Interview with Hiten Shah, Founder, CrazyEgg

CrazyEgg ( is a Los Angeles-based, online service that allows web site owners to analyze and view the behavior of web visitors, and has been getting great reviews for its "heat map" feature--which allows web owners to see a visual "map" of where people are clicking on their web pages. The service includes both free and premium versions, and is focused on allowing web designers to test different versions of web pages to better adjust their web designs. Hiten Shah is the Founder of CrazyEgg. socalTECH's Ben Kuo spoke with Hiten to learn more about the company.

Not all of our visitors are familiar with your service--can you tell them what it provides to users?

Hiten Shah: It's pretty much a testing solution that allows you to test a page at a time to see where people are clicking on your page, in a visual way. The biggest thing is our heat map, similar to eye tracking tools, but with our heat map representing clicks on a page. It provides, as accurately as it possibly can, tracking of where visitors click, so that you can use that to improve ad placement, buy buttons, or anything on a page to convert visitors.

Is the service free, or how much do you charge to use the service?

Hiten Shah: It's a freemium model, we have both a free plan and several pay plans. We also have custom plans, in case the needs are greater than what's on the web site.

What's the story behind the company and how it started?

Hiten Shah: The consulting company behind CrazyEgg started in late 2002. I started it with my brother in law, who was in high school at the time, and is still in college. We started doing search engine optimization and pay per click consulting, and we're now doing social media marketing. The idea for CrazyEgg came out of the fact that the way it is handled today is very data driven, something that makes it hard to visualize. There's also flaws in terms of accuracy. We wanted to do something in web analytics, and didn't know what exactly. The existing analytics packages have flaws in them--we've been using Google Analytics, Sitemeter, as well as high end packages like Coremetrics and Omniture. There were two things we discovered--in particular, it was hard for clients to understand what was going on, and why we'd suggest certain changes--for example, if we told them the bounce rate was high on the front page, and for them to change the copy, or if we suggested a way to confuse people less. The site overlay thing is cool, but we thought we could make it cooler and more useful, so we built this. We realized we didn't just want to be another web analytics package, and decided to make it useful for testing instead of analytics. We wanted users to have a more intimate experience with it, instead of having to look at data after a run.

When did the service launch, and how long has it been available?

Hiten Shah: The service launched in August of 2006, and we've been working on it since late November of 2005.

How is the adoption of the tool going?

Hiten Shah: We have had over 45,000 people sign up for it so far, with the vast majority on the free plan. We have anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 active users at any time.

Where have people been hearing about the tool?

Hiten Shah: A lot of the buzz has been around our heatmap, because we're the first in the market. We focused on the technology and getting a simple solution which gets the job done, as accurately as possible. The way our system works is we track every click on every page with a reasonable error margin. I think a lot of people like the heat map, plus we're very responsive and respond to any comment on our service, and are out there trying to make sure people are happy. I personally do support, on the phone or writing emails. I hear from users who tell me they've doubled the money they are earning from their sites from using our tool, which is exactly why we built it.

Thanks for the interview!


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