Are you curious about the exact click behavior of your website visitors? Yes, well, you are surely not alone.
Going beyond server log files and the latest Google Analytics facelift, a new SaaS application has sprung up, delivering a very visual representation of the paths your users travel and the clicks they take along the way.Called CrazyEgg, (we still haven't quite figured out what the hell that name means) the new Web 2.0-ish service allows you to track where on a webpage users are clicking.
We gave the 6000 visit, four URL free trial a run. There are paying plans that go up to $99/month which track much greater swaths of activity and have up to the minute reporting.
The website gives some ideas on what one might accomplish with CrazyEgg:
* Test a new UI design
* Test content and discover which version works better
* Test various layouts or placement of key elements such as ads or action buttons
After a few hours of traffic (and some free plan lag time), we had our prerequisite 6000 page views. CrazyEgg provides a very user friendly dashboard to list all of the tracked pages on a website. You must then choose "View results".
CrazyEgg will then bring up a view of your website with all of the links marked with little icons. Each icon, when clicked will give you a readout of the traffic that has clicked that particular link.
At the top right you will see a menu that includes "Heatmap" and "Confetti". These two views really convey the usage patterns of your users. We noticed that one of our main menus had been almost totally neglected and have since started questioning its name and relevance. Also, we saw what ad placements were the most successful -- and more importantly where each ad was clicked -- and which words specifically our readers were after.
Some of the information was not covering new ground however. Things like in-bound keywords, browser window size, platforms, etc. can already be gleaned from Google Analytics data. Still, seeing the data represented in this visual manner gave a much more holistic view of our website and its users. It was a unique experience and that, well, may have touched the hidden voyeur in us.
About the Author
Seth Weintraub is a Paris-based IT management consultant specializing in the technology needs of creative global organizations, including The Paris Times, Omnicom, the FIA and WPP Group. He is also a regular contributor to 9to5Mac.com.
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