High-Quality Web Site Statistics for Small Money
In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, every small business needs every advantage it can get. With so much business taking place on the web today, knowing everything you can about your website visitors is absolutely essential. The days of what you can gleam from Google Analytics, Webalizer, and most other free programs offered by web hosts being enough is about over. Recently at work, I was faced with the challenge of finding a program that could deliver high-quality web statistics at a reasonable price, particularly since we have multiple sites that we needed to know more about. I searched all around the web looking for recommendations, scoured the free programs, and waded through pages of paid programs. My main criteria was that it had to be able to translate a visitor’s IP address into a hostname and organization, and then tell me what pages they visited and preferable when and for how long. Google Analytics won’t let you have this information because they are concerned about privacy issues according to their website. Our web host could tell me what a given IP address did, but I had to find a way to translate that into a hostname and organization myself, which proved to be an unacceptably long process. After days of frustration searching through the alternatives, I stumbled across Clicky Web Statistics.
Clicky appeared to offer what I was looking for according to their website, so I decided to take advantage of their free account for a single website. I completed their simple registration and added the code to the site to test it out. The code works a lot like that for Google Analytics. I was able to add it to our pages right alongside our existing Google Analytics code without causing any problems. I let it collect data on the site for a full day and then checked back at the getclicky.com website to see how the service really worked. I was absolutely delighted with the results.
The Dashboard page gave me a great picture of what was going on with our site. I could immediately see how many visitors we had that day, what the incoming links were, the searches that visitors had conducted to get to the site, where in the world our visitors were coming from and what content had been viewed. By clicking on the main navigation tabs, I was able to learn more about our visitors than I had even hoped in a much more user friendly way than even some of the high end programs seemed to offer. The detailed information I had at my fingertips let me alert our team about the web activity of important visitors so they could act on it as appropriate. I also could see that one of my landing pages was doing its job delivering visitors to a main site.
I was impressed with the information that Clicky Web Statistics delivered in such a short time, that the next day I decided that we should sign up for a Pro account that would let us track up to 10 site with up to 30,000 page view per day for the very reasonable sum of $59.99 for a whole year. It took no time for them to upgrade my free account to Pro and I was able to virtually immediately add all of our websites and blogs to the account.
So the next day when I received a request for additional information about a visitor to one of the websites that a team member wanted to know more about that they ran across on the daily Google Analytics report that is automatically emailed to staff, I was able to respond almost instantaneously instead of a good portion of an hour later. Better than that even, was being able to give them a private link to the statistics for that website so they could investigate things more themselves whenever they wanted. Clicky Web Analytics provides a separate private link for each site you track on your account making it easy for me to give each team member access only to the web statistic information for the sites that pertain to them instead of access to everything, thus reducing confusion.
So far, our other team members seem to be excited about this new service. It presents the information in a way that anyone can understand, not just the web statistics guru from the marketing department. Management can easily see if our SEO efforts are working, what pages are getting the most traffic, and what our client activity looks like on the site in general and around interaction points 24/7 without having to place a special request with marketing. The sales staff can quickly see who is visiting and what they are looking at, so they can be in communication with clients in a timely manner, making it a critical lead generation tool for them.
I’m excited about it because it gives everyone on demand access to very detailed visitor information without increasing my workload (actually, it reduced it some). Plus, I can track marketing campaigns using an included tool, see which of our partner’s website are sending us visitor traffic, see what keywords visitors are searching for that are leading them to the sites, and keep an eye on what the buzz is about our company and specific industry terms on Twitter. Oh, it’s real time too, not yesterday’s stats today.
Not only do I plan on using this at work, I definitely plan on becoming a Pro subscriber for my own websites and blogs in the near future. If you too are looking for more information about your visitors, I definitely recommend checking Clicky Web Analytics out to see if it will meet your information needs as well. You certainly can’t beat the price for the quality of information.