I was recently introduced to CrazyEgg analytics, a new contender in the lower-end analytics realm. CrazyEgg is all about visualizing your web visitors. It provides a pretty neat click map and heat map overlay.
Click maps are very useful in showing how your visitors use your site. Google Analytics has offered a click map overlay for a long time. Enterprise-grade Omniture has a far superior click-map to that of Google. So what’s so special about CrazyEgg?
CrazyEgg not only tracks the links that users are clicking on, but it logs the x,y coordinate of the click, which is what they use to generate their heatmaps. These heat maps are different from the heatmaps that you may have seen in MarketingSherpa case studies, which actually track eye movement. CrazyEgg heatmaps are only showing clicks.
While these heatmaps don’t give a 100% accurate representation of what visitors look at, I suppose it could give some insights as to positioning on pages, and make better use of expensive page real-estate that lies above the fold.
I’d be interested in finding out how CrazyEgg defines its metrics such as visits, pageviews, etc., and what types of date ranges you can run with your reports. What happens when you change your page? What if certain elements on the page are dynamic and the page isn’t the same every time? Will it appear that the more stationary links such as top-level site navigation are the most popular items? I’m sure the CrazyEgg people have answers for all of these questions, I’m just curious.
I haven’t yet set up CrazyEgg analytics on this site, because their free version is way too restrictive. It only allows 4 pages to be tracked. If I had an eCommerce store, I would probably pay for an account.
Last week, as we talked about search engine optimization in our web analytics class, someone mentioned that they had gained some good page rank from linking to relative articles from Wikipedia. This will no longer work. I’m not sure when the change was made, it may have been made a long time ago, but Blake Snow brought to my attention that Wikipedia uses the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the external link tags.
Using rel=”nofollow” in external link tags has been common practice for a long time in blog and bulletin board software. So, if you want to increase incoming links to your site, don’t count on using wikipedia, comments on blogs, forum messages, and the like. If you look at the page source you will likely find the rel=”nofollow” attribute in outgoing links.
Getting links to your site is a challenging thing. Like Blake says, the best way to get legitimate links to your site is to write some good content. My most linked-to blog posts have been the ones I’ve spent the most time on.
To start the semester, I’m listing the Web Analytics Resources that I know of. I don’t have any experience yet with Omniture Site Catalyst, but I’ve used Google Analytics for over a year and have really enjoyed the quality of reports that I get from its reports in comparison to log file reports. This semester we are going to learn how to effectively set up and manage an Omniture Site Catalyst account. That will be really cool.
Here are some resources on Web Analytics and Internet Marketing in general:
- Google’s Conversion University – This is a resource that is often overlooked by webmasters. I have to admit that I didn’t take any time to look at the site until recently. The site features articles on driving more traffic, converting visitors, and tracking and testing.
- Matt Belkin’s Blog – Matt Belkin is the Vice President of the Best Practices team at Omniture.
- Matt Cutts Videos – Matt Cutts has pretty much acted as the Google mouthpiece to the webmasters with burning questions about the mysteries of Google. These videos give some crucial information if you are going to run a website. This relates to Analytics because Google is usually the number one driver of traffic to a site. In this age, you have to know how to effectively get listed in Google’s search engine.
- Google Webmaster Central – Google’s webmaster central is a must use for webmasters. I once saw my site traffic take a huge dive after switching my site to a new hosting service, and the Google Webmaster tools guided me to the problem. I had missed some important redirect scripts which were causing 404 errors in the Googlebot’s crawl through my site.
- Bruce Clay Inc. – Bruce Clay has set up some good, free resources to help webmasters in their Internet marketing. My favorite thing here is the Search Engine Relationship Chart. This chart describes the relationships between the major search engines. It used to be that you had to submit your site to hundreds of search engines. Now days, there are just a few that provide search results to the majority of the web.
- Google Analytics Blog – I hate to put so many resources from Google, but they also have an official blog that posts articles about using Google Analytics. It has some good stuff.
- Web Analytics Association – The articles section of the website has some in depth research in Web Analytics.
Do you know have any favorite resources related to Web Analytics that I don’t have listed here?
I have set up a planet of all of Paul Allen’s Internet Marketing Class Blogs. As an assignment for the class, we are all to blog about something that we are passionate about. The people in the class blog about a wide variety of topics ranging from the TV show ‘Lost’, to tips on improving your tennis skills.
I have to admit, I’ve fallen behind in my regular blogging pattern as I’ve been working mad hours to ready Tag Jungle for launch (I slept only 5 hours from Thursday morning to Saturday night). Things will probably be slowing down a bit now so I’ll be writing more here on my blog.
[If you are in Paul's class and I somehow missed your blog, please leave a comment with your name, and the URL to your blog and I'll get you added as soon as I can]
Skype’s free calls to U.S. and Canada land line phones has splashed a wave of visitors to their site. This week, Skype Is Top Mover on the alexa.com top movers and shakers.
My company’s CEO, Paul Allen, says that offering something free is an amazing Internet marketing tool and this proves it. Check out their spike in traffic:
Using Skype to Call Landlines is really easy to do, and a ton of people are now trying VOIP phone calls for the first time. These same people then are more likely to buy something from Skype such as one of their accessories that make using VOIP an even better experience.
They also offer services such as SMS text messaging to cell phones and International calls to landlines and mobiles for low rates. Now that they have a lot more people trying out their free service, they will be able to sell more of their other products to these new customers.
Yesterday, Francisco Pascual, Provo Labs‘ Internet marketing guy, presented on the cool stuff that he’s been doing these last couple of weeks. His presentation made me realize the critical Importance of Internet Marketing.
Francisco showed up prepared with numbers, charts, and action items. His findings made it very clear which areas of development needed urgent care. By using Omniture’s Site Catalyst, he was able to show hard numbers on conversion rates and bounce rates, and was able to make some suggestions on pages and sites that need tweaking.
I think web analytics are so cool because you get real proof on what is working on a web page, and what isn’t. Without analytics you have to guess, and web design is based on personal preference without anything real to back it up.
By using web analytics together with your Pay Per Click campaigns, you can more easily find which campaigns are giving you your best ROI and how to better make money on the web.
Thanks Francisco, your presentation was awesome.