TOPIC:Analytics & CRO
Google Analytics very much has the top market share of analytics providers, but it’s not the only one out there, and it’s not necessarily the best for your business. If you’re finding it difficult to use, not providing the right information or simply don’t like the user interface, consider one of these 12 alternatives instead.
Piwik is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that many current Analytics users will probably be very at home with. Much of the functionality and tracking are based on Google’s own methods, so everything will feel just as it did before, with a slight change in dashboard layout and less concern about privacy.
One of Piwik’s main advantages over Google is that you can self-host it, not relying on another company to hold your data for you, so it’s completely private. For companies who have specific regulations against using Google for just that reason, or for companies who prefer not to give their data away, this makes Piwik an excellent alternative option.
Clicky is all about giving you the data you want, quickly and with no fuss. The core dashboard already contains more data than Google Analytics gives you, and when you start digging deeper you’ll find that data is the core of what Clicky offers, far more than the vague visualisations of it that Google Analytics often provides.
Clicky also offers a much more accurate measure of time on site than Google does, and a different, perhaps more accurate way of measuring bounce rates based on that time on site calculation.
Clicky is an analytics option that really aims itself at the data nerds out there.
Kissmetrics is a paid subscription service, but they make that cost well worth paying for with the data they provide. Kissmetrics gets right down to business by tracking visitors as individuals, rather than statistics, offering you an easy way of tracking their journey through the site and whether they convert, now or in future.
Kissmetrics really wants to help you figure out your customer journey and accurate conversion rates, and if that’s what matters most to you then they’re definitely a provider to be looking at. By focusing on one aspect of analytics, they make sure to offer an incredibly focused option.
Mixpanel focus their efforts not on how many visitors you get, but on what those visitors are doing. Like Kissmetrics, they’re concerned with the customer journey and performance of your website on an actionable level, and want to help you increase conversions and meet goals rather than simply to see traffic increase.
The differences between Kissmetrics and Mixpanel are subtle, and so the perfect one for you may just come down to usability, intuition and personal preferences. If you’re thinking of using one of these, it’s worth trying both to see which you prefer before committing.
Woopra is another visitor-focused solution that also looks at real time performance of your website. If you want to know exactly what your visitors are doing at any given moment, and what their history of interaction is with your site, then Woopra is an analytics platform to look at.
Woopra is also easy to integrate with other tools to provide even more detail about each individual on your site, so that if you rely on repeat customers you can gain valuable insight about them to upsell them even more.
Gauges tries to offer what it considers the most important information in an easy to read, quick to view dashboard, with focus on real time performance tracking. Although it’s not as in depth as some of the other analytics platforms, what it does offer is a very quick way to eyeball your site’s performance, particularly over recent periods of time, within certain trends and without having to dig to find the information.
It may not offer anything deep like some other options, but it’s quick and easy to use, which is sometimes worth a lot by itself.
Like Piwik above, Open Web Analytics is free, open source and available for private hosting so that you don’t have to offer your data up to another company to track it. It can also be tied directly to a WordPress site for easier and more accurate statistics.
Open Web Analytics is similar in many ways to Google Analytics, right down to the user interface and dashboard. If your main concern is finding something that does what Google does without being Google, then OWA is the analytics platform for you: functionally almost identical, but open source.
W3 Counter is quick, simple and easy, aimed at beginners to the world of web analytics. The tools available in the free version are ideal for a small site or a novice user who doesn’t require in-depth information, and it’s all presented in an easy to read and easy to understand format.
The premium version offers more tools, but not necessarily at the same value as other premium analytics options. For users who need more in-depth information, there are free options and paid options both of which offer more than W3. For beginners looking for somewhere easy to get started, though, W3 is a solid option.
Foxmetrics is another paid analytics service that focuses on visitor behaviour and specific user tracking, with a price point based on how many events you get in a month. Due to its heavy focus on visitor interaction, it may be more useful as an additional tool alongside one of the more general analytics options, rather than used by itself.
Statcounter is another free Google Analytics alternative that tries to offer the same usability and data without relying on Google to do it for you. Although it’s famous for its poor user interface, which doesn’t look as good as most of its competitors, it still offers plenty of data for you to use, without distraction.
It’s a very basic offering, but that also means that it’s not too difficult to use, once you get past the initial look of it.
Chartbeat seeks to provide useful analytics data specifically targeted at editors, online magazines and news sites. It’s all about live statistics and, most importantly, ad performance. Are users watching videos? Are they scrolling far enough down to see all the ads? Are people clicking, and why or why not?
If your site is built to take advantage of ad revenue, this is the analytics program for you. Otherwise, it’s not. It’s that simple.
Heap is all about being user friendly. It offers a user interface that anyone can use without too much difficulty, but that nonetheless allows you to set up some quite complex interactions.
Although it doesn’t immediately offer you all the data that some analytics solutions do, it makes it simple to set up tracking for that data. Both simple and complex events require similar set up, so you know that everything you’re tracking is important, and everything important can easily be tracked.