Click Like You Mean It

by Omar N.

Taken from http://sites.google.com/site/csixcloudcomp/

The article I read was about a research conducted using the University of Colorado Library’s website to compare 3 different click analytic tools: Google Analytics’ In-Page Analytics, ClickHeat, and Crazy Egg. Over a span of 6 months, they used the tools to monitor how the visitors were interacting with the website through clicks. What they found was each tool shared some common features, but there were also some benefits and drawbacks to each one. In-Page Analytics made it possible to track mobile users, but it lacked the ability to distinguish between the same links throughout a page, so it made it difficult to track which links on a page were more useful. ClickHeat uses color intensity to show user activity and did not have a problem with tracking the redundant links, but it required access to a web server to run the software. Crazy Egg was a hosted solution, so no web server access was needed, however it was quite expensive due to its pay-per-click subscription terms.

I still question the usefulness of having click analytics on every website, especially a university library’s website. The only real anecdotal evidence in the article of when they found it useful was when they discovered that users were clicking on a picture next to a link instead of the actual link, so they made the picture a clickable link. I’m not sure if that can justify the time and cost of implementing such a robust feature, let alone the effort it must take to observe and interpret the results. Tuition fees well spent?

Where I see click analytics benefiting the most is with advertisements. Websites where advertisement revenue is the primary source of income heavily rely on whether or not the visitors are paying attention to an ad banner of their clients. Having an idea of where most of the clicks are happening could make it easier to know where strategically place ads will be the most effective.

Reference:
Farney, T. (2011). Click Analytics: Visualizing Website Use Data. Information Technology and Libraries, 30(3), 141-148. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/883688740?accountid=10357

1. This blog post took me around 60 mins.
2. I read 5 blog posts by my classmates this week.
3. Time spent on comments:  See individual comments.