As regular readers here know, I like to know what's going on at this site. I use Google Analytics, I do special logs of things I want to know about ("how many people used this link last month?"), I've used tools like Asrep, I track Feedburner stats.. hey, I'm a curious dude.
I don't know how I missed Crazy Egg. I also don't know why they picked such a ridiculous name, but never mind: meaningless name or not, this is cool stuff. And it's free, or at least a basic version is, and the basic may be plenty enough for you.
What this does is track clicks. Link clicks, ad clicks, whatever. In the free version, you get to track no more than four pages at a time and you are also limited to 5,000 visits, but for a lot of small to medium bloggers that's plenty. After all, do you really need to know what every single click was? Well, yeah, that might be interesting, but more to the point is that we want to know whether we even need certain links. Do I need the "Printer Friendly" link at the top of every page? Crazy Egg tells me that I do. Do I need to show fourteen articles on my home page? Crazy Egg implies that less would be fine..
It's the display options that make Crazy Egg so neat. There are four ways to see the activity on a page you have added tracking code to: an overlay that shows color coded indicators of where clicks were made, a straight text list, a "heat map" that shows popular clicking areas by colored blobs (blue is cool, yellow is hotter, white is very active), and a confetti section that color codes dots by referrers, operating systems, and other criteria including even "time to click".. there's some overlap here, but all of these do show a slightly different picture of what is going on.
Of course you can block out your own clicks so they don't cloud the results. You can do the same by setting a cookie.. and if for some reason other people need to be blocked, you can send them a link where they can block themselves.. If you have one of the paid plans (they start at $9.00 per month) you can have Crazy Egg send you email upon certain events. I'm not sure why I'd need that, but there it is.
I do wonder about the pricing strategy. It looks to me that even the "Pro" plan ($99.00 per month, 250,000 visits, 100 pages) is far too low for more active sites. On the other hand, most of us will do perfectly fine with the free version. I might think about the next step up ($9, 10,000 visits, 10 pages) but really it doesn't add enough value to the free version to be likely to tempt me very strongly.
Check it out - it may tell you a thing or two.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Anthony Lawrence