on. Whos.Amung.Us offered two of those three (they don’t show where the traffic is coming from), but with unreliable uptime. I didn’t realize how great knowing where the traffic was coming from live was until I hit Clicky, and now sometimes I can just stare at the live page for minutes, watching people hit the site, and occasionally chuckling at some of the search terms they use. It’s live data intelligence that allows us to tweak what we have up, post more if we’re are slowing, and support existing posts if we’re getting traffic on them.
Where it doesn’t substitute Whos.amung.us is hour on hour comparisons; you can get a total online figure from Clicky (although not from the live page), but it doesn’t chart the number unfortunately, although this is a minor thing compared to all the extras you get.
On the depth side while there is the duplication with Google Analytics, there’s two distinct advantages. The biggest is that the totals are live, where as Google Analytics can be hours behind with figures, and lately has been slower again. I no longer have to work out our ad impressions to get a live daily total for site numbers, Clicky offers that. The second strength is in presentation and ease of use. It may not be quite as polished as Google Analytics (although it’s not bad looking either), but bringing up useful data is often one click away, where as Google Analytics can be 2, 3 or even 4 clicks. It’s easy in Clicky to see where your links are coming from, and actually explore those links and what those visitors are doing, for example are they clicking on other content, pages per visit, that sort of thing.
A big bonus point for the service comes with one other feature: they have a custom iPhone version that allows you not only to view all your stats on your phone, but watch the live stream as well. 4 days later and every time I’ve been out I can’t help but log in and watch, even briefly.
Mashable and Centernetworks are listed as customers on the front page, along with a number of other sites, so although I may have discovered the site late, I join good company. Packages on Clicky start at free for up to 3,000 page views a day, through to $21.99/ month, or $129.99 per year for up to 100,000 page views a day, with packages inbetween. Over 100,000 page views a month you need to contact them for a custom quote. I’m now going back to watching the live stats….must….stop…staring :-)