One tool I have been using since first stumbling upon them 5+ years ago is Clicky – Web Analytics (formally GetClicky).
In this Clicky Review and Guide I will show you;
- Why Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics
- Setting up Campaigns and Goals
- A real-life example of how I make more money using Clicky
- A COMPLETE GUIDE to all of the cool features
N.B – All screenshots were taken from the Clicky Analytics dashboard and are used to provide a visual guide to you the reader. Some of the links below are affiliate links and I will receive a commission should you purchase after clicking on my link. Thanks!
Why Bother With Analytics?
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
If you have websites that are not actively tracked and analyzed, you could be leaving money on the table.
My Real Life Example
Around 12 months back a niche site I had built began to gain some traction in the organic listings, I wasn’t actively building loads of backlinks, just a few every now and then. When I started to see a few AdSense clicks here and there I stepped up the SEO and saw an immediate increase in earnings.
This ticked along nicely for a few months and I left it alone. I can’t remember what it was, perhaps something on TV, that prompted me to check on the site and how it was performing.
I hopped on over to Clicky and entered the dashboard. Whilst prodding around I took a look at the heat map for this particular site and noticed a substantial amount of traffic (22%) was clicking on a link that was way below the fold. Now, this link was something I though kind of irrelevant in this niche which is why it was so far down the page.
Just goes to show how wrong you can be!
What I did was act on this and I moved the link to the top of the sidebar navigation. A week later I checked the stats again and even more people were clicking this link. I had basically stumbled upon a sub-niche of my main niche that my visitors were clearly interested in.
The sub-niche lent itself well to training materials such as books and DVD’s so I added an Amazon widget and tracked the stats closely for the next few weeks. Needless to say, that widget is still there to this day and pulls in an additional $50 per month that would have otherwise been left on the table.
From that point on I made it a priority to analyze my analytics for any site I own on a frequent basis.
So What Is Clicky and Why Use It?
Simply put, Clicky is a web analytics tool who’s aim is to provide real-time traffic stats. They also have a pretty comprehensive table which shows exactly why they are the best.
How to Set Up Tracking
Clicky offers 3 types of tracking code;
1 – Standard Tracking Code
This will be sufficient for the majority of us and is super easy to implement. I use the Clicky Plugin by Yoast which requires just 3 pieces of information, all of which are available by clicking on Preferences –> Tracking Code in the Clicky dashboard.
Be sure to untick the “Affiliate badge” in the top right corner if you wish to remove the small Clicky banner that will appear in the footer of your site.
2 – Asynchronous Tracking Code
This means that tracking can be done at the same time as rendering other content and therefore won’t delay other page content from rendering. Which basically means it should be quicker and not affect your site load speed.
Basically, don’t use this code unless you absolutely have to!
On signing up with Clicky you get a free 30 day Trail to their Pro account which gives you the chance to try out cool features such as heat maps, track downloads, campaign & goal tracking and email reports.
After the 30 day trial, however, unlike most online tools, you can continue with the free account forever (with reduced functionality of course).
There are also three paid options available, the right one for you will depend on the volume of sites you wish to track and the functionality your require.
Pro – $9.99 /month ($79.99 /year)
- Websites – 10
- Daily Page Views – 30,000
- Premium features – ALL
Pro Plus – $14.99 /month ($119.99 /year)
- Websites – 10
- Daily Page Views – 30,000
- Premium features – ALL
- Additional features – Heat maps and Uptime monitoring
Pro Platinum – $19.99 /month ($159.99 /year)
- Websites – 10
- Daily Page Views – 100,000
- Premium features – ALL
- Additional features – Heat maps and Uptime monitoring
There is also a custom package available offering a variable monthly tariff to suit your personal needs. This package is tailored to you and is geared to those tracking 50 domains and over, or where page views exceed 100,000 / day.
The Clicky Interface
This section will take you through the various features of the Clicky interface and how you can use them to your advantage.
The dashboard is where it all begins. Each site has its own dashboard from which you can analyze and track the darkest corners of your website.
The dashboard is designed to provide a high-level overview of the current happenings on your site, allowing you to easily compare days, weeks and months.
From tracking visitors and page views to bounce rate and popular content. You can pretty much make do with just the dashboard in the majority of cases. However Clicky is much more than just an analytics dashboard.
Clicky’s job is to be the best real-time analytics solution – a job it does very well.
The visitor’s section tells us a lot about who is coming to our site and the number of actions they are taking. We can also follow those actions through step-by-step.
The visitor log is a summary showing the details for each user (ISP) visiting your site.
We are presented with the time of visit, country of origin, total time spent on site and referring source, be that Organic, Referral, Social etc.
The stand out metric available on this page by far is the number of actions each user takes. Clicking the hyperlink will take us to the Action Log for that user.
The next piece of information we get by clicking on the user (ISP) in the action log.
This information is all about the user, their location, IP address, browser platform and a nice little Google map pin pointing where they reside!
We are also provided with the visit date and time and how long the actual session lasted along with a number of actions taken and the page they landed on when first arriving.
TIP – I use the landing page metric to help determine which keywords are pulling in the most traffic.
With Google moving to a 100% (Not Provided) world, we need all the help we can get to understand which search terms are generating our organic traffic.
The third and final section in the Action log shows the visitor path – or to put it better, how the user flows through our website.
I love using this feature to give me a great understanding on how my visitors interact with my website, where they click and which pages they visit and then leave.
I have used this to add additional “calls to action” to pages that were leaking the most traffic. If we can get them to click on just one more page, post or offer then we will improve our time on site, bounce rate, and earnings potential.
The number of actions each user takes is categorized on the Engagement (Actions) tab.
This metric reveals the engagement of your users by looking at the number of actions they take. The higher the number of actions the better. (unless you have an Adsense site of course in which case 1 action and a click of an Ad is all we need)
The number of actions can also be broken down further by clicking on the hyperlink to revel the actual users who made that number of actions.
Like the actions tab, the Time Engagement metric is also a great indicator of the stickability of your website.
Generally speaking, if we are growing a blog or community, the longer time on site the better. This will obviously differ for AdSense sites of course, where you want the visitor to click an ad on your site.
There are many ways we can increase the time a user spends on our site. Some are free and some come at a cost;
1 – Increase Content-Length
Neil Patel wrote a great article on how content length can affect rankings and conversions.
In summary his study found that the average number of words for a webpage ranking in the top 10 on Google was 2,000. The higher the ranking, the more content was on the page. Sounds simple and it really is.
2 – Internal Linking
Whenever you write a piece of content, make sure you are linking out to you other related content. By providing these links or calls-to-action, you will keep the reader engaged.
3 – Related Articles
The most popular plugin for displaying related posts on WordPress sites is by far YARPP with 2.6m downloads. On this blog I use UpPrev, which you will see pop up as you near the end of this post.
UpPrev differs to YARPP as it only shows your previous post, whereas YARPP shows a number of related posts at the end of each article (that number can be defined by you).
Both of these plugins are great for ‘suggesting’ to the reader another article for them to read and it saves them the hassle of clicking the back button to get to your homepage to find another piece of content.
4 – Site Loading Time
How many times have you been surfing the web and clicked away from a webpage simply because the content was taking too long to load? I wrote an article on how to decrease site load time by 75%.
By following these steps you will speed up your site which will in-turn improve engagement and remove the likelihood of that pesky back button being clicked!
5 – Adding Video
Online video popularity has grown immensely in recent years. With YouTube becoming the 2nd biggest search engine in the world, it’s clear that web users love video.
The appeal is obvious and it’s the reason many people sit glued to their TV screen each evening. Many people turn to video as a way to learn something new, if you include a video in your content you have more chance of increasing time on site.
Most Active Visitors
This section allows you to see who your stalkers are…no seriously, It provides the IP address of your most active users based on the number of actions taken.
A pretty cool resource if someone is stealing your content and images…you get their IP address.
This feature provides a good overview of your traffic sources broken down into the various avenues.
N.b – the “Advertising” source in the above example is actually a referring URL I have set which was a guest post. So it’s not actually a paid Ad.
We can use this metric to watch our site grow in both organic searches and social media as time goes on and your websites popularity grows.
The content section shows us everything we need to understand which pages, posts, and categories are popular amongst our readers. By looking at the exit pages, for example, we can see which pages on our site leak the most traffic.
This allows us to actively target that page and make improvements which can then be split test over a period of time.
The key metric here shows us the number of times a page has been viewed. This helps us to understand which information our audience is most attracted too and potential areas we can enhance/improve upon.
This is also a great metric to use when looking for future article ideas. How your older content performed gives us a good feel for what topics your audience wants to see and read.
By clicking on each page hyperlink, we can get a breakdown of visitors to the page and the actions taken.
The entrance section is another way to show how your traffic is finding your site and is a key identifier of which landing pages are popular.
Again, clicking on each hyperlink will give you a visitor and action breakdown for each landing page.
Exactly the same information as the Entrance section above, however, this time we can see the exact page the user is on when they choose to leave our site.
As I mentioned above, this is very useful to identify leakage points on our site. Perhaps a page that doesn’t read well or has no clear ‘next step’ actions. Try adding some of the features I mention in the Engagement (Actions) section to those leakage points.
The downloads section is a pretty neat feature of Clicky that doesn’t require any additional set up on top of installing the tracking code.
Using this tab, we are able to see just how many downloads each image or document gets from our visitors. So if you are sharing a document, say a Google Doc on how you find domain names, you can see how many times this has been downloaded by your users.
It’s nice to see when people are actually using the tools and documents you are providing.
The Clicky help file has this covered if you need to track additional elements.
This is one feature of Clicky I have not used before but is something I want to get set up soon.
Here is an example of what you would see one you have the video tracking set up.
Unfortunately, it seems that there is no API currently available that provides a simple way to track video statistics.
Clicky do have their own, which requires some technical HTML & PHP knowledge, neither of which I have so I will be outsourcing this step very soon 😉
For those in the know, check out their API instructions here.
This section tracks page views for each domain name in your dashboard. You can add sub domains also such as forum.mydomain.com or blog.mydomain.com to further segment your traffic stats.
This feature is awesome. It will allow you to construct a path (or funnel) that will track your visitors from the very point they enter the first path of the funnel. Up to 5 pages can be added per funnel.
This can be used on squeeze pages to analyze your CTR and inspect which page is leaking users. For a very simple example;
Path 1 – Squeeze Page
Path 2 – Click To Order
Path 3 – Enter Payment Details
Path 4 – Confirm Order
Path 5 – Thank You/Subscribe Page
Each visitor who lands on your squeeze page will be tracked right through the funnel until then either exit your site or complete the funnel all the way to path 5.
Since Google introduced their (Not Provided) privacy for search results and devalued their own analytics software, many other companies who use this data have also suffered.
This includes Clicky.
As you can see from the image above for this early morning snapshot. My organic search analytics is showing 95% [secure search] which is a result of Google’s secure search update.
Here is a great article on how to set up filters using Google Analytics on your (Not Provided) data to get back some of that lost information – https://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8342-how-to-steal-some-not-provided-data-back-from-google
The keywords section is designed to reveal those keywords your content is being found for in the search engines. Unfortunately, since Google made it’s changed to [Not Provided] as discussed above, there is very little so see here.
A look at the Search Engines used to find your site. With an 88+% search engine market share, it’s no surprise that Google dominates this page.
I don’t use this tab at all really as it’s pretty useless since the Google change mentioned above. All we see is [secure search] after [secure search].
Much the same as above, it’s a shame this data is no longer useful post-Google update.
These are searches that are performed on your actual website. I don’t yet have a search box to allow people to find my content as its still in it’s early stages. This is something I may add in future.
If you do have a search function on your website, this metric will display the search terms being made using your sites internal search engine whilst the visitor is on your site.
The search ranking metric uses a bit of a loophole in the Google analytics system which leaks through the SERP position of the site being clicked via the Google search results. Clicky scans for this leakage of data and presents it in your dashboard.
This section requires a paid SheerSEO subscription which I have never used so cannot comment on. You can check them out at sheerseo.com, they also offer a 2-month free trial and packages start at $7 per month.
Clicky tracks both inbound and outbound links coming to and from your website.
When a user clicks a link pointing to your site the referring URL is collected by Clicky and presented here. This shows you the most popular referring URL’s being clicked.
Much like the incoming link section above, the domains tab shows us the root domain of the incoming links. It’s easier to summarise this tab if you have many inbound links from the same root domain.
I like the ‘recent’ feature as it’s a live snapshot of the latest inbound links being clicked by users landing on your site. You can see just how long it takes from a tweet until you start getting traffic, or if your forum post was well received.
Different sources will have different timeframes from posting to the first visit but this tab gives a great overview of what’s ‘currently trending’ on your site in terms of inbound links.
Essentially the same as the recent inbound links above, however, this tool highlights the very first time a link has been clicked by a user to find your site.
Tip – This tab has allowed me to find webmasters referring to my sites and reach out to them on occasion to say thank you and perhaps make a guest post for a niche site.
Clicky tracks any Outbound links (OBL) on your site that have been clicked by a user. This is a good way to understand how much traffic you are sending to another website and could help decide advertising rates, commissions and referral fees etc.
This is something I have not yet used with Clicky and I had to read up to find out what it can be used for.
In a nutshell clicky.me is a URL shortener like no other. If you shorten a URL using clicky.me and a user clicks on that shortened URL, everything the users does once they land on your site is tracked!
This is in comparison to all other URL shorteners that simply provide you the number of clicks each URL received. Clicky.me is a URL shortener on steroids. We can delve into each users session and see how they interact with our website.
If you have a bit.ly account (FREE) and use this to shorten your URL’s. Clicky can pull the data for the last 15 URL’s direct for your Bit.ly account.
I used this section a lot when I first create my websites as it helps me to spot any issues with site layout/functionality between different browsers.
You may think the data on this page is pretty trivial at first, however, when you begin to dig into the data you will develop an appreciation for the analytics behind it.
Let’s say you have created a new website, installed a theme and made some changes to get it looking just how you want it. You check IE, Firefox and Chrome and the site looks great. However what about older browser versions, how about other web browsers and devices?
Looking at my current stats, I can see 6 different browsers have been used with 23 browser versions. There are so many possibilities for my site to look crummy on any one of these. Two things we can do;
1 – Use this site to perform a lookup and see how your site looks in each browser
2 – Dig into the analytics and look for stand out metrics which may identify flaws
We will take a look at the mobile web browsers being used as this is generally a poor section for websites that are not responsive or optimized for mobile.
So we decided to click the “Safari 7.0 Mobile” link to view the stats for users using that particular web browser.
The way Clicky compares the data is awesome. We can immediately see there is a potential issue with this browser as we have a 66.7% bounce rate compared to an overall bounce rate of 11%.
Now I know there is only 3 visitors from this browser so if could just be flawed data from such a small number, however, if you expand your time window in the top right of Clicky you will get a better subset of data and more accurate information to work with.
This is not a section I have paid particular attention too in the past however you can use it in the same way as above. Again it’s surprising just how many operating systems are in use!
Its main use would be to see how your ‘mobile’ platform search traffic was performing against all traffic and make improvements.
If you have a responsive design this section won’t appeal to you, however, if you don’t yet have a responsive website you may be surprised just how your site looks to your visitors on different resolutions.
Check out your own dashboard, you will have pages upon pages of different resolutions!
Again not a very interesting section unless you want to know which smartphones your users are rocking…skip this.
Want to know who you’re writing for? I struggle sometimes as I am based in the UK, however, over 50% of my readers are based in the US and there are many different spellings and terms used in each country.
I try to keep it simple and spell everything in English, but then my income reports are in USD…tough one!
If you don’t know who you are writing for then it’s hard to make these kind of decisions. You will get visitors from all over the globe, however, we can only write for the majority of our audience.
Regions, Cities & Languages
I don’t really delve into the regions, cities or language of my users, mainly as this data can be skewed by the ISP they are using. other than that it doesn’t really provide me any actionable metrics. Unless of course you’re traveling and want to hook up with some of your readers!
Organizations & Hostnames
As mentioned above this tab shows you the ISP details for your web traffic. Again not very interesting for us 🙂
This is an interactive map of traffic locations throughout the world, showing the number of visitors per country. A pretty feature but not something I use very often.
Recent Visitor Map
Again much like the Global Map above, you can take a peek at your most recent visitor’s sessions via a clickable Google Map.
This is where the fun starts. Campaigns are a significant part of all web analytics software and Clicky allows us to create our own very easily.
Creating a campaign in Clicky couldn’t be simpler. We have 2 options, a static campaign, and a dynamic campaign.
Static Campaign – This is used to enter either a referring domain or a landing page on your website. Either of these metrics will enable you to track the stats for a campaign such as a guest post.
The downside to this option is that if you have multiple campaigns on different platforms targeting the same page on your site, you cannot split them.
The only downside to this is a referring root domain is required, so if you have multiple campaigns on the same site you cannot split them.
The images above show our campaign set up for both a landing page and a referring domain. We have a guest post on 123.com and our landing page is mydomain.com/my-best-page
Any traffic from 123.com or to our specified landing page will be tracked in these campaigns.
Dynamic Campaign – A dynamic campaign is much more versatile and only requires that you add a couple of parameters to your landing pages you want to track. It is intuitive with Google Analytics, so if you already have them set up Clicky should be able to read them.
Here’s what Clicky have to say about Dynamic Campaigns;
Dynamic campaigns offer a lot more flexibility, as they do not have to be pre-defined. Instead, you just add a couple of parameters to your landing pages, and we handle the rest. We use the same tags that Google Analytics / Urchin use, so if you are coming from either of those systems, your existing campaigns should work automatically. Please refer to the links below to learn more about setting up dynamic campaigns.
Important notes: There are 5 different parameters you can use to define dynamic campaigns on your landing pages. All of them are optional, except “utm_campaign”, which is required. It is essentially the “name” of your campaign, and we group campaigns by their name, so this parameter is always required. Otherwise, all “UTM” parameters will be ignored.
Goals are an important part of our analytics, knowing when and how users complete your assigned goals will allow you to monitor what’s working and what’s not and pivot accordingly.
Setting up a goal in Clicky needn’t be difficult. I have recorded a video below that shows how to create a goal to track email subscribers.
The split test section allows you to do just that. Try out different versions of a page on your website and compare the results.
By linking your tests to specific goals (below) you can create in Clicky, you can compare email signups, purchases, time on site and a wide host of other metrics to decide which page to stick with.
Clicky can track and send you alerts if your website experiences any downtime. The UpTime tool is available for Pro Plus accounts or higher and allows you to set refresh intervals from 1 minute to 60 minutes.
When an error or site down time is detected, you will receive a notification from your dashboard. These can also be tracked historically from said dashboard.
For websites that have user login functionality, usernames, email addresses, account types or subscription levels can be used to track individuals sessions. This is great for understanding how members interact with your website and material.
Clicky has a whole host of custom elements you can use here.
This is one of the cool features of Clicky and one they are very proud of. If the real-time dashboard was not enough for you, the Spy feature enables you to watch what the users of your site are doing, click by click.
I love this feature. The big screen gives you a real-time view of your website stats on a 1-minute refresh. Including;
- Visitors online
- Actions taken
- Total time on site
- Avg time on site
- Bounce rate
- Goals (see the goals section)
- Revenue (if you have set a value to a goal)
- Top referrers
- Top search terms
- Visitor volume per page
It’s great for tracking a campaign that just went live or your latest blog post/guest post, you get to see your traffic at a glance. If you have a duel screen set up you can stick this on one monitor and continue with your other tasks using the other monitor….cool!
The Twitter feature is one of the most appealing features of Clicky Web Analytics. If you want to track what people are saying about your brand on Twitter, this is the place to do it.
You can create searches for anything you want, here is an example of a search using my Twitter
I have created a quick video tutorial on how to setup a Twitter Search from the Clicky dashboard.
Alerts are much like those little pop-ups you get from Outlook when you have mail. Only these alerts can be sent via email, sound, popup, and Twitter.
You can use a Goal as we discussed earlier as a trigger point for an alert. For example, whenever someone new signs up for my newsletter. If I am logged into my dashboard I will get a notification.
If I’m not logged in I will get an email or a message on Twitter.
The preferences section is where you will find all of your account details and options, from tracking code to your dashboard layout. Here is a brief rundown of what you will find.
The tracking info such as Site ID and Site Key etc which can be used with the Yoast Clicky Plugin.
Here you can set your time zone, site layout, and width (for heat maps), language and site names in your dashboard etc.
You can fully customize your dashboard view using a clever drag-and-drop feature, so you can set up your analytics just the way you like it. This is a very quick and easy feature that I have yet to see from other analytical tools.
We covered this at the beginning of the article in the ‘Tracking Code’ section. Essentially this is where you will get the code to add to your site for either the Clicky WordPress plugin by Yoast or plain old HTML code.
Visitor tags & Filters
You can ignore specified IP addresses in your analytics tracking which is handy to block your own visits and actions. The other nifty trick is to assign a name to an IP address so you can track actions and easily identify that user.
I have an Email report created for this blog that will send me a full report of the previous day’s traffic stats. You can choose just the data you wish to see and it removes the need to log in to your dashboard. Reading my email report has become a part of my morning routine.
Not sure why you would want to use some of these, however Clicky offer widgets that you can use for free on your website.
With features such as; Visitor tally, Popular Pages, Popular Downloads, Recent Visitors, Daily Graphs and more.
Like I say some of these are cool but I cannot think of a commercial reason to use them.
Clicky offers a wide range of apps & plugins suitable for a variety of platforms such as Magento, Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and Shopify to name a few. If you are unsure check out this page to find out if they have an app or plugin for you.
Fancy starting your own web analytics business or already have an online business an want to offer an analytics solution to your clients?
Clicky allows you to take their product, rebrand it using your own name, logo, domain, and CSS and sell it to your customers!
If you don’t want your customers to know they are using a tool provided by another business that’s fine too, you can use the supplied API to fully automate the registration and signup process.
With Clicky there is a good sense of community as you use their site. The blog is very down to earth and has a “tell it like it is” approach.
The fact that you can get involved and help translate their product into 21 other languages is a perfect example of what the community is like.
There you have it, my complete guide to Clicky Web Analytics and it’s featured.
I hope you are able to see why I have stuck with Clicky over the years. Sure Google Analytics is also free and it’s perfectly useable, however, the speed of Clicky along with its extra features just cannot be beaten in my opinion.
There is also the interesting fact that Google doesn’t always register goal conversions, in fact, I had one case where Clicky had over 40% more goal conversions registered than Google had for the exact same time period….but that’s another post altogether!
So give Clicky a try, its free and you really have nothing to lose. If you do decide to try it, let me know your thoughts and how you get on.