Unique ID tags and filters (yes, finally)

The ability to "tag" visitors based on IP address is a very popular feature and something we've had for 5 years now, well before we ever started using cookies to better track unique visitors. When we added tracking cookies to the mix, we never updated the tagging system to support them. That was almost 2 years ago but as of today, we now finally support these cookies too.

When viewing the details of a visitor session, there used to be a "name this visitor" link next to their IP address. We've reworded this to just say "tag", but there's now two of these links: one for the IP and one for the UID so you can click either one.

In site preferences, the sub-menu has been renamed from "IP tags & filters" to "Visitor tags & filters", and in here you can manage all of them. When creating one from scratch, we determine if it's an IP or a UID based on the pattern of the string you enter. UID's are just numbers like 123456 so if that's what you enter, we'll use it for UID tagging or filtering. If however it's standard IP format (1.2.3.4) then it will be a normal IP tag/filter as has always been.

That may sound confusing but the good news is that the vast vast majority of you create tags and filters directly from the session details page, so you don't have to worry about the number you're actually entering, it's done for you automatically. It still works that way, so just keep doing what you're doing and all shall be good.
10 comments |   Mar 15 2012 2:36pm

Track your Facebook storefront with Clicky and Zibaba

We have partnered with Zibaba to offer real time analytics to anyone who sells, or wants to sell, products or services through Facebook.

Zibaba lets you create an online store directly on your Facebook fan page. Visitors can buy, share, recommend, and "like" products, ask advice, and share discounts, generating buzz among their growing networks of Facebook friends. And now, thanks to Clicky, you can track it all in real time.

There numerous advantages to selling through Facebook. Facebook users spend a ridiculous amount of time online, and are 9x more likely to engage with online retailers, to name a few.

If you're interested, but not sure about selling on Facebook, Zibaba offers new users a 14 day trial period to test out the software for free. Sign up here!
1 comment |   Mar 07 2012 5:08pm

Path analysis (beta release)

Almost 3 months in the oven, we are finally ready to release a BETA of our path analysis feature. We're releasing as beta because there are still a few quirks and we want your bugs reports and feedback on the interface and what you think it could do better. This is a Pro or higher feature, of course.

Part of what took so long was making it fast, because we know our visitor filtering isn't exactly the fastest thing in the world, especially for high traffic sites over large date ranges. But we are limiting this to a maximum range of 31 days at once for the time being, to make sure resource usage doesn't get too ridiculous, until we know how you are using it.

There are two different features in this release.

Simple path analysis

I like this one because it's quick and dirty and requires zero forethought. When viewing your Content or Events reports (planning to add downloads and outbounds later), you'll see an icon next to each item:



Click this icon (not the star, the other one!) to see an inline popup of the top 30 next and previous pages, for whatever date range you are viewing. If you're interested in seeing top next/previous pages for a page listed in there, click it and it will keep on going. Here's a good example for our upgrade page:



The top previous page is /user/. Makes sense as that's the starting point for most registered visitors, and there are links to upgrade right from that page.

Second previous page is /user/sites - this is where people register new sites on Clicky. If they're at or over their limits for how many sites they can track or how much traffic they're allowed, we prompt them to upgrade first.

Third previous page is /compare/, which is our competitor comparison matrix. From our upgrade page, we have a link to this comparison matrix, so people can compare our pricing and feature set, which we think will help win over more customers since most of our competitors are 400+% more expensive than us (ouch!). So how would this be a previous page? Well, after people look at it, they go back to the upgrade page! Well, some of them anyways :|

The next two aren't horribly relevant but the sixth one, /user/users is. That's where you add additional user accounts. If you're at your user limit or your account doesn't have access to that feature, then we say, hey, you gotta upgrade!

I could go on all day but the point is simply that seeing what pages are actually pushing people towards paying us for our service is extremely interesting. I of course had a hunch about these most popular paths since I designed the entire flow of our web site, but I didn't actually know. Now I do and it's great!


Real path analysis

This other aspect is much more powerful but takes longer to setup. That's to be expected of course, and if you take the time to do so it is pretty fantastic. In the future, we plan to group this together with goals for multi-step funnels. That's not making the initial cut though.

To reach this report, go to Content, then the Path Analysis sub-tab. It gives a brief overview of how to use it. Click the link at the top to start analyzing. Once you enter in some paths and click "run analysis" on the bottom right, it will analyze your input and return a report like the one below. This example is fairly simplistic but I don't want to showcase too many private details of our business here.



Until we integrate this into goals, you can use this as a kind of faux multi-funnel goal system, because you can save paths to quickly access them later.

Important note: In the screenshot above, see how the green arrow on the right has a little "break" in it? This represents "infinite" steps in between each path. In other words, it means the visitor didn't necessary go directly from the first page to the next, but after viewing the first they eventually viewed the second one. This is always the default when adding new paths in this interface. But if you only want to analyze direct path 1 -> path 2 flow, just click that arrow and it will become closed, representing a direct step:



After you make that change, you will have to click the Run Analysis button again. In fact, any change you make in this interface you will have to do that. The reason for this is if we were auto refreshing it with every change you made, it would take a lot longer to create exactly the report you want. So instead, we let you do all the steps you want first, and only process it when you tell us too. This is an important note because it works differently than all other reports on Clicky, which all react instantly to anything you click.

So, play around with it and let us know of any bugs you find or additional features you'd like. Barring any serious bugs, we're going to take at least a few weeks break from this because we could really use it. So we'd expect that the "official" release with some of your suggestions and hopefully all bug fixes would be out in about 1 month.
9 comments |   Mar 06 2012 4:49pm

Database maintenance this weekend

Database servers 1-3, 6-10, and 14-33 will halt traffic processing for up to 10 hours this weekend while we perform some necessary maintenance. The servers will remain online so you will still have access to all of your data, there just won't be any new data processed for up to 10 hours. Most servers will be done much sooner than that, 10 hours is just the absolute max that any of them should take.

This process will start at about 10pm on Friday (USA PST), which is the same time that our normal database backups occur.

When each server finishes, it will begin processing its backlog of traffic that hasn't been processed yet. This means there will be an additional couple of hours for each server before it is caught up with real time again.

The purpose of this is in preparation for transitioning to our new infrastructure. We have invested heavily in new hardware over the last 6 months and we are finally (almost) ready to make it live. This is one of the last steps before we start.

To determine which database server a site is hosted on, take a look at the preferences page for that site.
13 comments |   Mar 01 2012 1:33pm

Custom outbound link pattern matching, and iframe tracking

A lot of people seem to run plugins or custom code on their site that automatically convert links to internal redirects, so that you can count them internally. For example, instead of linking to "http://getclicky.com/123" (affiliate link), you might link to "http://yoursite.com/go/clicky" instead. This page then redirects the person on to the real link.

The problem with this has been that our tracking code has no idea what's actually going to happen once someone clicks that link. Without actually following the link, it simply appears to be an internal link, so we ignore it by default. There have always been several ways to track these links (CSS tagging and manual data logging), however these methods required way too much pain on your end. We don't like pain.

So, we added a new customizable tracking variable today, called outbound_pattern. This allows you tell our tracking code, with just a few lines of code in one place, what your redirect URLs look like so that we can track clicks on them automatically. You can define it as a string, if there's only one pattern we should be looking for (should apply to most of you), or if you have multiple patterns, you can define more than one in an array.

The most common redirect URLs that I've seen are one of these three:

http://yoursite.com/go/clicky
http://yoursite.com/outbound/clicky
http://yoursite.com/aff/clicky

What you'll want to use as your custom outbound pattern is the the base part of these URLs, e.g. '/go/' or '/outbound/' or '/aff/'. You'll want to make sure whatever it is you use though is unique to your redirects, otherwise other links may start getting logged as well.

Single pattern example:
var clicky_custom = {};
clicky_custom.outbound_pattern = '/go/';

Multiple pattern example:
var clicky_custom = {};
clicky_custom.outbound_pattern = ['/go/', '/aff/'];

This code would go directly above your existing tracking code. And wrapped in HTML script tags of course.

If you're running WordPress, our plugin has been updated to support this new functionality as well.


iframe tracking

A while back, we tried to make tracking iframes better, in an automated way. This ended up causing some problems though so we killed it fast. Now we're bringing it back, but it's disabled by default so it will only process if that's what you want it to do.

Here's the problem. If the tracking code is installed in an iframe, we track the iframe, but in most cases your goal is to track the parent document instead. Otherwise the page URLs and page titles you see in our reports will be for the iframe itself, and we won't be able to log referrers.

So, if your goal is to track the parent document but can only put the code in an iframe or "widget" (e.g. with Apple's iWeb), set clicky_custom.iframe=1, so that our code will grab the parent's URL, title, and referrer.

99% of you that have the code in an iframe, your goal is to actually track the parent document. If this applies to you, set this variable, and you should be good to go.
6 comments |   Feb 15 2012 12:03pm

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