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Tracking Web Statistics and Clicks with CrazyEgg

Filed Under Tools, Websites | 2007-03-30, 03:20

One of the hardest things about running websites is figuring out exactly how people interact with it. Where did they come from? What part of the site brought them to it? What did they click on when they saw the page? What did they read? Did they like the site? What could have made their visit better? The questions never end sometimes. Lucky for us there are a bunch of programmers out there that like making tools to help figure out the answers to these questions. Google Analytics is a wonderful tool for answering most of them. It can tell you how many visitors, where they came from, what keywords they searched, how many page views, how many were new visitors vs return visitors, etc. It will even put an overlay on your site to show you how many times different links were clicked. But it doesn’t do nearly as good of a job as CrazyEgg.

CrazyEgg is an online tool for click tracking, plain and simple. All it takes to implement is pasting a single line of code onto the page you are tracking. I had my first test up and running in under 5 minutes. It will track based on a time period or number of clicks in order to produce a test. I ran two tests, one on sk3themes.com and one on hiptop3.com just to get an idea of how things worked. Sk3themes is a very busy site, averaging 13,000+ visitors and over 100,000 page views on a normal day. I gathered enough stats in no team to be able to see where people are clicking, but hiptop3 will have to run for another few hours before it has a meaningful sample. How is this information useful? Well, I could tell right off the bat that new links I added to the site early tonight were already being clicked on. I could also tell that a lot of people were increasing the number of themes displayed per page right off the bat as well as downloading the first theme listed on the page more than any other one. I plan on sitting down and rearranging certain parts of the site to see what sort of impact it might have both on navigation as well as ad-clicks. By running individual tests, taking a small sample before and after I’ll be able to directly compare the results without having to wade through mountains of web logs and statistics.

The coolest feature of CrazyEgg is the way that you can display data. You have a choice between overlay (small icon next to link that shows count when clicked), List (a listing of everything clicked on), and my personal favorite, the Heatmap. Below is a screenshot of one of the tests I ran on sk3themes.com:
CrazyEgg Screenshot Heatmap
It’s wonderful for getting a quick overview of how people are using your sites. I can’t wait to run it on some of my other ones.

Even better, CrazyEgg is free if you only need to track 5,000 visits and 4 pages and don’t mind not having the live reporting. I went ahead and shelled out $19 for 25,000 visits, 20 pages, and the live reporting because I’m impatient and I have high traffic sites to learn more about. So far I’m happy, I may keep it going month to month, or I may just check in and upgrade to a paid account when I’m evaluating major site redesigns. Go check it out for free.



Add to your Google Calendar (and more) with IM

Filed Under Tools | 2007-02-06, 16:33

The other night I was talking with a friend about how great it would be to be able to access my Google Calendar from my Sidekick in order to add and view events. We lamented about the lack of a solution even though it seems like it should be possible. Then I heard about IMified this morning. IMified describes their service as such:

Imified is an instant messenger buddy that works across all major IM networks and offers access to a growing number of web applications, as well as productivity tools like notes, reminders, and todo’s. Imified helps you get things done faster.

In short, you can send an IM to their bot and Edit or View information on your different web-based applications such as Google Calendar, WordPress, Blogger, Backpack, etc. It just launched, so it’s totally beta at this point and bugs are expected as they work out the real-world usage. But so far it looks very promising! It’s also perfect for the Sidekick user as Instant Messaging is built into the device and always available. There are even shortcuts to save you the hassle of multiple IMs. Here are some more details on IMified:

Supported IM Clients:
– Yahoo
– Googletalk/Jabber

Supported Services:
– 30 Boxes
– Backpack
– Basecamp
– Blogger
– Google Calendar
– MoveableType
– Remember the Milk
– TypePad
– WordPress
– IMified Notes (for when you go over 50 notes on the Sidekick)
– IMified Reminders
– IMified Todos

We recommend checking it out now if you’re willing to put up with the bugs, or else just give them a few weeks and check them out when they’ve ironed out the initial issues.

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