CrazyEgg For Web Analytics: My 5 Cents

September 24, 2006

I put CrazyEgg up on my site for a short period of time, mostly so that I could try it out before recommending it to a customer. And I loved it. First the explanation and then the editorial.

CrazyEgg is a website overlay on steroids, although they may be devastated to read that description (more below). Not only does it give you the standard overlay information that you can get from Clickmaps (or whatever overlay you have), but it also shows wherever people are clicking, even if that is not a link. For example, I saw this in my short test:

Notice how the words, “So now you have a website,” which are just a .gif, are more popular than the real links are.You can tell that at a glance because the overlay button is light blue, not dark blue — it is closer to red, and the redder the button, the more popular.

CrazyEgg makes this even more clear with the use of their heatmap. Notice how my “about us” link is my most popular one:

I always knew that About Us was my second most important page, but I never really “got it” quite as well as I did when I saw this heatmap. Pictures are worth thousands of words even for analysts, it appears.

Now that you see how cool it is, let me explain the issues.

The FAQs and other on-site Help on the CrazyEgg site don’t just suck – they are non-existent. Want to change the time period of your test? No idea how. Want to know what the classifications to all those clicks are? If you work with web stuff all the time, you’ll get it, otherwise you are lost. Want to know why they only show about 90% of the clicks that they report you have? No answers. Want to know what it means to archive four snapshots? Nope, no answers there either.

Furthermore, there is no way to add the code to an include so that you can just use it all the time, like you would an overlay. It would be the perfect solution for all those lost souls who are finally realizing that as great as GA is, the overlay is lousy, so they might as well pay $20/month for a great overlay.

I wrote CrazyEgg and asked why you have to tell them the name of every page you are adding your code to (and then still get the same code for each page). Hiten Shah (who was incredibly good about answering questions) wrote back very promptly three times and explained that they don’t want to be lumped in with all the WA and overlay providers. They are a testing solution, not a WA solution, he wrote. I think that’s just ridiculous (Sorry, Hiten). Scandanavian Airlines positions itself as a business airline, but they don’t make it hard for tourists to travel on them. CrazyEgg could easily position itself for testing and still allow people to use their services for day-in, day-out web analytic overlay work without compromising their marketing strategy.

Hiten tells me that he is a reader, so let’s see if he comments (and what he says.)

Robbin Steif