Before I begin - a quick note. The service I'm reviewing today is something I've had on my blog for about six weeks. I'm literally removing it tomorrow not because the service is bad, but that I didn't get a chance to write up my review until the day before my trial period ended. I'm going to include some screenshots of how the service looked on my site but I just wanted to be sure people weren't confused with me talking about something I've tested here and then not be able to actually see it. Sorry, life happens and this post just kept getting pushed down my "editorial calendar." :)
Alright, so that was a long preamble for what I really wanted to cover, Highly Analytics. Highly Analtycs (HA) is a service that does a couple of really interesting things.
First, it provides a "Medium-like" service where users can highlight and share snippets from your site. Here's an example of that (and again, see the note above) from one of my posts:
In case it isn't obvious in the screen shot above, you have options to save the highlight, multiple sharing options, and a way to add a reaction.
This by itself I thought was pretty cool. I was a big Medium user (poster and reader) a while ago, but it seems like most folks have left the platform and switched to places like DEV Community. Because I haven't been there recently, I had forgotten how nice the highlighting aspect of Medium was. Now to be clear, HA is not currently sharing highlights and reactions, it's just for your own use, but I can see it being incredibly useful for especially deep blog posts. Being able to add my own highlights and reactions to a post for later rereads and checks is incredibly useful.
So speaking of that, here's how a highlight looks when you return to a post:
The front end right now is somewhat simple (but as I said, I think really engaging) but the back is pretty deep. The analytics aspect is pretty deep. You can demo this yourself at https://www.highlyanalytics.com/demo which will let you play with some sample data. You get analytics of what you expect - what content is getting highlights, shares, and reactions. You also get some of the same analytics you would from traditional sources, like Google Analytics, so things like page views and user metrics.
As I said, I've been running this here for about six weeks. I never told anyone about it nor did I encourage folks to check it out, but if I remember right, I started getting usage like the hour after I added the code. Here's some live stats from the HA dashboard for this blog. First, the Top Articles:
I wish it showed more than three at a time, but I can say the list of top articles meshes with what my other analytics is reporting as well. Going down the dashboard, next we've got information on how folks are reading on my site.
The final chart on the main screen of the dashboard are all visitor type things. This is all data that Google Analytics provides, but even though I like GA (I'm back to them after being solely focused on Netlify Analytics), HA makes it a heck of a lot easier to consuime in my opinion.
These are the general stats, you can then drill down into article stats. This provides many different stats. You get a table of pages sorted by views, number of highlights, or reactions:
You also get top highlighted keywords, top reactions, and more. If you select one individual page, you can see how folks have "marked" up your page (and again, this is only visible to them):
All in all - a pretty fascinating tool. Comment usage on my blog has plummetted over the past few years, but the amount of people adding reactions and highlights was honestly shocking. I knew I was still getting good traffic, but it felt like I've not gotten much feedback about my content. HA shows that while people may not be commenting much on my site, they're definitely actively reading and noting stuff.
As I said, this is a commercial service. If you scroll to the bottom of https://www.highlyanalytics.com/, you'll see their current pricing tiers. My site, at around 350K page views per month, would be at the 99 dollars a month level. While I do really like HA, it's definitely more than I want to spend right now. The price drops pretty quickly for less traffic but I do think, overall, the price is a bit high. I can say though that I've been told that price is changing soon (and in a good way), so I'd definitely check it out to see if it makes sense for you.
Overall, I think this is a pretty fascinating service and one worth checking out. You can give them a follow on Twitter at @highlyanalytics and reach out to them if you have further questions.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash