Website analytics are very important to any developer, marketer, or even website owner. There are so many different solutions that sometimes it can be hard to decide which service to use. Additionally, you may be tempted to use scripts like CrazyEgg, which is a heat map that helps determine what users see and interact with on your website. Scripts like these are great when performing A/B testing on your website to improve ad performance and increase revenue.
However, some users tend to take this to a entirely new level of absurdity. When your website is loading more tracking scripts then fingers on your hand, that is when they become an issue. Having a lot of tracking scripts decreases website performance and you are drowning yourself in data you’ll likely never use.
I had this experience with a client where we were trying to decrease the page load times on his website. We managed to decrease his website’s load time considerably, however it was perpetually being slowed down by analytic scripts.
Let’s Look at an Example
We have a website where we are running a blog and writing posts about our favorite types of stoves. We review them and use Google Ads with affiliate links to make money. This is a great idea for a business. (No one take it!) To run this successfully, you only need a couple of tracking scripts to give you enough information about your website. These tracking scripts give you information to be able to make informed decisions.
If you are looking for a barebones analytics script that is free, JetPack is what I recommend. It’s script adds virtually nothing to your load time. I also recommend adding Google Analytics (either through the code or using a plugin because it is the most informative analytic script on the market.
That is all you should be running on your blog daily. You could even get rid of JetPack analytics as it is not as insightful and is only for mere convenience. However, there are some speciality scripts that I will outline below.
Facebook Pixel is an analytics script that ties into your Facebook advertising program. If you use Facebook ads and are trying to see how well they are converting, use Facebook Pixel.
But if you do not use Facebook ads, then there is no reason to have the script loading on your website. It is a hindrance to your website performance at that point.
LinkedIn Conversion Tracking
This script is identical to Facebook Pixel. The point is the same. If you do not run advertisements on LinkedIn, then you should not run it on your website. The data you are going to get is redundant and the same data you’d get with Google Analytics (even Jetpack).
Clicky is an all-in-one script. It is meant to be a cross between Google Analytics and CrazyEgg. It is in real-time and it provides heat-map functionality.
Clicky has improved the performance of their scripts in recent years. However, if you are already running Google Analytics, there is no reason to run Clicky in conjunction with it. Real-time analytics are not necessary for everything. The only reason to use real-time analytics is if you are split-screening your blog posts to see their analytics in real-time.
If you are set on Clicky, I recommend dropping JetPack or Google Analytics. Do not hinder your performance by doubling up on too much data. It is a hindrance to productivity and decision making if you are face-deep in four different analytic websites.
There is a lot to be learned from your visitors, but don’t drown yourself in analytics.
Crazy Egg is a script that has a lot of value, but it doesn’t need to be run 24/7. Unless, you are using heat map data to make design or ad placement choices on your website, then there is no need to run it 24/7. Only run CrazyEgg during a testing period and remove it afterward. By keeping it on, you are slowing your website down and hindering performance.
I could sit here and list all the analytic scripts I see on client’s websites on a daily basis. Often times, I find myself explaining to clients the importance of user data, what types of scripts to use, and when they should be used.
It simply comes down to this. If you are not using the analytic script on a REGULAR basis. Do not use it. Keep 1 or 2 (at most) analytic scripts active to see regular website traffic data. This will allow you to see what posts are doing well and which are not.
I recommend using Google Analytics (but I am also a guilty JetPack user due to convenience of the analytics).
If you are using a heat map analytic script, ask yourself if you are going to be making use of this data in the near future. This can be to make design choices or optimize ad placement. If the answer is no, remove it until you are ready to begin collecting that data.
Analytic Scripts are great, but do not add too many as your website performance will suffer.