Data is critical to business success. There is no doubt that if you don’t have the data of what is happening in your business today, you cannot know if you are on track to achieve your goals or not.
Businesses whether they are big or small spend a lot of time and money on getting data related to their sales, orders, stock, expenditure, income and much more. Data such as these are essential to see where the business is headed.
Whether a business is entirely online or has an online presence that drives its offline traffic, data and analysis is essential here as well.
As technology has become more digitized, so have a number of analytics software evolved. In my last blog post I wrote about how to effectively use Google Analytics. In this post we shall briefly revisit GA before looking at some other analytics tools and see how they fare against each other.
In the market there are currently certain tools that most website owners swear by.
On top of that list is generally Google Analytics but there are several other tools which give great data and reports.
- It is free
- Has different depths of reports available
- Whole range of reports covered
- Wide ranging historical data available
- Excellent for understanding trends because of sheer number of data combinations that are possible
- Can measure business goals
- Tells you which keywords are bringing you traffic, which browsers and devices people are using to access your website, from which sites they given referral
- Set up custom reports
- Set up custom alerts
- Information clutter
- Data is never instant or real time; lags by at least an hour
- Interface takes time to become familiar. Once you are comfortable however, you will be able to get the most out of this tool.
Here are some of the best analytics tools that are great alternatives to Google Analytics. I chose them based on their appearances on other lists about best analytics software (They are in no specific order)
Alternatives to Google Analytics
Of course, there is nothing stopping us from combining any of the following with GA. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and can be used in combination to develop the best analytics information for any business. Or they can be used stand alone if that option suits your business better.
This is another powerful analytics tool that finds itself on the top of most lists. Clicky is often seen as a great Alternatives to Google Analytics. The free version of Clicky gives you quite a lot of information but the paid versions provide more in-depth information when compared to other tools.
- Real time data
- Reasonable pricing for the pro version
- Free version gives plenty of data
- Features like video analytics, real time heat maps, several types of filters, on-site analytics, white label option, and more make it a top contender
- Twitter monitor through integration with that platform
- Clearly lists each visitor, tells you what they visited, how long they were on the page, where they were referred from, the actions they performed
- Provides heat maps for each individual as well
- Most of the features are not free
- Not all website owners may need all the in-depth features
You can read Ramsay Taplin’s review of the tool to get a stronger idea of Clicky’s features.
Open Web Analytics (OWA)
This open-source software is the way to go if you are someone who enjoys working with open source software; the bonus is that the tool is free.
- It’s free
- Gives heat maps
- No limit to data
- No limit to number of websites that you can measure
- Is self-hosted
- Provides mouse tracking
- Is very fast
- Unlike Google Analytics, OWA does not provide for mobile tracking
- It does not have real time reporting
Yet another on-premise, open-source software that provides great reports and enough data to help you understand exactly how your online presence is doing. Piwik is a great Alternatives to Google Analytics and according to their website has been downloaded more than 3,000,000 times. Only caveat is: you have to download it and host it on your server.
- Mobile app
- Unlimited storage
- Free version has many features offered by other analytics programs
- Highly customizable dashboard
- “Row Evolution” is a feature that allows you to click on any data point on a graph and view detailed history of that data point
- Sort rows to compare performance on different platforms, mobile devices and browsers
- Automatic email reports
- Pro version is second most expensive among the popular tools. According to the Clicky comparison, annual fee can be at least $1,548 (for 1,000,000 page views monthly).
- Setting up the dashboard can take time due to the detailing
You can read a review of Piwik by web.appstorm which would help you understand how much the pro version has to offer.
Woopra is the analytics software which is a great Alternatives to Google Analytics. In fact the reporting capability of this software is quite astounding. Woopra has the ability to track a lot of detail about your websites visitors. Even anonymous visitors’ page views can be tracked until they choose to identify themselves. This level of detailing can help you determine your marketing strategy for different streams.
- Fully real time data
- Detailed tracking of customer activity
- Reports allow for deep segmentation
- Highly customizable reporting
- Dynamic segment creation
- Live dashboard with your bespoke metrics
- Engage with customers on multiple touch points like email, chat, helpdesk and more
- “Appconnect” feature allows you to utilize 3rd party features through Woopra
- Retention analysis, funnel analytics, segmented analysis
- The pro version can cost at least $2,399 a year (for 1,000,000 page views monthly). Although the amount of data you are getting may make it worth it
Woopra also gives you the ability to live chat with your customers. This video demo of its capabilities provides a good indicator for the pricing.
A paid analytics tool, Kissmetrics provides a great deal of relevant information aimed at improving conversions, improving customer retention, and fuelling growth. Founded by one of the top internet marketing influencers – Neil Patel, the software is focused on improving your marketing strategy.
- Is highly suited for changes in user behavior
- An easy to adopt visual format
- You can add any parameter you want to track URLs
- Provides timeline views of visitors
- Focuses on consumer behavior analysis which provides valuable answers like who are the most valuable customers, how behavior changes over time, why it changes
- Pricing is reasonable for the type of reporting capability
- The funnel reporting capability is rated among the best
- Out-of-the-box reports are not many or easy to create
- For mobile analytics, this may still be behind a solution like Mixpanel
Moz Keyword Explorer
As a relatively new entrant as a keyword analysis tool (compared to say, SEMRush or Google Keyword Planner) Moz Keyword Explorer starts off with the advantage of having been developed by an SEO expert company like Moz.
- Great UX
- Keyword reports are easy to understand
- Thorough rank tracking
- “Are questions” feature allows you to build content marketing ideas
- Detailed SERP data is available
- Gives you metrics like keyword search volume, organic competition, keywords prioritized by which ones influence the metrics most
- It doesn’t have the ability yet to target specific local regions
- Limited number of keywords per campaign
- Long lists of keywords instead of sorted lists like those available with Google Keyword Planner
You can read this article by Moz that will give you an insight into how Moz Keyword Explorer compares against Google Keyword Planner.
A web and mobile analytics tool, Mixpanel allows a lot of flexibility in reporting and there are some things that Mixpanel does which are also present in Google Analytics but which Mixpanel makes very simple. Something like retroactive funnel analysis – with GA you have to build the funnel forward compulsorily. With Mixpanel you can do it later.
- The event tracking model is superb
- Data analysis is instant and real time
- Full-scale customer support
- Data is private – not used for advertising purposes
- Comprehensive retention analysis
- Retroactive funnel analysis
- You may find the pricing a little steep; there are others who give customized pricing options
- Adobe Digital Marketing Suite
- Mint (although sales was discontinued in December 2016, it made it to almost every list of top analytics software)
The thing to remember of course is that these software are ultimately designed to serve different purposes. Depending on your requirements you may need to club two or more of them to get all your reporting requirements fulfilled.
If you are starting out with analytics for your online presence, Google Analytics is a great option. As you become comfortable with your reporting, and you gain an understanding of what all you actually want to see, you can move on to any tool that is out there.
Check out this long list of analytics software that is at your disposal.
If you don’t have the time or means to decide, don’t sweat it. You can always get in touch with a SEO specialist company like ColorWhistle to have all your reporting needs taken care of.
A full-service web development company has all the required resources at its disposal to help your company grow its digital presence through diligent data tracking and strategy building.
Information is power. For any business, investment in analytics can go a long way in deciding their online success.