Google Analytics Alternatives
Google analytics is not the only kid on the block. There are dozens of other tools that offer either a different functionality coverage, different licensing options or compete in the niche tracking compared to Google Analytics. In a lot of cases a well configures and setup Google Analytics is able to cover 99% of use cases for small to medium sized businesses, but do know, other options exist and may fit better within your organization.
Adobe analytics has a long history of providing reporting data for enterprises and medium sized businesses. It started as Omniture in 1996, and has been a leader in web data analysis since 2000s. Adobe has purchased Omniture and integrated the tool into it's portfolio. Adobe is releasing frequent functionality and usability updates.
- Robust tracking and reporting capabilities.
- Interfaces for both novice and advanced users (Reports vs Workbench)
- Rich tools ecosystem with advanced integration: Test and Target, Tag Manager, Audience Manager, Campaign, Experience Manager, Media Optimizer and more.
- Extensive configurability to match site requirements.
- Great customer support
- Very expensive. Mostly enterprises only can afford it.
- Rich tools ecosystem. This point is both in pros and cons. On one hand you get access to an extensive list of other tools that integrate nicely with Analytics. On another, you get locked into this ecosystem.
Matomo (previously PIWIK)
Matomo has always been a free and open source web tracking solution by a team of international developers. It is an only fully free tracking solution that we can recommend. It offers an extensive list of reports for tracking user behavior on the site, segments, events and goals tracking, dashboarding and more. It might not have all the capabilities of Google Analytics or other enterprise solutions, but if you are conscious about data privacy and data of your visitors, and if you are not afraid to get your hands dirty with on premises installation of tracking software, this might be your perfect and possibly only choice.
- Free and Open Source
- Full data ownership
- Good set of reports and capabilities to cover most use cases for small businesses
- Extensive configuration and installation required for on premises solution
Countly takes a unique approach on web analytics, and tries to specialize in being good at 2 things:
- Creating visitor profiles, and providing a set of tools to analyze these users
- Exploring site flows
Overall countly offers a good set of features and reporting capabilities for users, with advanced analysis capabilities for user profiles and site flows. However does lack in feature set in comparison to other offerings.
- Great flow and customer profiles reporting and analysis
- Free Community Edition, if you are not afraid to configure installation on your own servers
- Rich plugin ecosystem to extend functionality
- Mobile analytics
- Lacking feature set
- More of a "Dashboard" approach to reporting, rather than "Explore"
Clicky is an independent web analytics platform. Interface does look a bit outdated, however is has a nice set of features, including some unique ones, like click heatmaps, uptime monitoring, developer API, twitter analytics and more. Clicky can trade blows with Matomo in the feature department.
- Feature rich
- Extended set of features, which are usually not present in web tracking tool
- $9.99 monthly for 1,000,000 views
- Somewhat outdated interface
- Lacking in dashboarding department
Mixpanel is another interesting solution in the area of webanalytics. It does not claim to be a replacement for traditional web analytics solutions, but rather an addition to them. Mixpanel focuses on tracking events on the site, and every single event you would like to track needs to be tagged with code. This does offer a degree of freedom in terms of how to track certain visitor actions, but does increase implementation complexity.
- Generous free plan
- Extensive customization of events, and values passed as part of events
- Good set of reports
- Advanced implementation knowledge is required
- No default tracking for page views or clicks on the pages
Hotjar is an analytics platform that specializes in visitor heatmaps, funnels and satisfaction surveys and polls. The platform stands aside from other reviewed solutions, because it is the first solution that has almost no duplication of Google Analytics features. Hotjar adds additional analytics functionality to help you understand user behavriour better with Flows and Heatmaps.
- Unique feature set
- Analyze visitor behaviour on pages via heatmaps and visitor recordings
- Ask visitors for their opinion with polls and surveys
- Affordable pricing
- Does not offer all required features of the web analytics platform on its own.
Quick thoughts on other tools:
Open Web Analytics (http://www.openwebanalytics.com/) - Development looks to be stagnated. Matomo offers more features and is also a free solution.
Kissmetrics (https://www.spacepencil.com/kissmetrics/) - The product has moved back onto the parent site, and looks to have pivoted a bit as email and web automation platform, rather than web analytics tool. Additionally site itself is using Google Analytics to track user behaviour, which shows lack of confidence in their own software.
Webtrends (https://www.webtrends.com/products-solutions/analytics-for-sharepoint/) - Webtrends used to be a giant of web analytics in early 2000s, and had a huge number of enterprise customers. Unfortunately years of feature neglect, and fierce competition left webtrends analytics product in despair. By all means, this is an outdated, outranked and outclassed product, that still looks like it was designed in 2005. Additionaly parts of Webtrends company were sold to Oracle. Development completely stopped on most of webtrends products. We do not recommend using this product.
Chartbeat (https://chartbeat.com/) - Chartbeat is an interesting product in web analytics space. It does have a good interface and dashboards to cover the most basic web tracking needs of customers, however we feel it does not compare to other products we have reviewed, and thus we cannot recommend it as a serious web tracking solution for your site.
For a quick cheatsheet of our recommended tools, check out our "the stack" pdf: The Stack
If you need help with any of the webanalytics platforms you are using or planning to integrate, write us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org