We all know Google continues to lead the way when it comes to search engines and digital marketing. Google also provides tools to the business individuals who would like to take their business to Google, and one such tool is Google Analytics.
Every webmaster needs a professional web analysis tool to understand their business growth and direction, hence tweaking things if required. Google Analytics reveals the necessary information to you to shape the success story of your business.
Google Analytics helps you track and understand how many people are entering your sites, their behaviors, landing page performance, device classification, user experience, etc. Additionally, it is automatic, free to use, and allows you to collect customized reports according to your interest.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you as a webmaster do not have to limit yourself with Google Analytics. There are many other web analytics tools you can utilize to collect website data. This article will mainly focus on other Google Analytics alternatives and compare their advantages and disadvantages concerning GA.
Before we initiate the listing, let’s see why we should find Google Analytics alternatives!
Why Google Analytics Alternatives Make Sense?
Google Analytics is loaded with powerful features that can satisfy the expectation of webmasters. It gives a detailed analysis of each part of your website (pages) and makes it easy to understand where optimization is needed. There is not much to object to about the functionalities of Google’s analysis tool.
Nevertheless, if we take a closer look, Google Analytics does have some issues, and hopefully, the issues will be solved in upcoming releases.
One such problem is with tracking a user’s time on a page. The time spent on a page is taken only if the visitor clicks on another page of your site. If the visitor closes the browser or tab, the calculated time spent on a page is taken as Zero (0), which is a technical error.
In your Google Analytics, expand the behavior menu followed by site content and click on all pages; you will notice the visited page’s information such as page views, unique page views, avg. time on the page, bounce rate, etc.
Now you may notice some pages with 00.00.00 avg. time on the page along with a 100% bounce rate. However, the bounce rate might be correct for the calculated avg. time should not be zero every time.
Check this image below: The red-marked page has a lower number of page views, although the time on the page should be higher than 0, given I have been testing on the page for almost 5 minutes from another device on incognito mode.
The data provided by Google Analytics in minutes can be rarely accurate because some browser plugins block analytics scripts based on which it collects activity data from a website.
Google stores the collected information in their server for long-term analysis to provide historical data to the webmaster. It also benefits them to show the comparison for a particular time range.
The analytics tool transfers the acquired user information via cookies directly to Google. Since they hold these data for several years before flushing out, they may be subject to less strict data regulation than some countries.
In short, some possible reasons that make you looking for Google Analytics alternatives are:
- Various browser plugins tend to block Google Analytics.
- Times on a page only measured when visitors click on another page of your site.
- Transmit all tracking data to Google.
- Hold user data for many years.
- Mobile traffic and social network analysis are not optimal.
- Google Analytics is not everyone’s cup of tea for advanced operations.
- Or you might want to test another analytics service temporarily.
That being said, let’s see what other analytics tools can fulfill your needs and what are their pros and cons.
Google Analytics Alternatives
Open Web Analytics
Open Web Analytics is an excellent open-source alternative for Google Analytics when tracking the activity on your website. The graphical user interface feels similar to Google’s Analytics. It’s simple and easy to understand.
This application runs locally to your domain and acts as a part of your website. Hosting analytics tools locally can improve its efficiency and also reduces additional DNS requests. Like Google analytics, it’s customizable, and that gives required flexibility to the webmasters.
It features a heatmap tracking ability that allows you to understand user behaviors and their reaction on a landing page. It is helpful to optimize your page design and good news for ad placement.
OWP provides detailed use of any webpage on your site, including prior and next page viewed. This tool can track the clickstream of anonymized user sessions too. Custom site actions can be set, which is a similar feature to setting goals in GA.
It also generates the list of search queries that lead traffic to your webpages and can help you to optimize page SEO and find more opportunities to attract visitors.
- Easy to use.
- Heatmap feature.
- Data protection.
- Irregular updates.
- Poor performance.
- Slower development/ growth.
Matomo is another open-source web analytics tool that is available on Matomo official website. This tool’s features are very much similar to Google Analytics and, without a doubt, a serious contender of Google analytics. Note that previously Matomo was known as Piwik.
In terms of data protection Matomo is ahead of Google analytics because all the collected data will be stored on your server. The application is hosted independently to succeed on this, and you have complete control over the data.
With Matomo, you can analyze who your visitors are, their behaviors, the source of your traffic. Analyze conversion and revenue per traffic channels, set e-commerce goals. Track your sales funnels, import tracked data from Google Analytics. AB testing, form impression analysis as well as paid ads performance.
Like Open Web Analytics, Matomo too has heatmap tracking to visually show where your visitors click more often, moves the mouse and how far down they scroll on a particular page.
Now it has two versions one is self-hosted (On-Permis), and another is cloud-based. While the self-hosted version can be used for free, the cloud version will charge you depending on the feature you want to use.
Community-developed plugins and extensions can be used to fulfill missing features in Matomo, which is a notable advantage over analytics.
- Data protection.
- Heatmap feature.
- Available plugin and extensions.
- Complex configuration.
- Lack in precision than GA.
- Less user-friendly UI.
Another free alternative to Google Analytics is Clicky. It is a freemium tool that provides general analysis and tracking features limited to 3000 page views per day if you are on the free plan. The real-time data analysis looks clear and presents on a well-organized dashboard.
The dashboard is customizable like Google analytics, although it is easy to understand and produces a fast experience. The basic version shows you a simple design with the most important functions at a glance. To extend your dashboard functions, you should purchase the professional version of this tool.
Features like heatmaps, AB testing, Split testing, user behaviors tracking are available along with the uptime monitoring system, which is rare on other web analytics tools. Clicky provides API access to retrieve their data, which you can use on your application too. To export data from Clicky, you must pay a fee of $10 per month.
The real-time tracking and tracking per page are almost similar to Google Analytics; however, it has a cool feature of individual visitor action tracking. You can check standard visitors info, time on the page & visited pages.
- Simple and straightforward dashboard.
- Detailed real-time analysis.
- Free and great analytics for small websites.
- Limited functions for free.
- Tracking 3000 visitors per day would be a significant downgrade for a large website.
Inspectlet can’t be recognized as Google Analytics alternatives because the focus of this is different. However, it inherits the properties of Google analytics while ensuring that the website visitors are the center of analysis. It allows you to see your website through the eyes of users.
This tool hosts several valuable features to fulfill the primary aim of seeing the recorded movement on various users’ websites. Some cool features are eye tracking, scroll heat map, form analysis, etc. A/B testing can be done with the help of this tool as well.
Again it’s a freemium tool. It is free of charge for up to 1000 sessions and 1000 A/B testing per month. You can get additional packages from the manufacturers starting from $40. Inspectlet feels more like an integration than an alternative to Google Analytics and can be used with any other analytics tool to improve your website quality.
- Visitor-oriented analysis tool.
- Free up to 1000 sessions per month.
- Can be used with any analytics tool.
- Not a fully adequate Google Analytics Alternatives.
Webtrekk is a high-quality analytics tool that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure that the process of data collection is as efficient as possible to help webmasters to have more meaningful insights over their websites.
This tool tracks visitor’s paths & activities across the website. It allows the merging of various sources of website/app data to create a central point of a complete overview of your online business. The data collected with Webtrekk can be easily sent to data warehouse systems in real-time or visually processed in the integrated dashboard.
The data storage they use has a high-security standard. All data is stored de-centrally on an ISO-certified server in Germany. And that makes Webtreckk 100% GDPR complaints. Webtrekk does not provide any trial period; it’s a fully paid tool.
Depending on customer requirements, this tool can be customized, and additional features can be obtained by requesting a webtrekk sales team.
- Highly protected server.
- Customization ability.
- Precise data collection with the help of AI and Machine learning.
- No trial period available.
- Price is aimed at companies.
While these tools are great, there are more Google Analytics alternatives, which you can try and find out if they suit your needs of website analysis. I have only mentioned the name of the remaining tools and their pros and cons. Check these tools in the following section.
Mixpanel is a robust Google Analytics alternative, especially for large websites.
- Huge range of functions.
- High-quality UI.
- Free for small projects.
- Export of data is restricted on the free plan.
Piwik PRO was released back in 2013. It is not a Piwik/Matomo premium version but rather an independent development from the open-source project, focusing on the Enterprise segment.
- Can be locally hosted.
- Extendable features on request.
- Strict data regulation.
- No free edition is available.
We have gone through some of the excellent web analytics tools you can use as Google Analytics alternatives. Some of the features in these tools are better than Google Analytics, and some stay behind GA.
But the question is, are they better than Google analytics? Why do we mostly stick to the GA? Well, that depends on your requirement and satisfaction.
It would be great if you can find your choice of the Google Analytics alternatives after going through this post, and don’t forget to let us know about it in the comment section.