Why I use Clicky Instead of Google Analytics

clicky logo

As a site owner, it is critical to track of how your site is performing by using some sort of web analytics service.

By doing so, you can see how many visitors your site is getting, where they are coming from, and what your most popular content is.

All this is crucial in helping you to making the proper decisions that will help you expand and grow your site.

Clicky Review

First Published on: Sept 21, 2015
Last updated: Sept 21, 2015

tl;dr Summary
Clicky is the web analytics service we use on this site. It offers real-time analytics, detailed reports, and best of all, it’s not Google analytics.

When talking about web analytics, Google analytics is probably the first name that comes to mind. Heck, you’re probably using it on your site right now.

It’s free and quite powerful.

But I’ve always been wary about using Google analytics and having it track all my site’s stats. Personally, I don’t want Google to have more data about my sites then they already know already.

Who knows what heavy-handed stuff they could be doing with my data?

For me, I kicked Google Analytics to the curb more than 4 years ago. Instead, I started using a better alternative called Clicky and I haven’t looked back since.

With Clicky I get real time analytics and I fell in love with its slick, easy to use interface. So in this review I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Clicky features and demonstrate why I think it’s better than Google Analytics.

A Tour of Clicky

I love the Clicky UI. It’s uncluttered, yet displays everything I want to see.

Contrast this to Google Analytics with its confusing navigation and busy interface. Everything I log into my GA account I always have a hard time figuring out where to go.

When you first login to your Clicky account you are taken to your dashboard which gives you an overview of all the sites in your account. A simple line graph shows your visitor trends over the past month.

The dashboard is fully customizable so you can choose which metrics you want to see.

Clicky-MainDashboard

From there, you can drill down into any specific site where you will see an overview of your site’s stats. The Visitors graphs shows you how many visitors you had today.

But what I especially like is how it compares your today’s visits against a specific time period (today vs yesterday, today vs 7 days ago, etc). It’s a great way to really notice traffic trends for your site.

Clicky-SBT-Dashboard

I also spend a lot of time in the Content tab. Here I can quickly see my best performing pages on my site and view their metrics.

You can favorite specific pages on your site by clicking on the star icon to the left which will make sure these pages always appear at the top of the page.

Why Clicky?

While the simple, easy to use interface is one reason I like Clicky, there are several other great features that make me continue to use Clicky as well.

No Footprint

When you install Google Analytics on your site, you need to install a tracking script for it to work. And part of this tracking script includes your GA UA code which is a string in this format: UA-xxxxxxx-x.

Anybody can do a View Page Source from their browser and find out what your GA UA code if you have Google analytics installed.

With this code, anyone can find out a lot about you. Take a look at the site reverseinternet.com for example. Enter in any GA UA code and you can find out every single site that use that same GA UA code!

Pretty scary!

Clicky doesn’t have any identifiable string like this in it’s tracking code. So you don’t have to worry about leaving a footprint when using it.

Excellent Mobile Support

I’m always looking at my iPhone, so I really appreciate the fact that Clicky has an excellent mobile version of the site that you can access from any phone’s web browser. To access it, just visit http://m.clicky.com.

The mobile site is very well designed, and you get full access to all of Clicky’s features scaled down to the small screen. This gives you the ability to keep an eye on your stats wherever you are.

Email Reports

While this may seem like a minor feature, but it’s one of my favorite Clicky capabilities. Every morning, when I open up my email and I get email reports from my most important sites.

Clicky-EmailReport

In each report, I get a summary of my previous day’s stats for that site. Clicky allows you to customize what data you want to include in your email reports. For example, on this site I also like to view my most popular pages and see how much search traffic I’m getting.

On Site Heatmaps

Heatmaps are available to Pro Plus and above members only. While not as fully featured as say Crazy Egg’s heatmaps, Clicky’s implementation is pretty nice.

While not super useful on regular blog pages, if you have any high traffic landing pages on your site, heatmaps can be really useful to optimize your page for higher conversions.

On Site analytics

Whenever you visit one of your sites with Clicky installed, you will see this little badge at the bottom that shows the number of current visitors on your site. Don’t worry, it’s only visible to you when you’re logged into your Clicky account. You can also access your Heatmaps from this widget as well.

Clicky Cons

There’s only one complaint I really have of Clicky which is that retrieving data by data range can be fairly slow. For example, specifying a date range of 14 days took a few seconds while choosing a 90 day range took about 15 seconds.

In normal, every day use though Clicky is actually quite speedy.

Who’s Using Clicky?

Lots of sites are using Clicky these days, besides SmartBusinessTrends.

These include bloggers like Ramsey Taplin (Blog Tyrant), Glen Alsopp (Viperchill) and Shane Melaugh (ImImpact).

And even mainstream sites are using Clicky including:

Final Thoughts

I know most of you probably have Google Analytics on your site, but I encourage you to check out Clicky to see if you like it. You will find it’s much easier to use and you’re not leaving scary footprints behind.

It’s also free to use if you only have 1 site.

Otherwise the Pro plan can support up to 10 sites for just $9.99 a month. Or if you want heatmaps you can go with the Pro Plus plan for $14.99 a month.

For me, I think paying a nominal amount for great analytics is well worth it. It’s a service you will be probably looking at every day and you will soon learn to love all the features Clicky offers you.

Start Using Clicky Today

Comments

  1. Hi Kinley.

    What a great topic to write about.

    I use clicky for the same reasons, and I certainly recommend it.

    Tweeting soon.

    Nathan.

  2. Hi Kinley,

    I’m a fan of Clicky too! I’ve been using their free version for quite a while but just recently upgraded to the paid version. I think they have an excellent product. I agree that whilst Google is free and everyone and his dog seems to have it installed, it comes with some serious problems. For me the persistent referral spam is a real nuisance. You have to go to extra lengths to remove that data from your results in order to get a true picture of your analytics.

    Cheers
    – David

  3. A thousand times yes. Clicky rules! But I am not sure heatmaps are worth upgrading to Pro Plus? (I am on Pro with a nice recurring discount I caught when they were promoting the plan) Are the heatmaps better than Crazy Egg’s? I was somewhat underwhelmed by Crazy Egg and I became fascinated with tools like Mouseflow or Mouse Stats.

  4. Just switched to Clicky this year when Google Analytics stopped working from my site – my traffic, according to GA, dropped by 900%.

    Thanks for the review.

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