Comparing Crazy Egg, Google and MyBlogLog

September 3, 2006 § 3 Comments

[graph image]

Measuring Web Success

You’ve built your website, promoted it and now you’re getting some real traffic.

How will you know the site is successful?

The next logical step is to figure out what visitors are viewing and whether they make it to the right destinations.

By analyzing mouse clicks, website owners can better understand a visitor’s interests.

Enter Web Analytics

Web analysis products work by quietly intercepting page requests and collecting simple facts about what gets clicked as users leave the page. Some services even monitor clicks that are not links (they treat the whole page as ‘clickable’ and remember the x,y coordinates of where you clicked).

Surprisingly, these monitoring techniques have almost no performance impact and can be combined offline with libraries of data to produce remarkable results.

Some of the basic questions you can answer include:

  • Are visitors new or returning ones?
  • Do they “bounce” away from the homepage or are they signing up for your services?
  • Which sites do they come from?
  • If they came from a search site, what were they looking for?

These are some of the very questions I was asking when I found Crazy Egg, a turnkey click analysis service. I quickly developed more questions and a new appreciation for how the Analytics industry could transform the focus of my efforts.

Available Products

While looking at Crazy Egg, I discovered several competing packages. Google, MyBlogLog, clickdensity and mapsurface were added to the list of prospects.  I ultimately dropped clickdensity and mapsurface, because I couldn’t get clickdensity to work and was denied an account on mapsurface.

Results Summary

Apples and Oranges?
After a few minutes of evaluating these products, I came to the conclusion that there is almost no comparison between them – each product tends to do something different. However, since I set out to find a usage analysis product, Google came out the clear winner.

While Crazy Egg is barely more than a feature of a web analytics package, Google provides a dizzying array of reporting options. MyBlogLog redeems itself here by offering a community service (in fact, makes no claim to replace standard analysis products, but rather to enhance them).

Viewing the Reviews
To read the detailed reviews and rate the services, you must first create an account (only a unique email is required). We hope you do not find this too invasive, but a unique user is required to track your votes. Also, we plan to track the conversion from reader to subscriber using these very same products!

We will post the results of user rating for all. Registered users will be able to view the details of our own tracking analysis for this post.

Crazy Egg
[Crazy Egg image]
VibeTalk Rating: [rate 1]

The clever heatmap overlay and interactive click counters are neat, but amount to little more than a flashy feature.

» Read the Crazy Egg Review

Google Analytics
[Google Analytics image]
VibeTalk Rating: [rate 5]

Google proves the titan of data crunching and emerges the clear choice for truly understanding your users. I can’t believe this service is free!

» Read the Google Analytics Review

MyBlogLog Communities
[MyBlogLog Dashboard]
VibeTalk Rating: [rate 3]
While not nearly as full-featured as Google Analytics, MyBlogLog achieves a happy medium between simplicity and effectiveness.

» Read the MyBlogLog Communities Review

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§ 3 Responses to Comparing Crazy Egg, Google and MyBlogLog

  • Joe says:

    I’ve scrapped the idea of limiting visibility to the review posts.

    The Post Levels WordPress plugin doesn’t actually do anything to prevent readers from directly referencing the post anyway – it just keeps the “private” posts from showing up for guests, feed readers and aggregators.

    All the bad, none of the good. :-/

  • I believe you are being unfair in your comparison. I use crazy egg for what it is designed for; to test different design features. The heatoverlay can give you vital information regarding positioning that would required cross-checking if you used a simple text list.

    I don’t believe crazyegg was ever promoted as a total statistic package and you would be foolish to consider it as such.

  • Joe says:

    It’s never easy to give a less-than-glorious review, and believe me when I say I was pumped about Crazy Egg (see my first look).

    I realize it is not meant to compete on the same level as Web Trends or Google Analytics, but neither is MyBlogLog.

    I just don’t see how you can ‘test different design features’ without the ability to track who’s clicking on which feature, what they were apparently looking for or when any particular click occurred.

    In fairness, I did promise Hiten I would take a second look as the service evolved.

    I’m still hopeful!

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