Product Name: Clicky Web Analytics
Price: $0-$10 per month (the best deal is $60/year)
Overall Grade: A+
Recommendation: If you have a website, you should be using Clicky
Clicky is a complete web analytics tool that lets you see just about everything you could ever want about your website traffic. It combines historic reporting with real-time website monitoring in a way that is both easy and elegant. As far as software goes, it's hard to find a better combination of simplicity, power, and value.
First, let me say that I looooove Clicky. I've been using it for about a month and I can't imagine living without it. I don't have room to write all the things that impressed me, but here are a few highlights:
I've mentioned before that if a company believes in its product, they'll let you try it for free. And I mean actually free - you shouldn't have to enter a credit card for a "free" trial. Well, Clicky clearly knows they have a great product because they don't ask for any billing info when you sign up and they even let you test a live version of their product with no sign-up required.
Once you get your account set up, Clicky is as easy to use as any analytics software I've seen. The dashboard has enough useful information that you normally don't even need to dive down any deeper. Unlike Google Analytics, the people at Clicky seem to understand that I'm interested in my website traffic from today and that's what most of the reports show by default.
Clicky also has Google Analytics beat when it comes to tracking visitors. It's absolutely essential for me to be able to see what an individual visitor did once they got to my site, and Clicky makes that a piece of cake.
What really makes Clicky miles better than anything else that I've used is the "Spy" feature. This is a feature that lets you see the visitors that are currently on your site so that you can monitor trends as they occur. For example, lets say another website links to you. If you're looking at the spy page in Clicky, you'll see this increase in traffic. With that information, you might want to go reach out to the site linked to you. This feature is very similar to what Chartbeat does, but it's better, cheaper, and it doesn't come at the expense of non-real-time reporting.
I really don't have much bad to say about Clicky, but I don't want to seem one-sided so I'll nitpick:
Clicky's user interface could use some work. Everything is fine from a functional standpoint, but sometimes the data isn't displayed in an intuitive way. There are also a lot of places where the text isn't context aware. For example, there were a number of places that reference how my actions might impact other sites on my account, but I only have one site so I was kind of confused.
I also ran into a few bugs, but then again, no software is bug free. The only one that mattered at all was that I was able to create "alerts", but deleting them didn't seem to work.
I haven't been this impressed with software in a long time. It does everything you'd expect and then some. Google Analytics definitely has some reporting features that Clicky can't compete with, but that shouldn't matter to a small business. I'm unequivocally recommending that anyone reading this blog use Clicky as their web analytics tool. It's definitely worth paying for the pro version ($60/year) but they have a free version that you can fall back on if you're skeptical.